Unelected Canadian bureaucrat believes that behavioural science is an important policy tool

It was discovered that most Canadians distrust institutions, as per research conducted by the Canadian Behavioural Insights Team in collaboration with a global policy advisory group.

Unelected Canadian bureaucrat believes that behavioural science is an important policy tool
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The Canadian Behavioural Insights Team has partnered with an intergovernmental policy advisory group to discuss future policy decisions. Behavioural science is being studied for future policy development, through a collaborative effort between the Canadian government and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Through their collaborative efforts, it was discovered that the majority of Canadians do not trust federal institutions to tell the truth.

It’s a “first of its kind” initiative that is “only made possible by a partnership between governments and international organizations seeking to apply behavioural science,” said Kelly Bidwell, the U.S.-based Director of the Office of Evaluation Science (OES).

Dr. Lauryn Conway, the Senior Lead at Canada’s Behavioural Science Unit, notes how quickly her unit pivoted to support a government-led COVID response. They tracked behaviours through COSMO, a World Health Organization (WHO) behavioural insights tool, and studied how “beliefs” in false claims affected things like vaccine uptake.

According to Rodney Ghali, Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet at Canada’s Privy Council Impact and Innovation Unit, behavioural science is an important policy tool. He says that misinformation is a symptom of a larger issue – public distrust in government.

The report, titled "Misinformation and Disinformation,” solicited questionnaire responses from 1,872 Canadians. Respondents were grouped into three categories: Non-Trusting, High (Social Media) Trusting, and Institution Trusting.

Of the sample, 22.5% were non-trusting, 34.6% had high trust in social media, and 42.9% had high institutional trust.

That means that roughly 57% of respondents were either non-trusting or put more trust in social media, family and friends than in government and institutions.

While the Justin Trudeau Liberals move to institute online censorship legislation known as Bill C-11, which will see the internet regulated like never before, behavioural insights teams are working to increase nudge rewards for compliance with whatever they deem to be in your best interest.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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