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Is There a Right Way to Nudge? The Practice and Ethics of Choice Architecture

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Abstract

What exactly is a nudge, and how do nudges differ from alternative ways of modifying people's behavior, such as fines or penalties (e.g. taxing smokers) and increasing access to information (e.g. calorie counts on restaurant menus)? We open Section 2 by defining the concept of a nudge and move on to present some examples of nudges. Though there is certainly a clear concept of what a nudge is, there is some confusion when people design and talk about nudges in practice. In Sections 3 and 4, then, we discuss policies and technologies that get called nudges mistakenly as well as borderline cases where it is unclear whether people are being nudged. Understanding mistaken nudges and borderline cases allows citizens to consider critically whether they should support “alleged” nudge policies proposed by governments, corporations, and non-profit organizations. There are also important concerns about the ethics of nudging people's behavior. In Section 5 we review some major ethical and political issues surrounding nudges, covering both public anxieties and more formal scholarly criticisms. If nudges are to be justified as an acceptable form of behavior modification in democratic societies, nudge advocates must have reasons that allay anxieties and ethical concerns. However, in Section 6, we argue that nudge advocates must confront a particularly challenging problem. A strong justification of nudging, especially for pluralistic democracies, must show that nudge designers really understand how different people re-interpret the meaning of situations after a nudge has been introduced into the situations. We call this the problem of “semantic variance.” This problem, along with the ethical issues we discussed, makes us question whether nudges are truly viable mechanisms for improving people's lives and societies. Perhaps excitement over their potential of nudges is exaggerated.

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... The concept of "nudging" decision makers in a certain direction -often a socially desired behavior -has gained much and controversial discussion in scientific and public sphere (Selinger and Whyte, 2011;Mitchell, 2006;3.4 Media AB 2014. ...
... Scholars in the field of human judgment and decision making urge that nudging should be applied in a conscious and judicious manner to support individuals in their decision making instead of putting in additional mental effort for "watching out" for unfavorable manipulations in their choices (Soll et al., 2015;Hansen and Jespersen, 2013;Selinger and Whyte, 2011;Bovens, 2009). To provide a foundation and guideline for scientific discussions and demarcations for behavioral policy, Hansen and Jespersen (2013) suggest to categorize nudges into four categories by considering their affection of type 1 or type 2 processes and their degree of transparency. ...
... Examples for this type of nudge is decreasing the size of plates in a restaurant or rearranging the placement of food in the cafeteria to enhance the consumption of fruits (Hansen and Jespersen, 2013). The last category refers to these nudges which are the root cause of sustained debates in science and public as they manipulate actual choice (Hansen and Jespersen, 2013;Selinger and Whyte, 2011;Mitchell, 2006). Non-transparent type 2 nudges operate "without epistemic transparency, while still engaging the reflective system" (p. ...
Thesis
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Each year a countless number of new products and services is launched to the market. Whether an innovation becomes a market success is deter- mined by numerous factors, one of them being the decision making behav- ior of consumers when it comes to adopting the innovation (Buder et al., 2016). Human decision making often deviates from normative standards of the rational homo oeconomicus. So far, an extensive body of research has in- vestigated heuristics and biases in judgment and decision making that help us to deal with the tremendous amount of information in daily life (Shah and Oppenheimer, 2008; Kahneman, 2003). However, by using heuristic thinking processes individuals are likely to fall victim to unconscious bi- ases in their decision making resulting in inferior choices (Kahneman et al., 1991). Innovation decisions are one of such cases where individuals are prone to biased decision making. Consumers irrationally overrate the prod- ucts and services they already use three times over those that are new to them and also resist innovations which are evidently superior to incum- bent products or services (Gourville, 2006; Woodside, 1996). Understand- ing and overcoming such biases in innovation decisions is therefor of high relevance for companies to stay sustainably innovative and successful. The scope of this thesis was to obtain an understanding of cognitive processes and decision making mechanisms behind consumer innovation resistance behavior and to explore how the design of innovation choice settings can reduce the effect of negative cognitive biases in innovation decision making (cognitive innovation resistance). In the course of the thesis, the concept of cognitive innovation resistance as form of irrational and negatively biased judgment of innovations has been introduced and its effect on innovation decision making investigated in three experimental studies in the product and service context. With a particular focus on the application case of e-car rental services, the work at hand tested the effect of three digital nudging mechanisms on cognitive biases in innovation decisions. Specifically, it was explored how designing the choice environment by setting the innovation on default, providing feedback on choice consequences and priming the de- cision maker for the innovation reduces the effect of cognitive innovation resistance such that pro-innovation choice is more probable.
... Ethical considerations determine "how gamification concepts are designed and deployed." Ethical considerations are well covered within the field of nudging but less so when it comes to gamification Sunstein, 2015;Selinger and Whyte, 2011]. As in the case of nudging, gamification works partly by manipulating users into desired behavior. ...
Preprint
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This report summarizes the discussion in a panel session on gamification designs at the 2019 European Conference on Information Systems in Stockholm, Sweden. The panel explores a research agenda for gamification design. The "what, why, and how" are considered to analyze the current state of the art of gamification research. An adapted definition of gamification is presented as one outcome of the workshop to better describe what gamification is and what it can be used for. "Why" and "how" to employ gamification are discussed for different contexts. This can be used to gamify information systems, identity outcomes that are addressed by gamification concepts, and explore new ways of how to gamify. Overall, the panel presents new areas for future research and practice by identifying innovative ways to bring existing gamification concepts to a more impactful level.
