It's one of my favourite ever TV comedy scenes. "OK, one last time." says Father Ted to Father Dougal. They're in a small caravan in the Irish countryside. He's holding some small plastic toy cows.
"These are SMALL. But the ones out there are FAR AWAY... Small... far away... [Dougal continues to look confused] Ah, forget it!"Here's the clip for you to enjoy. Yes, I know that jokes become less funny when you explain them, but here goes, because it's important for this blog. Dougal is misunderstanding perspective. He thinks that the toy cows are as big as the real cows because they are right in front of him. And while we might laugh at Dougal's stupidity, something just like this happens a lot in the charity sector. It's called recency bias. It's our tendency to think that trends we've observed in the recent past are more likely to happen than they actually are. In short, we think our toy cows are the size of actual cows. I'll give you an example. In the days and weeks following the London bombings of 2005, I convinced myself that I was much less likely to be killed in my seven