Decision-making

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Access news and information about decision making. You can read our latest research outputs, features, case studies and other relevant content.

Features

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Rethinking pensions

Feature | 30 May 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Six in ten people over the age of 50 in the uk have not considered how they will finance their retirement years – and a third of people approaching retirement do not know how much income they will receive from their private pensions, according to r ...

Misjudging the risk of extreme events

Feature | 26 April 2013 | Business, General public, Press/media, Schools

Both insurance buyers and insurance sellers frequently fail to assess risks accurately, according to new research. An esrc-supported report concludes that when people make assessments about rare events, they often tend to misjudge a number of factors ...

Trust me - i'm a politician

Feature | 05 March 2013 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Politicians will find it hard to persuade voters to trust them more because there's a big gap between the kinds of behaviour the two camps think of as unethical, according to new research.

Staying safe online

Feature | 05 February 2013 | General public, Press/media, Schools

The visualisation and other methods of expression (vome) project developed new methods to raise public awareness about internet security, an issue highlighted with today's celebration of safer internet day.

Water, flooding and public trust

Feature | 08 December 2011 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

The government’s white paper water for life highlights challenges and policy options for our water resources. Several esrc-funded research projects have focused on aspects of water management - and award-winning relu research shows new methods for ...

The challenges of aids - past and present

Feature | 01 December 2011 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Thirty years after the first reported cases of aids, a unique gathering of experts are examining the early response to the epidemic in the lecture series "aids @ 30: three decades of responding to hiv/aids".

Tired? work in groups

Feature | 17 August 2011 | Business, General public, Press/media, Schools

The risk of inflexible thinking increases when you're tired - but working in a team and consulting others helps to make the right decision, shows research.

We are all copycats

Feature | 26 July 2011 | General public, Press/media, Schools

We can’t help but copy other people’s actions, shows research on automatic imitation. A study revealed that rock-paper-scissors players subconsciously copied each other’s hand shapes – even if that meant an increased risk of losing out.

Pre-empting natural disasters

Feature | 26 January 2011 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Can we anticipate and manage natural risks?

Case studies

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Data lays foundation for alcohol pricing policy

Case Study | 01 March 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Datasets from the esrc-funded uk data service were used in a policy model which underpinned the scottish bill on minimum pricing of alcohol.

The human element of surgery

Case Study | 15 December 2011 | Academic, Further education, Policymakers, Public sector

A new tool assessing the quality of team-related behaviours of the core members of an operating theatre team has been mandated for national use by the national patient safety agency and implemented in several other countries.

Decision-making in rape trials

Case Study | 15 January 2007 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Research on biased jury decisions in rape trials informed home office legislation review and judicial assessments in new zealand.

Press releases

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Nudge or think: what works best for our society?

Press Release | 21 September 2012 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

If approached in the right way, citizens are willing to change their behaviour and do more to help themselves and others, according to research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc).

Empowered citizens or hopeful bystanders?

Press Release | 20 March 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

The new political appetite for 'localism' in town planning has triggered anxiety within local communities and amongst those charged with making it work, according to new research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc).

Planned actions improve the way we process information

Press Release | 16 January 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

Preparing to act in a particular way can improve the way we process information, and this has potential implications for those with learning disabilities according to research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc)

What sort of youth centres do young people really want?

Press Release | 04 November 2011 | General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Press/media

Politicians and local councillors are currently looking for the best way to control spending across services. At an event as part of the economic and social research council’s (esrc) festival of social science, researchers will find out how young peo ...

Fathers find financial crisis hits family life

Press Release | 19 June 2011 | Academic, Business, Further education, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

The esrc-funded research study 'changing lives and times' has explored the impact of the financial crisis on the daily lives and future plans of new fathers, finding that several men were making significant life changes.

Red nose day leads the way for future giving

Press Release | 20 March 2011 | General public, Press/media

The comic relief appeal achieves a remarkable amount of support with around six million people buying red noses. Donations to this cause have increased five-fold between 1988 when the first red nose day appeal raised £15 million to the £82 million ra ...

Diversity or deprivation - what makes a 'bad' neighbourhood

Press Release | 15 September 2010 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

What people think about their neighbourhood is much more strongly influenced by deprivation than by the degree of ethnic mixing in the area, according to new research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc), carried out by researche ...

Government overseas aid is no bar to individual giving

Press Release | 13 December 2009 | Policymakers, Press/media

Greater government aid to overseas development charities does not discourage individual giving, according to new research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc). Fears that increasing government grants would serve to 'crowd out' do ...

Grants

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What is scientific consensus for policy? heartlands and hinterlands of physics

Professor Harold Collins | Science and Technology Studies | 01 March 2014

This project aims to examine the nature of scientific consensus by looking closely at how boundaries are established, enacted, reinforced and experienced within physics. To know what mainstream scientific consensus means, we need to know more about t ...

Urgent invite - after woolwich: social reactions on social media

Professor Martin Innes | Sociology | 15 February 2014

The research will analyse social reactions to the murder of drummer lee rigby in woolwich on 22 may 2013 using social media data collected from twitter, blogs and other sources.   such data uniquely enable the tracking of the evolution of public ...

Social media analysis for social geography

Professor Paul Watson | Social Geography | 14 February 2014

Many believe that social media data has the potential to give real insights into communities. However, there is a real challenge in unlocking this knowledge due to the enormous size and speed with which the data is generated, and a lack of understand ...

Business models: fasttracking competitive advantage

Professor Nicholas O'regan | 06 February 2014

The collapse of well-known uk high street names has shown the importance of having a business model that is capable of both creating and capturing value. Business models describe how the firm differentiates itself and deals with competition. Yet, rec ...

Outputs

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Towards independence?

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Other publication/report

Article written by nicola mcewen for the esrc magazing 'society now' in which she analyses the scottish government’s white paper scotland’s future. Nicola mcewen highlights that the case for independence is built around three inter-linked themes: dem ...

Bbc one reporting scotland

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Audio/video recording

Nicola mcewen was interviewed for the report on scotland of bbc one on the uncertain consequences of a yes vote.

Small states in europe

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Seminar/workshop

Nicola mcewen contributed as chair to a seminar organised by michael keating on small states in europe. Discussions focused on capacities and constraints of small states to influence decisions taken in eu institutions. Nicola also kicked-off the disc ...

Independence debate

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Seminar/workshop

Presentation at the politics and international department's lecture series on the independence debate and the impact independence may have on scottish-uk relations. The event also served to present the different projects that were part of the applica ...

Who will decide the referendum outcome?

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Other

Blog post written by nicola mcewen following speculations about voters from firth of scotland having a decisive influence on the referendum outcome. She argues that demographic factors will offer little in explaining why people will vote yes or no th ...

Independence: a renewed partnership of the isles

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Organised event

Nicola mcewen organised an event featuring a keynote speech by the deputy first minister, nicola sturgeon at the playfair library hall in edinburgh. The speech was followed by a response given by nicola mcewen and discussions over dinner. The event w ...

Energy independence and interdependence

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Evidence

Nicola mcewen was an invited witness to the scottish parliament economy, energy and tourism committee as part of the committee's inquiry into scotland’s economic future post-2014. She provided written and oral evidence to committee. In her written br ...

Scotland-uk relations in the event of a no-vote

Nicola Mcewen | 02 May 2014 | Audio/video recording

Interview for stv news: during the 'what happens if scotland votes no?' event, nicola mcewen gave an interview on the relations between the scottish and the uk government, the distribution of power and the ideas for further devolution put forward by ...