The series that looks at current events through the lens of psychology. Why do people have a tendency to distrust experts and expertise?
The series that looks at current events through the lens of psychology. Michael Blastland explores the quirky ways in which we humans think, behave and make decisions.
In this week's programme, a question of trust - why do people have a tendency to distrust experts and expertise? It has been made much of in the UK's Brexit campaign to leave the European Union. 'People in this country have had enough of experts,' claimed Leave campaigner Michael Gove. What's behind this lack of faith in authority?
The Zoo team discover that the difficulty of evaluating expertise is a problem we all face - because to really understand what's going on, you have to know what you don't know, and it's easier to spot the flaws in other people's reasoning and knowledge than to see it in ourselves. But then forecasting is a tricky business, and the experts don't always get it right. So, who to trust?
Michael Blastland is joined by resident Human Zoo psychologist Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, and roving reporter Timandra Harkness.
Guests this week include David Dunning, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan; Professor Barbara Mellers from the University of Pennsylvania; journalist turned teacher Steve McCormack; and Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion rower Annie Vernon.
Producer: Eve Streeter
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.