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Sign at the Top Edition Newsletter  ✍️ 📝

26 March 2020
Coming up in this edition
 
1. Recent Coronavirus stories that illustrate Human Risk in action;

2. Research into prompting honesty is Something that made me think; and

3. Podcast episodes are my Something for Self Isolation recommendation

Human Risk in action

The Coronavirus continues to provide a number of Human Risk lessons.
We begin (where else?!) with the Coronavirus (🦠) and this video of a lady neatly illustrating that it isn't just the young that aren't taking the warnings seriously:
To understand why people are ignoring expert advice and not staying at home, I recommend this article by University College London professor Julia Shaw

As for those people you've seen on the news buying in industrial quantities, there's some analysis here that explores why stockpiling isn't as crazy or selfish as it might seem.

There are some interesting behavioural lessons (especially for readers working in Compliance, Risk & HR functions) from the way people reacted to official advice and regulation.
In 🇩🇪, a ban was introduced in some states on gatherings of more than 1000 people.

This led to incidents like the one reported here, of concert halls opening their doors to 999 people and then closing them.

Entirely compliant, but entirely missing the point! 💁‍♀️
Meanwhile in 🇬🇧we were told not to go out but the authorities allowed pubs, clubs and restaurants to stay open. That led to many people adopting Institutional Licensing: the idea that if an organisation in authority is allowing you to do something, it must be OK. Which, of course, it might not be. More on the reasons for it in 👉this article.

In both cases, it's easy to blame the people who weren't following the "spirit" of the law. But it's worth reflecting that these outcomes were entirely predictable. If you're writing laws, then you need to think about how people are likely to react. Expecting compliance without understanding likely behaviour is not a good strategy!

The 🦠has also prompted calls for some regulations to be relaxed. This article, co-authored by Richard Thaler, outlines some principles as to which rules it might make sense to disapply at this time. Worth reading if you're contemplating deregulating in your world. 
Finally, do check out the #AntiViralCampaign that I've been working on with the lovely team at corporate compliance design company Broadcat.

They've produced some downloadable mobile phone wallpapers to help remind us to clean our devices.

The glass surfaces on phones are an ideal home for 🦠. Putting a reminder on your lock screen helps you remember to keep it clean at the moment when it's most relevant: right before you use it.  More on the campaign 👉here.
In non-🦠news, I'm also fascinated by this story about a Ballet Academy that hired someone they knew to be a convicted embezzled, to manage their accounts. Needless to say, she misappropriated a further $1.5m. Doubtless, it'll be made into a Netflix show very soon...
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Something that made me think

A recent attempt to replicate a famous BeSci experiment failed. What it taught us 
Ask anyone working in BeSci if they've heard of the "sign at the top" research and chances are they'll know what you're talking about.  It's a famous study, that showed that if you get people to signs an honesty declaration at the top, rather than the bottom of a form, they'll be more honest.

The logic behind it was simple: once they've filled the form in, it's unlikely they'll want to go back and change what they've written. After all, you don’t swear a courtroom oath after you’ve given your testimony, you swear it beforehand. 
However, a recent attempt by the same researchers to replicate the outcome of the original experiment failed. As a result, they've concluded that signing at the beginning is actually unlikely to be a simple solution for increasing honest reporting.

The reason I'm sharing this with you is three-fold. Firstly, to illustrate the fact that BeSci requires experimentation to see what works and we need to regularly keep our interventions under review. Secondly, because it is very readable research that provides some interesting insights. And thirdly, because, as the researchers state, "honest reporting is essential for society to function well". They meant it in the context of the honesty declaration.  But it applies to the research findings as well.

You can read the research here.
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Something for Self Isolation

One of the benefits of Self Isolation is that it makes it easier to record and produce podcasts.  Which is what I've been doing.
Since the last newsletter, I've released three new episodes of the Human Risk podcast and recorded a whole lot more (coming soon). 

So here, to help you while away your time in Self Isolation, are links to the episodes with clips from each, to help you decide which ones to listen to.  The answer obviously 👉all of them!  You'll also find them all on the usual podcast platforms.
First up in Episode 18, I had a 3-way conversation with two previous podcast guests: Richard Bistrong & Ruth Steinholtz. On the show, we explored the Ethics of Organising Events during 🦠. 🎧👉here.
Then in Episode 19, Mark Heywood joined me to discuss what impact the 🦠is having on the Creative Industries and to share some Self Isolation 👀and 👂recommendations. 🎧👉here
And in Episode 20 you can hear Part I of my discussion with Ben Cattaneo, host of the highly recommended All Things Risk podcast and experienced risk professional, to talk...All things risk.
🎧👉here
Tim Houlihan & Kurt Nelson, the lovely hosts of The Behavioral Grooves podcast asked me onto Episode 122 of their show as part of a series of 🦠focussed episodes.  🎧👉here
Finally, break up your Self Isolation this coming Monday 30th March by joining me in attending the online launch party for Ripple, a new BeSci book.

It's at 1600 UK (1700 CET, 1100 EST).  Not only will you get some fascinating insights from the authors, but you'll be able to experience the latest in virtual conference experiences which includes networking features for attendees. The event is free, but you'll need to grab your place here.

 
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That's it for this newsletter. 

Need help with Human Risk issues or want me to do a webinar or presentation? Get 
in touch!.

Need more Human Risk content in your life? For daily updates, follow @humanriskblog on Twitter.

Alternatively, the Twitter feed is now also available via messaging app Telegram. Just use this link 👉 https://t.me/HumanRisk to subscribe or view the feed in your browser.

Finally, a public service reminder not to touch your face 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♂️and to wash your hands regularly!


Christian

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