... In order to fully retain decision competence, the implementation of coordinating signals discussed here should allow drivers to choose in advance how these signals will be applied to them (cf. Selinger & Whyte, 2011;Johnson, Gao, Appelt, & von Glahn, 2014). ...
Thesis
Although the fact that real-world self-coordinating road networks likely converge to suboptimal traffic states has been known for almost a century, the coordination strategy aiming at optimality – social optimization – has remained theoretical and underexposed. Recent technological advances paved the way for implementing this strategy with the help of traveler information systems. How drivers evaluate, perceive, and act upon, in sum, accept this technology is therefore the leading question of this research project. Three studies were designed to investigate the attitudinal, actional, as well as the usage level of acceptance of technology-supported social optimization. The first study empirically tested a framework that describes attitudinal acceptance of this technology. The results indicate that the perceived usefulness of this technology, elicited subjective ambivalence, perceived injustice, a conducive social norm, and image gains due to using this technology constitute influential factors for the behavioral intention to use it. The second study examined how information about contribution to network efficiency and choices of other drivers translate into the concrete action of complying with route proposals that comprise extra travel time. The results suggest that both can be used to persuade drivers to comply with these proposals, rather than just framing the routes in a positive way. The third study investigated experienced utility of routes that were impeded in this way and contained a slow route section. The results suggest that a conducive route segmentation, in particular, optimized endings in terms of speed yield better global affective, perceived speed, temporal, and flow judgments than less conducive route segmentation. The combined results of all three studies suggest that the design of coordinating signals which aim to increase the acceptance of technology that implements the strategy of social optimization of a road network should tackle each of the acceptance levels as they provide potential for promoting effects. Overall this research project made progress in tying together the coordination strategy of social optimization, in particular, technology that implements this strategy and human perception and behavior.
... These "creative" activities can often be unproductive or even counterproductive to teach creativity outside artistic fields, as they can emphasise aesthetic criteria and technical skill rather than focus on the core dispositions of creativity (McWilliam & Dawson, 2008). Creative activities that explicitly target empathy include ideation in Empathic Design (Mattelmäki, Vaajakallio, & Koskinen, 2014) and nudging strategies (Selinger & Whyte, 2011). Teaching creativity through empathic activities demands an ethical sensibility of how activities are received by learners (Light & Akama, 2012). ...
... It is worth noting here that, like models of design thinking, the very definition of nudge is contested. The definition provided by Thaler and Sunstein (2008) is broad, and has been described by academics as unclear (Selinger and Whyte 2011;Hansen 2015). The confusion around what is or is not a nudge is added to by the labelling of anything that changes behaviour as a nudge (Gigerenzer 2015). ...
Article
Nudge and co-design are gaining popularity as innovative approaches to solving similar policy problems. Nudge is an approach to public policy that changes the context in which decisions are presented to citizens in order to encourage a particular choice. Co-design uses creative and participatory methods to engage citizens, stakeholders and officials in an iterative process to respond to shared problems. Both nudge and co-design supposedly achieve more effective outcomes, address big societal problems, and, in contrast to traditional policy approaches, consider humans’ actual behaviour in a real-world context. In practice, we see them emerging and even merging together, despite significant tensions and contradictions between them. We critically examine the use of the approaches as policy instruments and consider the instrument constituencies that support them. By comparing and contrasting the two concepts in scholarship for the first time, the article highlights the assumptions underpinning the use of both nudge and co-design, arguing that each approach has its own underlying philosophy and claims on knowledge and authority. We reflect on the implications for policy effectiveness, political trust, and subsequently on government legitimacy.
... "Libertarian paternalism" refers to an approach to private and public institutions that aims to use findings from psychology about problematic human thinking patternscognitive biasesto shape human behavior for social good while also respecting individual freedom of choice , Thaler and Sunstein 2008. Choice architecture is the method of choice used by libertarian paternalists, through shaping human choices for the welfare of society as a Complimentary Contributor Copy whole, by setting up default options, anticipating errors, giving clear feedback, creating appropriate incentives, and so on (Johnson et al. 2012, Jolls, Sunstein and Thaler 1998, Selinger and Whyte 2011, Thaler, Sunstein and Balz 2014. ...
Chapter
c-Fos has been used as a brain activity marker for the past 30 years, and the neuroscience of memory is one of the research fields that has taken the most advantage of this immediate early gene marker. Within this vast field, one of the most fruitful fields of research uses the ability to navigate between controlled elements within a space to analyse spatial navigation. Spatial navigation skills can be used as a tool to investigate a subject’s memory of spatial locations. The c-Fos activity marker has been useful to behavioural scientists in this field, allowing them to explore the anatomical substrates of spatial navigation, how different brain areas and networks work together, and how they activate and deactivate during the training process, thus shedding light on the dynamics of spatial learning. Moreover, this product of the immediate-early gene fos has helped to show the use of different spatial strategies and the mechanisms of forgetting and extinction. In addition, it has been successfully used to address cognitive flexibility and working memory functioning. Furthermore, this technique is sensitive enough to distinguish subtle changes in the training procedure, such as the number and quality of the spatial cues or the number of training days. Given its importance in neuroscience research, in this chapter, we will review and discuss the studies that have been carried out using c-Fos as an activity marker for spatial navigation, and how this tool has helped, and will probably continue to help, researchers to unveil the brain’s
... Future work in HCI could move in that direction. Indeed, there is a growing literature outside of HCI on the ethics of nudging [e.g., 22,83,124], and future work in HCI could incorporate this discourse into the design and development of novel, virtue-oriented systems. Additionally, morally-relevant nudging has also started to be incorporated in public platforms outside academia-for instance Instagram experimenting with hiding like counts [108] and Twitter encouraging users to read articles before retweeting links [149]and HCI researchers can contribute by measuring the effectiveness of such efforts and discover new opportunities in this direction. ...
