Idioms are a type of figurative language that inundate our daily lives, but you may not even realise you’re using them (or that they’re idioms). Some of the most common ones you may hear crop up are “let’s circle back”, “think outside the box”, and “push the envelope on this one”.

What’s interesting is that idioms can in fact be indicators of behavioural biases. For example, scarcity bias is when we value something more because it’s rare for instance diamonds or toilet roll (when it seemed to become scarce during the first Covid lockdown), and so one idiom that represents this bias is ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, as it’s referring to you desiring something more if it’s not available.

In in this month’s podcast, Emma Neville, Behavioural Scientist, Alexandra Petrache, and Jen Vos, Research Executive speak about what idioms can teach us, why it is important to acknowledge them in healthcare market research, and what we do to make sure we avoid language misinterpretation that can affect interview analysis.


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If you particularly enjoyed this months episode, or have a question you’d like to be answered, please feel free to contact the Shift team on shift@hrwhealthcare.com or head over to the HRW Shift Twitter.


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