Episodes

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For Greater Diversity, Be Less Fair2018112220210530 (R4)

Society rightly craves greater more diversity in the way its businesses, institutions and systems are composed. But is our obsession with measuring this with “rational” metrics ruining any chance of a truly free, fair world?
Rory’s joined by the Darwinian philosopher and rationalist Helena Cronin from the London School of Economics – who vividly describes the subject as a “third rail issue – touch it, and you die”. She explains how measuring outcomes – percentage distributions of males and females across the employment world – is a terribly blunt instrument to assess the complex world of sex differences, and the very real issue of discrimination in the modern world.

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Challenging received wisdoms. Has obsessively measuring diversity made us less equal?

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

The Case Against Education2018111920210509 (R4)

Education is often seen as a panacea for a liberal civilised society: the more, the better. But what if we’re wrong? What if the desire to deliver higher education to as many people as possible is actually making society less fair?

Economist Bryan Caplan poked a hornet’s nest recently with his book “The Case Against Education”. It argued passionately that higher education has become a mere signalling exercise for employers – one which rewarded rote-learning conformism and threw anyone with less than a 2:1 on the scrapheap.

Much admired – and much criticised – Caplan’s book was a call-to-arms for an end to a futile, economically-crippling education arms-race. His solution? Simply pull funding for almost all higher education until its social worth was fully proven.

Advertising guru and behaviourist Rory Sutherland is joined in studio by the Executive Director of the Education Policy Institute Natalie Perera - and down the line by Bryan Caplan himself – to assess one of liberal society’s most sacred cows.

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Should we have less, not more, education? Rory Sutherland challenges received ideas.

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

01The Case Against Education2018111920210509 (R4)Education is often seen as a panacea for a liberal civilised society: the more, the better. But what if we're wrong? What if the desire to deliver higher education to as many people as possible is actually making society less fair?

Economist Bryan Caplan poked a hornet's nest recently with his book “The Case Against Education”. It argued passionately that higher education has become a mere signalling exercise for employers – one which rewarded rote-learning conformism and threw anyone with less than a 2:1 on the scrapheap.

Much admired – and much criticised – Caplan's book was a call-to-arms for an end to a futile, economically-crippling education arms-race. His solution? Simply pull funding for almost all higher education until its social worth was fully proven.

Advertising guru and behaviourist Rory Sutherland is joined in studio by the Executive Director of the Education Policy Institute Natalie Perera - and down the line by Bryan Caplan himself – to assess one of liberal society's most sacred cows.

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Should we have less, not more, education? Rory Sutherland challenges received ideas.

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

02A Parliament By Lottery2018112020210516 (R4)Could we fix the disconnect between the public and its politicians – by selecting our MPs by lottery?
In today's episode, ad guru and expert on human behaviour Rory Sutherland explores how a “House Of The People”, comprised of a random cross-section of the British public – might be better at truly reflecting the considered will of the British people.
Rory is joined by the Australian political economist and expert on innovation Nicholas Gruen, - who explains how the idea dates back to the Ancient Greeks – and the MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Philips, an elected parliamentarian who's keener on the idea than you might expect…

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Challenging received ideas. Today: would we be better off selecting our MPs at random?

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

03The Art Of Self-deception2018112120210523 (R4)Humans are masters of the art of deception – like it or not, it's hard to disagree.
But the art of SELF-deception is all around – the manifold ways which we subconsciously kid ourselves about our motivations and deepest desires. From little white lies to fake news, self-placebos to dodgy dossiers.
In today's episode, advertising guru and behavioural expert Rory Sutherland speaks to a legendary figure in evolutionary biology – the American geneticist Robert Trivers, who wrote the foreword to Richard Dawkins' Selfish Gene. He's also joined by evolutionary psychologist Diana Fleischman, and “guru of randomness”, the statistician and author of “Black Swan”, Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Exploding society's received wisdom. Do we deceive ourselves\u2026 to better fool others?