Preprint
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Out of the three major approaches to ethics, virtue ethics is uniquely well suited as a moral guide in the digital age, given the pace of sociotechnical change and the complexity of society. Virtue ethics focuses on the traits, situations and actions of moral agents, rather than on rules (as in deontology) or outcomes (consequentialism). Even as interest in ethics has grown within HCI, there has been little engagement with virtue ethics. To address this lacuna and demonstrate further opportunities for ethical design, this paper provides an overview of virtue ethics for application in HCI. It reviews existing HCI work engaging with virtue ethics, provides a primer on virtue ethics to correct widespread misapprehensions within HCI, and presents a deductive literature review illustrating how existing lines of HCI research resonate with the practices of virtue cultivation, paving the way for further work in virtue-oriented design.
... • Eco Data Feedbacks that illustrate individual's energy consumption [10,88]. • Social Normative Feedbacks that compare individual energy consumptions with others' energy consumption (e.g., neighbors) [89,90]. ...
Article
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Many technical solutions have been developed to enhance the energy efficiency in buildings. However, the actual effectiveness and sustainability of these solutions often do not correspond to expectations because of the missing perspective of design, user’s real needs, and unconsidered negative side effects of their use (rebounds). With the aim to help address these challenges, this paper presents results of a longitudinal living lab study and proposes a user-centered building management system (UC-BMS) as a prototype for office buildings. Based on mixed methods, UC-BMS was co-developed, tested, and evaluated in Germany in up to six office buildings, 85 offices, and within two heating periods. The results demonstrate that such user-oriented approach can save up to 20% of energy while maintaining or even improving comfort and work productivity. The findings show three main areas of intervention and elements of UC-BMS: (1) How interactive design and feedback systems (e.g., air quality) can stimulate ventilation practices and energy efficiency in offices and (2) supporting heating system optimization e.g., by better understanding office behavior. (3) Finally, an office comfort survey was conducted to enable communication between facility management and office users and thus limiting complaints and adapting the heating system towards actual office user needs.
... Such work includes a focus on the empirical effects of these instruments, especially the outcomes for policy target populations (usually the public), often using a randomized controlled trial methodology. Ethical issues surrounding the use of behavioural insights (Oliver, 2019;Selinger & Whyte, 2011;Sunstein, 2016b), and public attitudes toward behavioural public policy instruments, particularly nudges (Diepeveen et al., 2013;Evers et al., 2018;Hagman et al., 2015;Sunstein, 2016a; have also been a major concern within this literature, as well as the categorization of behavioural policy instruments, and their integration with more 'traditional' instruments (Howlett, 2018;Loewenstein & Chater, 2017;Oliver, 2017). Studies of compliance with policy more generally (May, 2004;Weaver, 2014;Winter & May, 2001) can also be said to fit within the subfield of behavioural public policy. ...
Article
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Research adopting an interdisciplinary, behavioural perspective on Public Policy and Public Administration is booming. Yet there has been little integration into mainstream public policy scholarship. Behavioural public administration (BPA) and behavioural public policy (BPP) have emerged largely as two disconnected subfields. We propose the overarching term ‘behavioural governance’ to refer to the cognitive and decision processes through which decision-makers, implementing actors and target populations shape and react to public policies and to each other, as well as the impacts of these processes on individual and group behaviour. To allow an integrative perspective, this introductory essay discusses how a behavioural perspective can deepen understanding of different phases of the policy process. We connect insights from a long established public policy and administration scholarship which has not always been self-defined as ‘behavioural’ with more recent studies adopting a more explicitly behavioural perspective, including those in this Special Issue from varied national contexts.
... Hence, to include personal and environmental factors, this study employs nudge theory to support the relationship between DSR and prior experience of visiting an eco-tourism site with visitors' proenvironmental behaviour (Fig. 1). Nudge theory, which is developed by Richard Thaler, explicates the effects of nudges in forming people's behaviours (Selinger & Whyte, 2011). Marjanovic (2017) defines nudge theory as "libertarian paternalism-that the nudger steers individuals' behavior in a given direction but never forces them to choose or limit their access to undesirable choices" (p. ...
Article
This empirical research contributes to the current knowledge of sustainable destination management by applying nudge and value belief norm theories. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of sustainable intelligence, destination social responsibility (DSR), biospheric value, and visit experience on pro-environmental behaviour in the eco-tourism site of Upo Wetland, South Korea. This study also compares pro-environmental behaviour across two DSR segments (high and low DSR clusters). Results reveal that sustainable intelligence, biospheric value, DSR, and visit experience at ecotourism sites significantly influence pro-environmental behaviour. Sustainable intelligence exerts the highest effect on pro-environmental behaviour among the variables. The impact of the high DSR group on pro-environmental behaviour is stronger than that on the low DSR group. Thus, managers of ecotourism sites should engage in the high DSR group that does care about sustainable intelligence and biospheric value in environmentally friendly activities.
