As regular readers will know, I've been arguing for a while that the insights into human behaviour being brought to the table by what's widely known as Behavioural Economics are excellent and timely corrections to the rational choice models of behavior which themselves are rooted in classical economics in particular. They counter some of the sillier assumptions in this kind of model: that essentialy we don't think nearly as much as we've been told we do and even when we do, there are all kind of quirks and ticks in our mental processes that lead us astray from the kind of rationality we aspire to.
That said, it's equally clear that the big weakness of most of these BE-inspired models fall far short of aspirational accuracy because they miss the important fact that all human life is lived in company (real or imagined) of others - as Freud observed, we can never escape the Other.
So I was delighted to see a great pamphlet published recently by one of my heroes , Paul Ormerod, for the RSA, saying much the same thing using his expertise and insight into network theory.
And doing so, with much greater eloquence than I could muster.
So, please don't just reduce it to "social proof", policy folk...