Most of my life I have felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole -living in a country I didn’t grow up in, trying to understand the culture and its people to fit in – fostering a life-long passion for cultural psychology and decision-making psychology.
For me, being a square peg that doesn’t perfectly fit in anywhere is a positive because it makes me aware of the contextual influences that are often invisible – like water is to a fish:
There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” (David Foster Wallace)
I specialise in understanding and explaining the water.
I have also explored the world of academic psychology through dozens of conferences and workshops, immersed in that world yet not being fully part of it, alongside pushing forward an evolution of thinking in the commercial world – a foot in both worlds, not fully belonging to either.
This helps me understand the context of research I use which means I understand both its potential and limitations when applying behavioural insights in the commercial world.