... The 'libertar ian' aspect requires that the 'desirable' choices are not enforced but rather suggested; alternative options should still be attainable. However, nudges have not invoked only praise; nudge critics from diverse academic fields (e.g., philosophy and governmental science) fear that people will be manipulated because they argue that nudges mostly rely on processes that people are not aware of ( Bovens, 2009 ;Hansen & Jespersen, 2013 ;Hertwig & Ryall, 2019 ;Selinger & Whyte, 2011 ). It has been suggested that nudges limit people's autonomy to evaluate, deliberate, and choose for themselves (e.g., Gigerenzer, 2015 ;Glod, 2015 ;Hausman & Welch, 2010 ) and that nudges therefore have no place in public policy (e.g., Leggett, 2014 ). ...
Chapter
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This chapter discusses the role of the choice environment in decisions that are made in the workplace, and particularly how companies can influence these decisions with the help of nudges. Nudges are changes in the way choices are presented to gently steer towards the desirable choice, without impairing autonomous decision-making or changing financial incentives. This chapter provides examples of field studies that demonstrate how nudges can help stimulate employees to make healthier choices (e.g., stand-up working and healthy eating), support companies in reaching sustainability goals (e.g., energy-saving default settings), and uphold existing rules in a company (e.g., related to safety and hygiene). Concrete guidelines are provided to implement and study the effectiveness of nudge interventions. After reading this chapter, researchers and companies will know about both the possibilities and the limitations of implementing nudging (research) in the workplace.
... These "creative" activities can often be unproductive or even counterproductive to teach creativity outside artistic fields, as they can emphasise aesthetic criteria and technical skill rather than focus on the core dispositions of creativity (McWilliam & Dawson, 2008). Creative activities that explicitly target empathy include ideation in Empathic Design (Mattelmäki, Vaajakallio, & Koskinen, 2014) and nudging strategies (Selinger & Whyte, 2011). Teaching creativity through empathic activities demands an ethical sensibility of how activities are received by learners (Light & Akama, 2012). ...
Conference Paper
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Empathy and creativity are desirable core design competencies. The relationship between these concepts, however, has remained largely unexplored-including how this relationship shapes and is shaped by design education. This work unfolds the creases between empathy and creativity, identifies their synergies and contradictions in design education, and defines a research programme to improve the teaching of and with creative and empathic dispositions. A comprehensive research programme for the advancement of empathy and creativity in design requires diverse and highly inventive approaches to design knowledge. Design researchers are encouraged to draw from their professional and personal areas of expertise to formulate new research questions that connect empathy and creativity, and to adopt and adapt methods of inquiry to study these connections.
... The term is borrowed from marketing literature, underpinned by 'choice architecture' and behavioural science (individual psychology). For the purpose of this paper nudges are understood to be an intentional motivation activity and communication strategy focussed on motivating students to engage with critical resources and activities (Selinger & Whyte, 2011) including timely, strategic communication interventions to elicit online engagement targeted at non/low engaged students. ...
Article
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Student engagement is consistently identified as a key predictor of learner outcomes within the online learning environment. However, there is limited guidance about using proactive strategies to improve engagement for low and non-engaged students: for example by specifically employing course learning analytics (CLA) and nudging strategies in courses to assist these students. To explore how CLA and nudging can be used more effectively to engage students, the authors were informed by a 12-month research project, as well as by the theoretical perspectives presented by communication and critical literacies. These perspectives were applied to develop a conceptual framework which the authors designed to prioritise expectation management and engagement principles for both students and academics. The article explains the development of the framework as well as the elements and key communication strategies it embodies. The framework contributes to practice by explaining and justifying the accessible, time-efficient, student-focused approaches that can be integrated simply into each course’s online learning pedagogy to support both academics’ and students’ engagement.
... Examining Alternate Nudging Method. While the original proposers of the concept did not lay out a fixed method for creating successful nudges [107], Caraban et. al. recently devised six broad categories for 23 nudging methods used in prior HCI works, namely, Facilitate (e.g., default choice and hiding), Confront (e.g., remind consequence and provide multiple viewpoint), Deceive (e.g., add inferior alternative and deceptive visualization), Social Influence (e.g., enable comparison and public commitment), Fear (e.g., reduce distance and scarcity) and Reinforce (e.g., ambient feedback and subliminal priming) [21]. ...
Preprint
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Struggling to curb misinformation, social media platforms are experimenting with design interventions to enhance consumption of credible news on their platforms. Some of these interventions, such as the use of warning messages, are examples of nudges -- a choice-preserving technique to steer behavior. Despite their application, we do not know whether nudges could steer people into making conscious news credibility judgments online and if they do, under what constraints. To answer, we combine nudge techniques with heuristic based information processing to design NudgeCred -- a browser extension for Twitter. NudgeCred directs users' attention to two design cues: authority of a source and other users' collective opinion on a report by activating three design nudges -- Reliable, Questionable, and Unreliable, each denoting particular levels of credibility for news tweets. In a controlled experiment, we found that NudgeCred significantly helped users (n=430) distinguish news tweets' credibility, unrestricted by three behavioral confounds -- political ideology, political cynicism, and media skepticism. A five-day field deployment with twelve participants revealed that NudgeCred improved their recognition of news items and attention towards all of our nudges, particularly towards Questionable. Among other considerations, participants proposed that designers should incorporate heuristics that users' would trust. Our work informs nudge-based system design approaches for online media.
