We need to talk about ‘alienation’

It was all the rage in the 1960s and 1970s … “Alienation is one of the most frequently encountered concepts in social science. Indeed, the amorphous, global concept of alienation has been used as a catchword to explain nearly every kind of aberrant behavior from drug abuse to political demonstrations.” (Mackey & Ahlgren, 1977). And […]

Food for thought: how values affect our food choices

We in the West are living in an age of food plenty: faced with dizzying choice in our supermarket aisles, with foods from across the globe available – whatever the season – at prices that would have been unthinkable 50 years ago. How do we navigate this? What guides our decision to pick one product over another, […]

The Mouse Paradigm: how markets affect our morals

The life of a mouse is entrusted to your care. You can either save this mouse, and receive no money. Or play the market to bargain for its life, and accept that it will be killed. This is the Mouse Paradigm, and it’s the subject of a recent study into how economic markets affect our moral […]

Money talks: the impact of economic framing on how we act and feel

We’re ‘consumers’ or ‘taxpayers’ and we care about things like ‘pay-off’, ‘return on investment’ and ‘growth’: that’s the bottom line. Right? Well, I’d put my money on it. But, actually, when did that happen? When did we start to pepper our meetings, our work, and even dinner conversations with such words and phrases? Sometimes, our […]