A day that will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most ground-breaking events in the Political world - the moment the British public voted to withdraw from the European Union.
Professionals within the Insight space are discussing whether or not the final vote was down to Reverse Psychology. Did we display defiance in the face of our government, in the same way a child's brain is wired to rebel against the request of a parent? Or did we succumb to the 'Framing' technique used to fit the narrative of Leave campaigners?
What can we, as insight practitioners, learn from this saga? Behavioural economics must take centre stage. Traditional political polling based on system 2 thinking alone has had its day. Implicit Association Tests and similar tools must be more widely used in opinion based surveys to ascertain disconnect between rational and irrational public sentiment, to better identify paradoxes and subtle nuances often not picked up by the media and group-think journalism. Decision making hierarchies – whether it’s which party to vote for in an election, Remain or Brexit, through to what to buy in the supermarket – are becoming more irrational, as the role of heuristics changes in our social media age. Now, more than ever before, to ensure the survival, credibility and essentially legitimacy of market research, we have to get to grips with new decision making practices. Let Brexit and the false assumptions made as to how people would actually vote be a key lesson for our whole industry, not just the political classes.