Are young people overwhelmed by too much information?

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in the UK was commissioned by the Careers and Enterprise Company to look at the experience of young people making career decisions in order to inform policies on the use of data and careers information.

The team conducted interviews and observations with young people aged 11-18 and careers guidance professionals in 11 schools and colleges across England in order to understand the career decision journey. In addition, they considered how careers information was presented and how young people reacted to the information in their decision-making process.

One of the key findings of the report, Moments of Choice, was that despite having access to all the information they might want, young people demonstrated a lack of knowledge and research about their career options. The report suggests that too much information and the wrong sort of information, rather than too little, is the problem when it comes to making decisions about the future. Young people are overwhelmed by the amount of information and the way that it is presented and feel there is no way of making sense of it all. As a result, they switch off from decision-making altogether. This highlights the importance of presenting good careers information, advice, and guidance in a way that young people find useable in order for them to make informed decisions about their future study and career options.

Source: Moments of Choice (2016), The Behavioural Insights Team

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