Schools, marketers and even governments are now using small nudges to gently steer people toward making more positive decisions in their lives. Those nudges included sending people a handwritten note when they are behind on their taxes because a handwritten note gets their attention, or putting the image of a housefly in urinals so men had something to aim at, thereby eliminating overspray by 80%. Or the simple act of getting high school kids to fill out a college application before they graduated was the nudge that changed the course of their lives.
Nudges are small, almost invisible, and often controversial. It’s a fascinating new aspect of influence.