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NUDGE THEORY –
DESIGNING CHOICE ENVIRONMENTS

 

Thaler and Sunstein

 

Thaler and Sunstein wrote Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth and
happiness in 2008. Nudge theory is based on the Heuristics theories developed
by Kahneman and Tversky. Nudge is the idea of libertarian paternalism, that is
preserving people’s right to choose, but also promoting their welfare. It suggests
that people can be guided (Nudged) into making the choices you want, as
opposed to autocratic theories that say people should be pushed into choices.

The inner planner and the inner doer

 

Nudge theory says that the knack in guiding people into choices is getting the
voices of their inner planner and inner doer to align, and think the way you want
them to. This is achieved through designing choice environments.

Designing choice environments

 

This is about designing choices that actively guide people into doing things
differently, and encouraging them to think differently about the choices they
have. Choice architecture aims to create features that attract people’s attention.

Choice environments should be structured around:

– Default choices
– Expecting error
– Giving feedback
– Structured complex choices
– Giving incentives

Further Resources

In this video by The RSA, Cass Sunstein talks about his Nudge theory

Nudge Theory

Connected themes

Connected theories