Vale David Savage, behaviouralist extraordinaire

We lost David Savage this week to a heart attack at the age of 48, leaving a wife Deborah and many colleagues around the world. He was a Queensland boy who got educated in Brisbane and then quickly made it to Associate Professor in behavioural economics, Associate Professor David Savage / Staff Profile / The University of Newcastle, Australiateaching students in Newcastle. His sense of dress was admired, he had a smile and wink that made you like him immediately, and his maverick persona was in the best of Aussie traditions.

In his quest to understand how people behaved in crisis situations he actually traveled to the base camp of Mt Everest to find out if climbing Everest changed people. He famously reanalysed the data from the Titanic and the Lusitania, showing that even faced with their own death, many men adhered to the social norm of “women and children first”. He looked at whether the experience of the Brisbane flooding changed the suffering residents. And of course he analysed the panic buying of toilet paper in the first few months of the corona episode. Dave will be missed!

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