... In system 1 nudges, changes are done in a subtle way, so that users might even be unaware of them (Selinger and Whyte 2011). System 2 nudges use information to foster reflective thinking, which makes them more transparent and respectful of users' preferences (Sunstein 2016). ...
Conference Paper
Due to the increasing occurrence of IT-enabled behavioral addictions, many IS scholars have been focusing their work on strategies to mitigate smartphone overuse. Although there are many digital wellbeing apps that provide self-monitoring features, research that explores how to design such features is still scarce. Our research aims to bridge this gap by investigating the role of nudges vs boosts to aid users’ cognitive processing of self-monitoring information. We expect to contribute with a theoretical understanding of how nudges and boosts affect user’s interaction with self-monitoring smartphone usage information. We also seek to provide recommendations for the design of self-monitoring features that effectively increase users’ awareness and self-control regarding their smartphone usage behavior while preserving their freedom of choice.
... They are also actions which occur 'in ways that are most likely to help and least likely to inflict harm' (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008: 79). The power of nudges lies in their potential to modify human behaviour without coercion: by appealing to individual psychology, effective nudges increase the likelihood of people making choices that reflect their underlying interests, while still respecting their freedom to choose (Selinger and Whyte, 2011). These issues can also raise questions about a loss of independent learning based on assumptions underlying the traditional liberal values of higher education. ...
Article
Combining nudge theory with learning analytics, ‘nudge analytics’, is a relatively recent phenomenon in the educational context. Used, for example, to address such issues as concerns with student (dis)engagement, nudging students to take certain action or to change a behaviour towards active learning, can make a difference. However, knowing who to nudge, how to nudge or when to nudge can be a challenge. Providing students with strategic, sensitive nudges that help to move them forward is almost an art form. It requires not only technical skills to use appropriate software and interpret data, but careful consideration of what to say and how to say it. In this article a nudge protocol is presented that can be used in online courses to encourage student engagement with key course resources that are integral to supporting their learning.
... Ethical considerations determine "how gamification concepts are designed and deployed." Ethical considerations are well covered within the field of nudging but less so when it comes to gamification Sunstein, 2015;Selinger and Whyte, 2011]. As in the case of nudging, gamification works partly by manipulating users into desired behavior. ...
Article
Full-text available
This report summarizes the discussion in a panel session on gamification designs at the 2019 European Conference on Information Systems in Stockholm, Sweden. The panel explores a research agenda for gamification design. The "what, why, and how" are considered to analyze the current state of the art of gamification research. An adapted definition of gamification is presented as one outcome of the workshop to better describe what gamifica-tion is and what it can be used for. "Why" and "how" to employ gamification are discussed for different contexts. This can be used to gamify information systems, identity outcomes that are addressed by gamification concepts, and explore new ways of how to gamify. Overall, the panel presents new areas for future research and practice by identifying innovative ways to bring existing gamification concepts to a more impactful level.
... The should meet criterion 'meeting client needs better' refers to an implicit notion of the good life (perhaps also in use in the ideation stage) as well as to the competence of clients to formulate their needs and desires in terms of their vision of the good life (sometimes asking for both better and cheaper products, no matter the ecological footprint and other effects, see also Barber 2007). On the other hand, innovators could also push people in the direction of alleged needs or desires in consuming products for their own good, thus introducing a soft version of paternalism ('nudging') and other forms of choice architecture (Berdichevsky and Neuenschwander 1999;Fogg 1999Fogg , 2003Häußermann 2019;Kaptein and Eckles 2010;Selinger and Whyte 2011;Sunstein 2014Sunstein , 2015Thaler and Sunstein 2008;Thaler et al. 2014). This criterion could also -on both moral and practical grounds -lead to the claim that future users and other stakeholders should be involved in the innovation process in order to make it more democratic, a theme addressed also in subsequent sections. ...
Article
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As a relational concept, responsible innovation can be made more tangible by asking innovation of what and responsibility of whom for what? Arranging the scattered field of responsible innovation comprehensively, starting from an anthropological point of view, into five fields of tension and five categories of spearheads, may be theoretically and practically helpful while offering suggestions for both research and management.
... However unobtrusive, nudging represents a tactic of behavioral influence and several scholars have evaluated and disclosed the ethical considerations of nudging concerning the behavior-altering reproach towards agents' preferences (Selinger & Whyte, 2011;Sugden, 2017;Sunstein, 2015aSunstein, , 2018Thaler & Sunstein, 2003). Other ethical considerations have touched on the political debate concerning the justification of whether nudging interventions should be embedded in public policymaking at all (Frantz, 2018;Sunstein, 2015bSunstein, , 2016aSunstein et al., 2017). ...
Article
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As recent trends in policymaking call for increased contributions from behavioral science, nudging and boosting represent two effective and relatively economic approaches for influencing choice behavior. They utilize concepts from behavioral economics to affect agents’ concurrent suboptimal choices: in principle, without applying coercion. However, most choice situations involve some coercive elements. This study features a functional analysis of rationality, nudging, and boosting applied to public policy. The relationship between behavior and environmental variables is termed a “behavioral contingency,” and the analysis can include social and cultural phenomena by applying a selectionist perspective. Principles of behavioral control, whether tight or loose, may be exerted by policymakers or regulators who subscribe to paternalistic principles and may be met with demands of libertarianism among their recipients. This warrants discussion of the legitimacy and likelihood of behavioral control and influence on choices. Cases and examples are provided for extending the unit of analysis of choice behavior to achieve outcomes regulated by policies at the individual and group levels, including health, climate, and education. Further research and intervention comprise the study of macrocontingencies and metacontingencies. Advancing the understanding and application of behavioral science to policymaking may, therefore, benefit from moving from the relatively independent contributions of behavioral economics and behavior analysis to an inclusive selectionist approach for addressing choice behavior and cultural practices.
