The impact of the news and media on how people make decisions is being explored in a new research project led by University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School.
The findings could change the way policy makers communicate with people, and in turn help people understand government guidance, plan and make better personal financial decisions.
The work will investigate how public announcements, such as Central bank policy, or the announcement of the country lockdown and the foreseen date of opening after the lockdown, can affect what people think about their and their country’s future.
It will also look at the role of journalists, the news they cover and how accessible this information is.
Dmitri Vinogradov, Professor of Finance, said: “Governments and central banks make announcements about their intended actions; these are transmitted by broadcasters and newspapers, often with interpretations and analysis. The idea of announcements is to inform the general public and help people make better economic and financial decisions in their life. However, we don’t know much about the actual role these announcements play in expectations of ordinary people.
“Knowing this would help understand how people make decisions and what information is important, and how and to what extent information from policy-makers feeds these decisions. We can then look at which approaches would better suit to inform the public, for example, should we invest in financial and economic literacy of people, or invest in more accessible coverage of economic news and better design of financial consultancy?”
The work, a joint project with Professor Michael Lamla from Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany, has received a £53k Research Fellowship grant from the Leverhulme Trust.
The project, titled ‘Formation of expectations and beliefs: exploring the impact of news and media’, will start in January 2021.