Three in every four aged 65 and over will require care at some point in their lives. Yet, in a survey by the Association of British Insurers, more than half of them remain unsure of how they would fund such services (BBC, 2013). With an aging population and shrinking health budget, the UK government is favouring a more calibrated and quasi-public healthcare system. This saw the introduction of the Care Act, which came into effect April 2015.
But is this enough?
Consistent evidence in the last decades have revealed how predictably irrational we are; that we rely on a host of heuristics and biases. Given that the modern consumer enjoys access to the Internet, I contend that information alone is necessary, but insufficient for reaching more optimal decisions.
Renewed interest of late into emotions and decision making point to a more interwined than independent relationship between the two. Cheaper, faster and more advanced fMRI, EEG, skin conductance and eye-tracking tools support the functional as well as detrimental purposes of emotions in man.
Policy, decision making and emotions form the three pillars of my research. Together with Which?*, we explore how emotions serve to help or hurt consumer healthcare decision making. I shall disentangle these aspects through a mixed methods approach. Namely, quantitative (e.g. choice experiments and surveys), qualitative methods (e.g. video/text conversational analyses, diaries and case studies) and other innovative approaches (e.g. mobile phone app).
*Which? is the UK's Consumer Rights Association
"All learning has an emotional base." - Plato (427 BC to 347 BC)
Peachey, K. (2013) Long-term social care: Options for self-funders (Online). UK: BBC. Available here.