Keywords: behavioural science and policy, Covid-19, pandemic response, behavioural science for health.
The Covid-19 pandemic has documented an unprecedented series of biased, distorted, or sub-optimal decisions and behaviours by ‘expert’ decision-makers such as: health policy-makers; leaders of national and regional health systems and public health organisations; managers of territorial health agencies and hospitals; managers of hospital units and public health departments; and other experienced professionals with decision-making responsibilities in terms of public health. Some of these biased decisions and behaviours have had dramatic cascade effects on population health and behaviours. We list, name, and describe some of the biases and behavioural distortions by ‘expert’ decision-makers that emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of these behavioural biases have not been previously categorized as such, or may have been discussed under different names.