Few may realise that the Nudge Unit has offices in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France and Singapore. Below we focus on UK’s Nudge Unit. Firstly, some background of the role the Nudge Unit has played during the Covid era before we look at, in particular two, staff members.
Over the last two years, governments, in the United Kingdom and beyond, used subliminal methods to secretly manipulate the public, Laura Dodsworth told American Thought Leaders. In the UK, there’s a government unit dedicated to such activities. It’s colloquially described as the “Nudge Unit.”
Dodsworth is a writer, filmmaker and author of “A State of Fear: How the UK government weaponised fear during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Nudge Unit, officially called the Behavioural Insights Team (“BIT”), was established in the Cabinet Office in 2010 by David Cameron’s government to apply behavioural science to public policy. Now owned partly by the Cabinet Office, by Nesta and by employees, it has operations across the world.
During her interview Dodsworth explained that in May 2020 minutes of a SPI-B meeting were published which were truly an extraordinary insight into the decision making of the government. SPI-B is the Independent Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours which provides psychological and behavioural science advice.
“In this document it said: people might not adhere to the lockdown rules because they understood the risk for their demographic and the sense of perceived threat needed to be raised. Essentially these psychologists and behavioural scientists suggested that people would need to be frightened to follow the lockdown rules. And that, really, sent me off on a journey to understand how fear was weaponised.”