... Hausman and Welch (2010) argued that it was not a Nudge because it simply provided information. However, they ignore the fact that the Ambiant Orb "changes the atmosphere of the choice architecture to work with people's orienting moods (automatic thinking) in ways that reduce their energy use" (Selinger and Whyte, 2011). It is not merely the information, but the color that influences behavior by priming a specific mood. ...
Thesis
In this work, we use the Nudge approach to solve behavioral problems that business firms may have to face. In the first chapter, we start by exposing some issues that the classical economic approach struggles with, before presenting the Nudge approach and why we believe it is relevant to the problems that businesses still face today. In the second chapter, we change the formulations of the invitations to participate to web surveys, using Nudge principles, in order to improve participation rate. Most Nudges increase the proportion of individuals giving their e-mail address, but only those that acknowledge the respondent's effort increase participation rate. In the third chapter, we use the Nudge approach's teachings to improve the measurement of job satisfaction. We measure the satisfaction of interns every month during their internships with a very short survey, and compare it to a lengthy survey administered at the end of the internship. We find that satisfaction during the first month of the internship is highly correlated with final satisfaction, which makes it possible to detect potential problems very early. In the final chapter, we use Nudges to improve productivity by making a simple task more playful, a process called “gamification”. Nudges generate the same increase in productivity as the monetary incentives, without the added cost of the latter. Moreover, unless monetary incentives are implemented at the same time, Nudges increase intrinsic motivation. We conclude our work with practical advice for decision-makers who want to try Nudging.
... Example 2: Companies could preset privacyrelated options for users. Consumers are especially susceptible to fall for biases [51] and nudges [52] when they are not highly concerned about a situation or want to move quickly, particularly in digital contexts [53]. In cases where users with low (predicted) privacy concerns are given default choices with lower privacy levels than users with high privacy concerns, companies would be treating different users differently with respect to privacy (criterion 1.). ...
... According to Junghans et al. (2015), Goodwin (2012), and Rayner et al. Researchers such as (2011) have searched for the right ways to nudge both ethically and politically with the ethical dimension of this method, Selinger and Whyte (2011). Considering the legal aspects of nudging, Marteau et al. (2011) conducted studies on the laws necessary to encourage positive nudges and prevent negative ones. ...
Conference Paper
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While trying to compensate for the devastating effects of the Covid-19 epidemic in the world, the supply chain from energy to agriculture and food, the supply chain extending from the health sector to the economy is also protected. Although the epidemic process has created many psychological and sociological difficulties, it has also created awareness in the health sector about individual interaction and behavior patterns or individual-society relationship. These behavioral approaches, which form the main lines of human and social sciences, are also widely used in multidisciplinary fields such as public policy and economics. As a result of the studies, it has been determined that people exhibit attitudes far from rationality and fall into cognitive misconceptions. However, these behaviors can be brought under control by consciously triggering instructions to individuals within certain limits. This approach, which is considered as "nudging" in the economic literature, can keep people away from acting irrationally and is frequently used in public policy practices. For this purpose, in this study, decision-making behaviors against some problems observed in the health sector were examined using the survey method in the light of "nudge". It is expected that the results obtained will contribute to the policies and decision mechanisms in the relevant sector.
... A main concern is that nudges manipulate rather than inform choice (White 2013;Wilkinson 2013). These arguments are usually located in the contexts of public policy and express a range of social, political, and moral objections to the concept of nudging (Furedi 2011;Selinger and Whyte 2011;Goodwin 2012). Critics question whether nudges really offer choice, arguing that they may 'subject us to the control of others because of the mechanisms through which they operate' (Saghai 2013, 487). ...
Article
Preparing students for employment involves encouraging ownership of their employability and engagement in opportunities that can help them improve it. Industrial placements play an important role in this but declining numbers of students are undertaking them. Using data collected over a three-year period at a Business School in a UK university, this paper will explore an intervention based on nudge theory designed to increase the uptake of these placements. Drawing upon behavioural science, it will explore nudge theory and its criticisms. It will discuss the concept of employability, including the tensions between the necessity of promoting students’ ownership of theirs and the inherent assumptions that they will engage in opportunities to achieve this. Critical assessment of how the nudge intervention worked will be provided, demonstrating how almost half of those ‘nudged’ responded positively, thereby successfully increasing the uptake of placements. It will identify soft outcomes, notably the breaking down of some typical behavioural barriers to placements and encouraging students to think reflectively. It will offer recommendations for replicable practice in other universities; specifically a model for developing nudges not only in relation to employability but within higher education more broadly. It concludes by proposing a new pedagogic definition of employability.
... 'The designers of choice architecture . . . are found everywhere, from alarm clock makers to exercise and health professionals to retirement planners to bureaucrats in government agencies' (Selinger and Whyte 2011). ...
