The unlikely funding source that helped a leading psychologist apply his research findings
‘Less is more’ is a concept that runs through the work of German experimental psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer. His research on the cognitive shortcuts that humans use for decision-making, and how they can be harnessed to accurately understand risk, has achieved genuine cut-through in society. Gigerenzer has developed programmes on risk literacy for medics, judges and schoolchildren, and has a long-standing collaboration with the Bank of England on avoiding financial shocks.
He suggests that less is indeed more when it comes to research outputs. “I would advise every young researcher who is smart to go against the stream and publish fewer articles, but excellent ones,” he says. “I grew up in a world where quality of research was more important than funding. That is no longer always the case.”