Report Scenarios

Judgement and Decision Making

1

Your psychological consultancy has been approached by a FTSE 100 company who has recently been rocked by a raft of discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying scandals that has resulted in half of the board of directors stepping down. The shareholders of the company have expressed concern that the previous board contained very little cultural, cognitive or gender diversity. The board have previously been over 90% male, and over 95% white upper middle class. It had been described as a ‘boys club’ where appointments were made based on who was friends with who, as opposed to who was best suited for the job. They are now looking to appoint a new board, but ensuring that they make decisions based on good judgement to try and boost the cultural, cognitive and gender diversity on the board.

They have asked you to consider:

What could have been causing some of the issues in board appointments with the previous board?

How can they use better judgement to make hiring decisions?

How can they increase diversity whilst maintaining fair processes?

Why might it improve the overall judgement within the company to have greater diversity?

Any other suggestions you may have to improve the hiring decisions made around a new board.

2

The UK government has reached out to your consultancy for help managing important decisions during a severe pandemic. The disease is highly infectious, but supression measures including social distancing and lockdowns have worked to slow the spread of the virus in other parts of the world. However, the UK public are not heeding the advice being given by the government, and still engage in large social gatherings, panic-buying and stockpiling resources and making non-essential travel regularly. Decisions on matters of life and death are being made on a nearly hourly basis, with large amounts of information being presented to decision makers with no clear and obvious solutions. The economy is rapidly going into recession and decisions have to be made in order to protect either health or wealth.

They have asked you to consider:

What psychological factors could be clouding the public’s judgment, causing them to be stockpiling and panic buying, but also ignoring advice?

How can the government change behaviours to avoid the above behaviours and follow advice more closely?

Who should be involved in the decision making process, and what psychological factors influence this?

How should decisions be presented to ultimate decision makers (i.e. the Prime Minister) given that ultimate decision makers are under large amounts of pressure and have to make multiple crucial decisions every day?

Any other factors you deem important to handling this crisis from a psychological perspective.

Wellbeing and Mental Health

Your psychological consultancy has been approached by a large organisation. They have recently cut back staff numbers in one of their divisions and have noticed that since they have done so, there has been a huge drop in productivity, client satisfaction, morale and engagement whilst absenteeism, employee turnover and negative workplace behaviours are on the rise. Employees are expected to work harder and longer hours for the same amount of pay under greater pressure than before due to the cutbacks and subsequent drop in performance. There is a  budget for wellbeing, but it is currently being used on performative measures that the executives themselves enjoy, such as free yoga and bicycle to work schemes.

They have asked you to consider:

Why might the cutbacks in staffing numbers have affected the above factors?

Why might the wellbeing budget be being spent incorrectly?

How can the company improve performance?

How could the wellbeing budget be spent more effectively?

Any other suggestions you may have to improve the performance of the company?

2

The World Health Organisation has approached your psychological consultancy as their current Mental Health Action Plan expires in 2020. They have decided to completely redesign their approach to mental health in 0-30 year olds, and they are looking for guidance on what their priorites should be in their new action plan. Their previous action plan is provided under the Wellbeing and Mental Health section on myCourses, but the four main objectives of the plan were: to strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental health, to provide comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental health and social care services in community-based settings, to implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental health, and to strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental health.

They have asked you to consider:

Which of the objectives from the previous mental health plan should be maintained, improved or removed? (Provide four objectives for the plan)

How do the new objectives translate into practical policies, changes and decisions to be implemented and made to be most successful for the 0-30 age bracket (i.e. what do the objectives look like for individuals age 0-30)?

What could be some of the challenges in implementing the new objectives in their new plan?

Any other suggestions you have for improving mental health services, promotion and treatment in the 0-30 age range.

Social Cognition and Persusaion

Your psychological consultancy has been approached by a trade union representative for public sector rail workers. Their members are unhappy with the pay package being offered to them as well as a lack of perceived improvements to working conditions. They are fully committed to engaging in industrial strike action if they do not feel like their demands for an improved pay offer are met and commitments to improving working standards are made. The trade union representatives have asked your consultancy to advise them on how they can make as persuasive an argument as possible to avoid industrial strike action.

They have asked you to consider:

What should be their core central message when entering negotiations?

What peripheral cues could be used?

How can they tailor the message to create attitude or behaviour change?

Any other suggestions you may have to improve how persuasive they are.

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