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Nudging is the ascendant social engineering agenda pioneered by economist Richard Thaler and law professor Cass Sunstein. It has crept into the design of human-computer interfaces, affecting billions of individuals’ decisions daily. The foundational principles of nudging are simple: First, behavioral studies and data should inform the design of private and public choice architectures. Second, choice architects should steer people toward outcomes that make them better off. Third, Thaler and Sunstein’s ethical framework, libertarian paternalism, should provide sufficient ethical constraints on choice architects. This essay develops two novel criticisms of nudging, one focused on nudge creep and another based on normative myopia. Nudge creep describes how nudges justified and used to serve one purpose often are extended subtly. Normative myopia concerns the convenient, but unjustified, prioritization of certain normative values over others. Against creep and normative myopia, the essay proposes ‘active choosing by design’ as a default rule for nudges where social learning and related developmental consequences are relevant. This default rule sets a reasonable baseline for choice architects. It entails friction and that will rub efficiency-minded social engineers the wrong way. But friction is often necessary for human development and meaningful engagement with each other and our techno-social environments.
... One concern with frame "nudges" is that they might lead individuals toward choices that negatively affect their performance or wellbeing (28,29). We find no such consequences. ...
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Research shows that women are less likely to enter competitions than men. This disparity may translate into a gender imbalance in holding leadership positions or ascending in organizations. We provide both laboratory and field experimental evidence that this difference can be attenuated with a default nudge—changing the choice to enter a competitive task from a default in which applicants must actively choose to compete to a default in which applicants are automatically enrolled in competition but can choose to opt out. Changing the default affects the perception of prevailing social norms about gender and competition as well as perceptions of the performance or ability threshold at which to apply. We do not find associated negative effects for performance or wellbeing. These results suggest that organizations could make use of opt-out promotion schemes to reduce the gender gap in competition and support the ascension of women to leadership positions.
... Biases can be reinforced rather than challenged, regarding the standing of individuals and the validity of knowledge production (see Kidd and Carel 2017;McKinnon 2016). And, seemingly well-intentioned "nudges" aimed at fostering healthy lifestyles can lead to political contestation and potentially create instances of unjust manipulation (see Selinger and Whyte 2011;Wilkinson 2013). This is not an exhaustive list of possible benefits or harms, but rather meant to highlight the dual nature of sensing technologies, and the need for a reflexive and anticipatory approach to how the information they produce is communicated and ultimately utilized. ...
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This paper introduces the design principle of legibility as means to examine the epistemic and ethical conditions of sensing technologies. Emerging sensing technologies create new possibilities regarding what to measure, as well as how to analyze, interpret, and communicate said measurements. In doing so, they create ethical challenges for designers to navigate, specifically how the interpretation and communication of complex data affect moral values such as (user) autonomy. Contemporary sensing technologies require layers of mediation and exposition to render what they sense as intelligible and constructive to the end user, which is a value-laden design act. Legibility is positioned as both an evaluative lens and a design criterion, making it complimentary to existing frameworks such as value sensitive design. To concretize the notion of legibility, and understand how it could be utilized in both evaluative and anticipatory contexts, the case study of a vest embedded with sensors and an accompanying app for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is analyzed.
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Behavioural public policy is predominantly based on insights from behavioural economics and psychology in order to ‘nudge’ people to act in line with specific aims and to overcome the dilemma of behaviour that contradicts economic rationality. In contrast, we define behavioural public policy as a multi-disciplinary and multi-methodological concept that utilises insights from the whole range of behavioural research. Based on a scoping review and peer survey we see merit in behavioural insights from disciplines such as anthropology, geography and sociology as well as the application of qualitative methods. Our findings identify the need to advance behavioural public policy conceptually and methodologically. This article challenges our current understanding of behavioural policymaking by integrating ‘foreign’ views and approaches that do not (yet) belong to the core discipline. We argue that behavioural public policy should not be a synonym for a limited number of policy approaches (for example, nudges) based on specific research methods (for example, randomised control trials) to reach individual behaviour change. Instead, our findings suggest a redefinition of the scientific footing of behavioural public policy.
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In den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten ist eine immer größer werdende Kluft zwischen Neoklassischer Theorie (mit einem Menschenbild des rational handelnden Verbrauchers) und der Verhaltensökonomie (die Entscheidungen des Menschen sind durch dessen Unzulänglichkeiten bestimmt) entstanden. Teilweise wird dies noch extremer dargestellt, wenn das Bild eines überwiegend irrational agierenden Menschen gezeichnet wird. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden die Kernaspekte des Behavioral Pricing allgemein beschrieben und spezielle Ansatzpunkte zur Beeinflussung der Preiswahrnehmung untersucht. Eigene Studienergebnisse belegen die Wirksamkeit dieser Instrumentarien nur bedingt und zeigen stattdessen eine insgesamt eingeschränkte Beeinflussbarkeit der Preiswahrnehmung auf. Die Irrationalität des Verbrauchers ist offensichtlich begrenzt („Bounded Irrationality“).
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Libertarian paternalism claims to differ from traditional paternalism by making people better off, ‘as judged by themselves’. We argue that choice architects use ‘better off, as judged by themselves’ in a way that is systematically unclear and misleading. This unclarity, furthermore, makes recent debates about the efficacy and morality of employing nudges as public policy instruments in some cases are difficult, if not meaningless. Ultimately, the matter simply resolves into intuition pulling about values, making libertarian paternalism effectively equivalent to traditional paternalism.
