At Public Works we LOVE psychology and cognitive sciences in general. After all, we’re constantly trying to better understand how Americans think and reason around the topic of government. That’s why we were fascinated by this article from Governing that looks at how research on how individuals and organizations can make the best possible decisions can be deployed in the public sector. It’s lengthy but worth the time. Here’s an excerpt to get you started:
“If you put the individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasons as an emergent property of the social system,” Kahenman writes. “This is why it’s so important to have intellectual and ideological diversity within any group or institution whose goal is to find the truth (such as an intelligence agency or a community of scientist) or to produce good public policy (such as a legislature or advisory board.”
At a time when the public sector is under unprecedented pressure to perform better with fewer resources, these are insights that no public sector leader should ignore.