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Disruption

Episode 6 of 8

Cancelled trains or political and economic turmoil - when things happen beyond our control, how do we react psychologically? Not well, usually.

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 episode - disruption and how it affects us. Cancelled trains or political and economic turmoil - when things happen beyond our control, how do we react psychologically? Not well, usually.

We don't like uncertainty. We tend to avoid a change to the status quo, almost at all cost. But are there cases when a bit of disruption has benefits? The Human Zoo team explores everything from displaced German towns and lateral problem-solving to comedy improvisation and music composition.

Michael Blastland is joined by resident Zoo psychologist Nick Chater, Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, and roving reporter Timandra Harkness.

Contributors this week include behavioural scientist Dr Stian Reimers, City University London; broadcaster Nicholas Parsons; psychologist Prof Thomas Ormerod; members of Spontaneity Shop, comedy improvisation company; and broadcaster and journalist, Tim Harford.

Producer: Dom Byrne
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

28 minutes