“Complex systems like economies aren’t like air conditioners,” psychologist Art Markman explains. “If a room is too hot, you turn on the air conditioner, and it cools down . . . There aren’t a lot of other factors governing the temperature in the room.”
But there’s a well-known psychological error that makes people perceive the causes and solutions to problems as far simpler than they generally are. Whether or not British voters choose to remain in the European Union, this fallacy is probably with us for good.