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More Or Less Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 19:28 GMT
Measuring behaviour
Chimpanzee
Are primates gregarious animals and how can we prove it?

More or Less was broadcast on Tuesday, 18 February, 2003 at 1600 GMT on BBC Radio 4.

 Click here to listen to the programme


Saying the simplest things often implies measurement.

Are people sociable?

Are you generally happy?

To give an answer you need to quantify behaviour.

We try to measure enormously complicated things like behaviour all the time.

We use the results to describe all manner of social and personal events.

But how do we do it?

More or Less gets out the stop watch for a surprising variety of examples, from the apes who prefer blondes, to the way we justify racism.

Plus the definitive guide to counting anti-war demonstrators.

And, if you've had a bad day getting to work and think the UK's infrastructure is crumbling, an analysis of the numbers on public investment offers clues to what's gone wrong and whether things will get better.


In the programme we spoke to:

Stop the War march

Andy Trotter, Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition

Jake Desyllas, of Intelligent Space

Nigel Henson, Director of Communications for the Countryside Alliance

Lord Waddington, former Conservative Home Secretary

Quantifying behaviour

Guy Coulishaw, expert in primate behaviour at London Zoo

Robert Sussman, anthropologist

Peter Lynn, Professor of Survey Methodology at the University of Essex

Dominic Abrams, psychologist at the University of Kent

Public investment

Sir Alistair Morton, former chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority


Producer: Michael Blastland
Editor: Nicola Meyrick

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