The psychologists at Warwick Business School have developed some online experiments that you can do for yourself.
Listen now 28 mins
"Trust me, I tell the truth and I'll prove it to you". It's a simple idea that is the driving force behind the move for public bodies and private business to be open and transparent about their dealings.
The argument goes that, by showing their workings, they can engender trust. However, psychology suggests it might not be that straightforward. An obvious response to publication of the data on surgeon's success rates has been headlines labelling some as "the worst in the UK".
So how can we engender trust, both on a personal and public level. Should we demand that our partners tell us every lecherous thought that goes through their heads? Do we really want to know that the surgeon about to apply their blade to our skin has a lower than average success rate? The answer, like so many about complex human beings, is not simple. Openness and trust are not always linked in the way we might assume. The Human Zoo shows us why.
The Human Zoo, where we see public decisions viewed through private thoughts, is presented by Michael Blastland, with the trusted guidance of Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School.
Producer: Toby Murcott
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.
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