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

04For Greater Diversity, Be Less Fair20181122Society rightly craves greater more diversity in the way its businesses, institutions and systems are composed. But is our obsession with measuring this with “rational” metrics ruining any chance of a truly free, fair world?
Rory's joined by the Darwinian philosopher and rationalist Helena Cronin from the London School of Economics – who vividly describes the subject as a “third rail issue – touch it, and you die”. She explains how measuring outcomes – percentage distributions of males and females across the employment world – is a terribly blunt instrument to assess the complex world of sex differences, and the very real issue of discrimination in the modern world.

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Challenging received wisdoms. Has obsessively measuring diversity made us less equal?

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

05The Fallacy Of Market Research20181123Key idea: we think we can measure what makes better services and systems. But what if people don't really know – or admit – what actually matters to their deepest desires?
Advertising guru and writer on human behaviour Rory Sutherland is joined by legendary advertising creative Dave Trott, as well as statistician, trader and iconoclast Nassim Nicholas Taleb, to explore the ways in which our consumer and business decisions are driven by things we don't realise – and how some of the most brilliant pieces of behavioural insight seem utterly counterintuitive.

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Unravelling conventional ideas. Today: why market research is doomed to fail

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

06Be Successful Or Be Loved: The Nhs Dilemma20181126Can a public health service ever be truly loved if it always prioritises reducing mortality rates and waiting times over the seemingly trivial aspects of patient experience? Rory Sutherland continues his exploration of magical ideas that logical people will hate, with contributions from market researcher Ben Page, evolutionary biologist Nichola Raihani and economist Robin Hanson.

Produced by Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales

Rory Sutherland smashes apart more received wisdom with a look at healthcare

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

07Instinct Before Logic: The Postbox At The O220181127If you think humans are rational beings then think again. Rory Sutherland continues his exploration of mysterious psycho-logic with a look at why reason has been dropped as the weapon of choice when it comes to persuading us to change our behaviour. We visit the so-called ‘Nudge Unit' to find out how behavioural science has found its way to the heart of government, and discover how a simple hack has led to a massive increase in pension contributions in many countries.

Produced by Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales

Are we as rational as we might think we are? Rory Sutherland explores

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

08The Virtue Of Commitment20181128Why do humans go to such lengths to show their commitment to others? Rory Sutherland continues his exploration of behavioural quirks and mind hacks with a look at how businesses thrive on our susceptibility to be swayed by commitment, from the ‘Knowledge' exams of a London cabbie to the strange rituals of upper-class British etiquette.

Produced by Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales

Rory Sutherland explores how businesses play on our susceptibility to signs of commitment

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

09The Power Of Vanity20181129Rory Sutherland explores ego massage as a powerful weapon in business and government

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

10The Sachet In The Pot Noodle20181130Can online retailers ever capture the magic out of the traditional shopping experience? Rory Sutherland concludes his series of psycho-logical mind hacks with a look at how e-commerce is now using behavioural and cognitive science to forge a path to total retail dominance.

Produced by Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

OMNI0120190208Advertising guru and writer on human behaviour Rory Sutherland pokes a stick at received wisdom.

The Case Against Education: What if the desire to deliver higher education to as many people as possible is actually making society less fair?

A Parliament by Lottery: Could we fix the disconnect between the public and its politicians – by selecting our MPs by lottery?

The Art of Self-Deception: Do we deceive ourselves…to better fool others?

For Greater Diversity, Be Less Fair: Has obsessively measuring diversity made us less equal?

Produced by Steven Rajam for BBC Wales

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas

The Fallacy of Market Research: We think we can measure what makes better services and systems. But what if people don't really know – or admit – what actually matters to their deepest desires?

OMNI0220190215Advertising guru and writer on human behaviour Rory Sutherland pokes a stick at received wisdom.

Be Successful or Be Loved - The NHS dilemma: Can a public health service ever be truly loved if it always prioritises reducing mortality rates and waiting times over the seemingly trivial aspects of patient experience?

Instinct Before Logic: Are we as rational as we might think we are?

The Power of Vanity: Could ego inflation be a quick route to changing our behaviour?

The Sachet in the Pot Noodle: Can online retailers ever capture the magic of the traditional shopping experience?

Produced by Michael Surcombe for BBC Wales

Rory Sutherland explores a selection of fresh, intriguing and iconoclastic ideas