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What is Nudging?

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

By PG Hansen, PhD., Over the past four decades, advances in the behavioral sciences have revealed how human behavior and decision-making is boundedly rational[i], systematically biased, and strongly habitual owing to the interplay of psychological forces with what ought to be, from the perspective of rationality, irrelevant features of complex decision-making contexts. These behavioral insights teach us how contextual aspects of decision-making may systematically lead people to fail to act on well-informed preferences and thus fail to achieve their preferred ends. In the domain of public policy such advances may also teach us how neglecting these insights can be responsible for the failures of policies to reach intended effects and why paying more attention to them may provide the key for dealing more effectively with some of the main challenges modern societies and organizations face. Nudge In their popular book Nudge – Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness (2008), Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein suggested that if a particular unfortunate behavioral or decision making pattern is the result of cognitive boundaries, biases, or habits, this pattern may be “nudged” toward a better option by integrating insights about the very same kind of boundaries, biases, and habits into the choice architecture surrounding the behavior – i.e. the physical, social, and psychological aspects of the contexts that influence and in which our choices take place – in ways that promote a more preferred behavior rather than obstruct it. In particular, they argue that such nudges may avoid some of the challenges and potential pitfalls of traditional regulation, such as costly procedures and ineffective campaigning, unintended effects of incentivizing behaviors, and invasive choice regulation, such as bans. The advantage, they claim, of applying nudges is that public policy makers might thus supplement – or, perhaps, even replace (Thaler & Sunstein 2008, p. 14) – traditional regulation with nudges to influence people’s everyday choices and behaviors in cheaper, less invasive, and more effective ways. That is, nudging seems to offer policy makers an effective way to influence citizens’ behavior without further restricting freedom of choice, imposing mandatory obligations, or introducing new taxations, or tax reliefs.

See on behavioralpolicy.org



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agosto: 2016
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