Gender stereotypes play a large part in persistent gender inequality. Women are still expected to be humble and withdrawn, or, in many cultures, submissive.
Men are still excused, by other men and many women, for their sexist or even violent behaviour. Because they are, apparently, “not able to control themselves.”
It is easy to find stories about poor girls and women being forced to marry their rapists. What is even worse is that religious and political leaders often support these decisions. “Woman tempted man. He, of course, could not help himself.” I can only try to imagine the fear and horror these women have to go through.
Primitive and Powerful
But this archaic behaviour does not only occur in certain cultures. Sexual harassment and misconduct still seem to be widespread even in countries where men and women are relatively equal. [Read more…]
Sunk cost bias is one the concepts presented in the World Development Report 2015: Mind, Society and Behaviour. Since I assume many of you do not have the time or the energy to read that report, I will try to give you an apprehensible explanation; and some reasons for why you should know.
In an aid context, sunk cost is when you persist with a project, despite its obvious flaws or absence of results. You, your office or your organization have invested so much money and effort into it that is hard to admit your failures. And the more you have invested, and the more you have lost, the more likely you are to head on; despite knowing that the project is beyond rescue.
Why do we humans do such a thing? Looking at it from the outside it seems rather stupid, to say the least. Especially if we claim ourselves to be well educated and “rational”? [Read more…]
Traffic can be a daunting experience in many countries. And much more so in lesser developed countries. Several times (read: many) I have showed other drivers what I feel about their behaviour.
Not very commendable, despite lambasting them from inside a car, in my own language. And of course, to no avail.
In order to calm my nerves, when stuck in a traffic jam, I started to reflect on the link between traffic behaviour and level of development. And came to the conclusion, there must be a connection.
The first day in my own car, in the traffic in Vientiane, Laos I experienced several heart attacks and nervous breakdowns. A motorbike, suddenly making a U-turn in front of me, or a lorry, deciding to park there and then, in the middle of the street. [Read more…]
Many aid and development programmes focus merely on technology and knowledge transfer or on providing services. That is the reason why many of them do not achieve their intended results. Because the heart of the matter: mindset and behaviour, is not addressed.
A good example is the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, described by many as a behaviour-driven crisis. Traditional burial practices together with distrust in government and health authorities were the main drivers behind the epidemic. [Read more…]