Symposium 2015

Virtual Library File - Nudging: A Very Short Guide

The Challenge

Most human thinking is automatic, not deliberative. It is based on what effortlessly comes to mind. Human thinking is also socially conditioned.  Beliefs about what others are doing and expecting sha ...

Most human thinking is automatic, not deliberative. It is based on what effortlessly comes to mind. Human thinking is also socially conditioned.  Beliefs about what others are doing and expecting shape an individual’s own preferences. And humans don’t face situations as “tabula rasa,” but instead interpret situations against the backdrop of their own understandings shaped by culture and existing social patterns.

Nudges steer people in particular directions, while at the same time not limiting their set of choices and allowing them to go their own way. This essay offers a general introduction of the idea of nudging, and provides a list of ten of the most important nudges that can also be used by policy makers. The essay ends with a short discussion on how institutions can properly implement nudges.