Series 1 Episode 2

Beating our behavioural biases with Neil Bage

Episode show notes

When pressured to make the right decision, it’s easy to overlook the power of unconscious biases and human evolution, which are exacerbated in times of crisis.

Behavioural expert Neil Bage is a specialist in the behaviours driving our decisions – and how to counter them. 

In episode 2 of The First Wealth Podcast we hear from Neil on how ‘lazy’ decisions might actually be shrewd ones, what to look out for in the way we process information, and the often-underestimated power of ‘sleeping on it’.

What we cover

  • The human evolution behind our unconscious, snap-decision making processes.
  • How the presentation of information dramatically affects our perception of it.
  • Sleeping on an issue, and how it engages the parasympathetic nervous system to clear your head.


About our guest

Neil Bage is the Co-Founder at Shaping Wealth, a learning technology platform transforming the human experience of money. He is a specialist on the behaviours that drive our decisions, and how to bridge complex theory with real-world understanding. He is passionate about helping people make safe and informed financial decisions.

Visit Shaping Wealth


“Our evolution has made us into a much more fine tuned machine than we give it credit for. So if we are unconsciously making decisions quickly because of the amount of information coming at us, that's not being lazy in my eyes, that's just being human.”

9:10 - Neil Bage

“If you walked into a supermarket, and there were two yoghurts on a shelf, and one said 80% fat-free and the other one said it contains 20% fat, we are naturally drawn to the positive frame, as opposed to the negative frame. So we're more likely to go to the 80% fat-free yoghurt, than the yoghurt that says it contains 20% fat. Framing has a profound impact on how the lay person processes information to arrive at a decision.”

15:45 - Neil Bage

“When we are making decisions with anxiety, worry or fear, and our sympathetic nervous system kicks in, our fight or flight, our prefrontal cortex is inhibited, which means our decision making and reasoning centre isn't functioning at full speed. If you're trying to make a decision at that point, you're never going to ever have a clear head to make a proper judgement call at that point. When you go to bed and you sleep on it, while you're sleeping your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, which is reversing everything. It's putting you into a state of relaxation, it opens up your mind to thinking clearly again.”

51:30 - Neil Bage

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