Decision Framework

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In recent years we’ve witnessed the rise of phenomena like fake news, information bubbles and choice overload.

After the EU referendum and US election results of 2016, the BBC wanted to understand how people make decisions and how cognitive biases, social pressures and digital technology influence how people find and use information.

Our approach started with contextual analysis from our Culture & Trends team, to look at the trends and influences surrounding decision making.

These included:

  • information overload and the paradox of choice
  • trust and influence
  • digital content and the echo chamber.

There followed two rounds of quantitative research using ASK, our award-winning suite of question tools. The first looked at how people classify decisions, with the results identifying six types of decisions. The second survey validated different approaches to decision making, taking into account demographics, attitudes and personalities.

At the end of the project we were able to give the BBC a vast and multi-faceted understanding of people and decision making, summarised as eight decision approaches. The study has led to further research around election voting and has promoted the BBC to consider what impact these decision approaches have on their content strategy.

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