Category Psychology

VAR and Virtue

Rebecca Lowe has written a piece arguing against the introduction of video assistant referees (VAR – additional referees who monitor football matches on video, and intervene if they believe the lead referee has made an error) in this year’s World Cup. She claims that the reform undermines sportsmanship by reducing players’ freedom to choose not […]

Is supporting a football team irrational?

Anyone who has really, passionately followed a sports team must at some point wondered whether it is worth it: all the heartbreak, disappointment and frustration. Take Arsenal Fan TV: does it look like a bunch of people having a good time, or just making themselves miserable for no good reason? A fascinating new paper by […]

Is ‘nudging’ undignified?

Like most fashionable ideas, the theory of ‘nudging’, also known as ‘libertarian paternalism’, has spawned a backlash. Among the most prominent recent criticism is Jeremy Waldron’s claim that the use of nudging by governments risks failing to account for the dignity of their citizens. Waldron’s view is that it is bad to exploit people’s cognitive […]

Privatised Healthcare: What Would We Lose?

  Contrasting the different challenges facing British and American healthcare, Janet Daley attacks the “anachronistic and unsatisfactory” arrangement of a “state-owned-and-run monopoly of medical provision”. This throws up a number of obvious issues around the equity, efficiency and sustainability of these different models. But even aside from the questions of whether state run healthcare is […]

Nationalise energy?

Thinkers and politicians have been debating the limits and failures of markets since the beginning of capitalism. However, the question of which spheres of society are appropriate for free markets is increasingly pertinent, given the current economic and political context. Since the financial crisis, there has been greater awareness of the fallibility of the neo-liberal […]