Video: TED – Rory Sutherland – Perspective is Everything

Rory Sutherland discusses the importance of perception making the point that it cannot be disconnected from economics.  Some important takeaways:

  • perception of control leads to happiness
  • existence of expectations reduces anxiety
  • ROI without analysis of perception is incomplete
  • classical economics is preoccupied with reality

Great moment in the video:

“Everyone knows my example with Eurostar.  6 billion pounds spent to reduce the journey time between Paris and London by about 40 minutes. For 0.01% of this money, you could have put wifi on the trains, which wouldn’t have reduced the duration of the journey, but would have improved its enjoyment and its usefulness far more.  For may be 10% of the money you could have paid all of the worlds top male and female supermodels to walk up and down the trains handing out free Chateoux Petruce to all the passengers.  You’d still have 5 billion pounds in change and people would have asked for the trains to be slowed down.”

Another almost-as-important a bit: the recurring theme is that perception of being in control makes something tolerable, possibly even desirable. Money alone is insufficient to understand outcome – tying into individual emotions is of paramount importance.

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