“The Indeciders”

by News Guy on August 25, 2010


Report reveals almost half of the UK:

  • Feel life is more confusing than it was 10 years ago (47%)
  • Lie awake at night trying to make decisions (42%)
  • Admit ‘Even little decisions can be hard to make’ (47%)

A study into the current state of the nation has uncovered we’re a country close to breaking point, with the UK admitting that too much choice is leaving them incapable of making decisions.

The ‘Confused Nation’ report was developed by the University of Bristol and Confused.com, who contacted  a cross-section of 6000 people from the UK to discover how they felt about life, and how they cope with modern demands. The price comparison site unveils the startling  findings as it launches www.confusednation.co.uk, a website developed to help bring clarity to baffled Brits.

The report shows nearly half of all Brits (47%) confessed even little decisions can be hard to make, largely caused by an overwhelming amount of choices hindering the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently.

The extensive research has also identified a term for this state, dubbed the ‘Indeciders’ – collectively described as “a group of individuals suffering high levels of confusion whilst displaying an inability to be decisive, leading in some cases to depression.”

Professor Harriet Bradley from the University of Bristol comments: “With a constant stream of new media, daily technological advancements and aggressive multimedia advertising, it’s no wonder that over half of Britain thinks life is more confusing for them than it is for their parents.  We really are becoming a nation of ‘indeciders.’

A series of focus groups revealed the extent to which the UK struggles to make decisions within everyday life.

‘We don’t need five million shampoos; just a couple would be enough. It’s invading your space, it’s taking too long, it’s awkward to deal with,’ – Lynn Carpenter, 52, Massage Therapist

‘The number of choices we’ve got now makes our life more difficult and stressful.’ – David Keeling, 30, Security Guard

It is not only the ‘big’ areas of life that are causing confusion. Although politics is the area people find most confusing, with 65% of the UK reporting confusion over the policies of major political parties, the survey also found 69% of the UK failed to understand bankers’ bonuses and interest rates. What to wear at certain occasions, predictive text and flat pack furniture were also identified as key areas of confusion in the UK.

The report also revealed that women are more prone to confusion than men, with 84% admitting to experiencing confusion, compared with 72% of men.

Results also found Northern Ireland are the least confused region in the UK, compared with Wales, which is the most confused region.

The most confused person in Britain is likely to be a 17 year old girl living in Cardiff, whereas the least confused person is likely to be a 60 year old man living in Edinburgh. Interestingly, the report shows that confusion actually decreases with age as people gain experience and confidence. Young people, who face many life changing choices at an early stage were also more confused about priorities and major life issues; nearly half of Brits aged 18-24 said they lay awake agonising over choices, compared to 34% of those aged 55-64.

In direct response to this insight, confusednation.co.uk has been launched to help people deal with decision crises. The site is a go-to resource providing consumers with real life problem solving advice from leading psychologist Dr Peter Collett.

Dr Peter Collett, says: “Confusion is so severe that psychologists have recently upgraded confusion to a fully-fledged emotion. 80% of the UK suffers from confusion at some point but in varying ways as individuals. People can go to confusednation.co.uk to discover ways to help combat that confusion.”

To discover what the UK is most confused about at the moment visit www.confusednation.co.uk. The unique site features the UK’s first Twitter heat map, which pinpoints topics of confusion and indicates the most confused regions in UK.

Research Methodology

The Confused Nation report was in development for 10 months and involved a national study of 6000 people carried out by One Poll. This was followed up with four focus groups drawn from different sections of the population: young adult women, young adult men, mothers and older people. There were five or six participants in each group. The focus groups were conducted by Harriet Bradley of the  University of Bristol ; discussions lasted for 90 minutes and were recorded.

The project followed the ethical guidelines of the British Sociological Association, based on confidentiality and informed consent. All focus group participants signed a consent form  after having the project explained to them. Any names used in this report are pseudonyms.

Top ten most confusing areas

  1. Bankers’ bonuses
  2. Policies of political parties
  3. Global warming / carbon emission policies
  4. Pensions, share prices and interest rates
  5. What to wear at certain occasions
  6. Job interviews
  7. Fuel bills
  8. Twitter predictive texts
  9. US TV drama Lost
  10. Flat pack furniture

Top ten most confused regions in the UK

Wales – 84%
South East – 82%
London – 81%
North West  – 81%
East Anglia – 80%
North East – 80%
Yorkshire & The Humber – 79%
West Midlands – 78%
East Midlands – 78%
South West – 77%
Scotland  – 77%
Northern Ireland – 73%

About Confused.com

Confused.com is one of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

Confused.com is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. Confused.com is regulated by the FSA.

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