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Behavioural Conflict Blog

Why Understanding People And Their Motivations Will Prove Decisive In Future Conflict

How should we analyse our lives?

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How should we analyse our lives? »

Good article from Gillian Tett in today’s Financial Times. She also has a background in anthropology. This article highlights how the divide between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sciences is rapidly narrowing as researchers gather massive amounts of data about human behaviour and arrive at precise conclusions.

As she points out ‘Whether you love or hate this new form of data science, the genie cannot be put back in the bottle’.

In behavioural conflict we consider how ‘big data’ has a role in analysing the choices individuals make. Hans Rosling (again in today’s FT) sums it up well. Understanding the state of the world is vital to how people make daily choices, he insists. ‘It will impact on their decisions about where they place their pension funds, where they go on holiday, where they would like aid money to be spent, how they judge trade policy should be in their country and how they vote for that - that’s the ignorance we have to fight, because it’s devastating’.

Now imagine these ideas having a role and place in a Brigade HQ based in Helmand. Imagine too the ability to display that data visually (Roslings speciality) then imagine being to develop precise narratives and accompanying messaging alongside implementation that had a genuine positive impact on choice and behaviour.

These ideas and more will be explored in the next version of Behavioural Conflict to be published later this year.

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