TCC specialises in social research and behaviour change. This is your guide to what we’ve been reading.
Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the psycho-social nursery rhyme where every child is Friday’s child.
This week we have the tests to see whether you’re a liberal or a conservative at heart, and to test whether you’re a blurter or a brooder when meeting new acquaintances. Plus, the map of Europhobia and The Blood-typing Game.
And, of course, there’s Charlie’s Attic, where the insights are so rare they make AB look like O (click here if that means nothing to you). This week it contains the test to find out how much Donald J Trump hates you.
If you see a link you think is worthy of the hallowed Weekly then just email it to us and we’ll accredit you for the good spot and give you a free TCC exclamation mark to say thanks.
With campaigning for the EU referendum in full swing, the classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is surely passing hands somewhere. But why is it that attempting to persuade people with facts and facts alone just won’t work? A lesson here, perhaps, for both sides. On the topic of (non-)persuasion, a study suggests that charity fundraisers may have inadvertently created a new condition of the British psyche. Meanwhile, here’s how to spot a liar: get a teen offender to help you pick them out.
With the Tories divided on In Vs Out and some in Labour unclear on their position too, EU referendum mania seems to have generated a climate of political schizophrenia. If this has left your political identity disoriented, here’s a 5 question pit stop to determine whether you’re a liberal or a conservative. Alternatively, if you’re relishing the existential freedom of this uncertainty, you can top up with Jade Azim’s self-deprecating blog post on becoming a cynic at university.
What do Wifi, playgrounds, and dementia-friendly communities all have in common? “Healthy towns” of course – a place where the elderly can access care at the touch of a button and adventure playgrounds are built into every other street corner. Click here to find out more. On the topic of urban planning, could it be that ‘fast-food-free zones’ are the key to tackling childhood obesity?
Back in April last year, the Croydon Opportunity and Fairness Commission (supported by TCC) reported that one in five Croydonians felt they needed more support to stop them feeling isolated. Now LGA research details the health impacts of feeling lonely, revealing social isolation can be more harmful to individuals than smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Here’s the Nudge approach to addressing the issue.
On the topic of well-being, The Guardian reports that 80% of students have had a mental health problem over the past year. What can be done in response? An innovative campus-based project, Suicide Safer, shows that prevention is key, whilst The Life Project – a 70 year longitudinal study detailing the lives of thousands of people born in 1946 – reports on the secret to a happy and healthy life. That said, maybe it’s best to not be too happy – moments of joy are bad for the heart.
Last week’s TCC Weekly featured this fascinating documentary about downward social mobility – the dark side of every politician’s favourite buzz-phrase. On the topic of social mobility we thought we’d look at how much the different values groups believe they have the power to control their own destinies.
‘Strongly’ or ‘Very strongly’ agree that...
A) Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control
B) Hard work and determination are no guarantee of success for most people
C) The economic system of this country unfairly discriminates against middle to lower income groups
The results show predictably lower levels of pessimism about life chances from individualistic and optimistic Prospectors than from their Pioneer and Settler counterparts. One interesting thing is the difference between Pioneer and Settler responses to statements A and B. Settlers are considerably less pessimistic when the statement is framed in terms of hard work. Conversely, Pioneers are less likely to be pessimistic when endeavour is taken out of the equation – suggesting, perhaps, a more abstract and socially deterministic view of things from this group.
Also interesting is the considerably higher level of agreement from all three groups for statement C. This is interesting because, unlike statements A and B, statement C is not framed in relation to the agency of the individual. In other words, people are generally more likely to think the world is deeply unfair (and agree with C), but to maintain that they themselves still have efficacy at an individual level (and thus agree less strongly with A and B).
Elsewhere, this article by a former Occupy activist disillusioned with the far left’s inability to speak beyond itself is very interesting, suggesting a strong normative Pioneer bias in radical circles. On which topic, Romals Inglehardt of the World Values Survey looks at why inequality is the next big issue.
And finally this week, Charlie’s Attic, the nudge industry’s ultimate “room at the top”:
Convince yourself it’s worth trying to get through the rest of these links with effort justification.