Posted in:

Ivo Vlaev Decodes: Short-termism

Behavioural Scientist Ivo Vlaev looks at whether short-termism is an evolutionary trait in our Decodes: Short-termism.

‘Good intentions rarely turn into real actions, because of short-termism and the temptations we face on a daily basis. We cannot really control this so-called automatic systems in our brain, because during our history and evolution if you avoid consuming immediate rewards you might not find payoffs later  on. So there’s kind of a tendency or bias towards immediate gratification.

‘Are you like an omnipotent computer similar to Gordon Gekko from Wall Street who is able to stick to his long-term plans in the future and calculate the best course of action or are you more like Homer Simpson victim of his emotional and human brain? 70-80% of our everyday behaviour is run by habits from the automatic brain because it’s very efficient way to run our lives on autopilot.

‘There is a huge savings gap in modern society especially in the United Kingdom. The evidence shows that only one in 10 of us saves enough for retirement – which is around 18% of our income. The ageing population is the curse of moral society; we need income and the state is unable to support this. We definitely need long-term planning in place and to stick to these plans so we’re able to survive comfortably until dying age.’

We’ve worked with a panel of world-leading experts including Behavioural Economist Ivo Vlaev, Life Coach Fiona Buckland, Trends Forecaster Jonathan Openshaw, and Author Lucy Mangan to create this Decodes: Short-termism research.

Behavioural Scientist Ivo Vlaev joined Warwick Business School as a professor of Behavioural Science in 2014. Professor Vlaev received his doctorate (D.Phil.) in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford and St. John’s College. He was formerly a Research Fellow at University College London and a Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Sciences at Imperial College London. In 2010, Professor Vlaev co-authored the Mindspace report published by the UK Cabinet Office, advising local and national policymakers on how to effectively use behavioural insights.

Did you find this content interesting?

You already voted!