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Individuals served by behavioral health programs experience risk factors that threaten health and longevity. Health behavior changes may be supported through environmental modifications known as nudges. The current review (a) examines the potential value of nudges for helping individuals receiving services from behavioral health programs, and (b) offers physical and social environment strategies to support positive health behaviors. The authors discuss literature related to nudges and environmental influences on health behaviors. The research related to nudges supports the potential value of this framework for nurses in behavioral health settings, who are in a strong position to help address health and wellness concerns disproportionately experienced by individuals in behavioral health programs. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, xx(x), xx-xx.].
Article
For organisations utilising big data platforms, knowledge sharing helps spread contextualised information of data, increases efficiencies and reduces the cost of lost knowledge when employees leave. Query-Driven Knowledge Sharing Systems (QKSS) partially automate knowledge sharing in analytics teams by building context into data, enabling the reuse of complex queries. Although QKSS can improve knowledge sharing, encouraging reuse behaviour is a significant issue for adoption. This paper analyses the applicability of gamification for improving knowledge reuse in QKSS. In collaboration with a Sydney-based data analytics firm, we recruited professional data analysts to participate in an experiment. The recruited analysts were asked to complete Structured Query Language tasks using either the firm's QKSS platform or a gamified version which included a small number of gamified elements designed to increase the likelihood of query reuse. The results demonstrate the positive impact of gamification on query reuse and the efficiency of tasks.
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Nudging can be considered the application-based offspring of psychological research, which has been focusing on the mismatch of decision-making modes, i.e., fast and slow thinking. Through conscious modification of decision architectures-all contextual, social, and cognitive aspects which potentially influence a decision-, Nudging promises to improve individual decisions and, through accumulation of these individual decisions, solve bigger problems. Currently, Nudging is considered a global trend in the field of politics as it promises to solve diverse sets of problems (health, tax compliance, traffic, retirement savings etc.) at almost zero costs. Further, Nudging claims to be in accordance with core democratic principles, such as free choice, liberty, and individualism etc. This article puts the claims of Nudge advocates to test by critically interrogating Nudging, its associated philosophy of liberal paternalism, its implicit assumptions, as well as its methodology. In order to present a holistic criticism of Nudging, this article draws from interdisciplinary sources - primarily psychology, philosophy, and political science - and identifies, and contextualizes the weaknesses and blind spots of Nudging. This article hopes to re-establish a more balanced view regarding the primarily positively discussed megatrend of Nudging.
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Der Mensch unterliegt in seinen Wahrnehmungs- und Denkprozessen diversen Heuristiken und Verzerrungen, die bewusst wie unbewusst das Erleben und Entscheidungsverhalten beeinflussen. Unter der Bezeichnung Behavioral Economics und Nudging werden diese psychologischen Effekte im wirtschaftlichen wie gesellschaftlichen Kontext systematisch aufgearbeitet und in potenziellen Anwendungsfeldern reflektiert. Die dadurch entstehenden asymmetrischen Machtverhältnisse erfordern eine Typologisierung in transparente wie intransparente Beeinflussungs- und Manipulationsmöglichkeiten sowie eine ethische Diskussion, welche in diesem Beitrag vorgenommen werden. Es wird ein Überblick über 180 verschiedene Effekte der psychologischen Beeinflussung als auch eine Detailvorstellung von 50 ausgewählten Behavior Patterns mit Anwendungsbeispielen im Eventkontext gegeben. Damit sollen konstruktive Einsatzmöglichkeiten zur effizienteren Zielerreichung von Veranstaltern und Dienstleistern, wie der Erhöhung der Kunden- und Besucherzufriedenheit, aufgezeigt werden. Ein verhaltensökonomisches Verständnis soll darüber hinaus ermöglichen, auch die eigenen Wahrnehmungs- und Verhaltensweisen kritisch zu reflektieren.
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“Nudge” policies are increasingly popular, seeking to modify health-related decisions by affecting response to available options. Thus, critical appraisals of the effectiveness of health-related nudging interventions could help health policy makers in making evidence-based decisions with regards to which of these interventions should be incorporated into policy. The aim of the present effort was to systematically appraise the evidence on nudging interventions on healthy diet and physical activity (PA). A systematic review was performed using Pubmed, Web of Science Core Collection citation index and the Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials (CENTRAL). Interventional studies were included if they quantitatively assessed healthy diet and/or PA interventions that were explicitly related to a nudging context. Methodological assessment was performed using the Cochrane collaboration’s risk of bias tool and the Research Triangle Institute item bank. Sixty-four studies were included with varying degrees of bias. Sixty studies investigated healthy diet interventions, three studied PA interventions and one studied interventions pertaining to both. Overall, specific types of interventions such as proximity and presentation alterations can be effective in encouraging people towards the adoption of healthier diet choices, whereas labelling, availability, prompting, functional design and sizing “nudge” interventions provide inconclusive results so far. Nudging interventions improving convenience seem to be effective in encouraging people towards making healthier diet choices, whereas evidence on PA is limited. Further conceptual development and research is needed to optimally determine the type, intensity and circumstances that make nudge-related interventions more effective, particularly regarding PA.
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Tourists can harm the environment of the destination they visit in many different ways, such as using disposable products, consuming excess water and energy, not reusing towels in accommodation facilities, avoiding recycling, among other ways. The urgent need to protect destination environments from tourist misbehaviour has led academic experts and public and private managers to implement initiatives that help change human behaviour. Behavioural Economics (BE) contributes to the formulation of public and private policies that reduce these environmental damages, given that they increase explanatory power by applying psychological foundations to policies, and therefore, its use is increasing in the tourism industry. The nudging agenda. i.e., behavioural interventions that aim to improve decision-making without curbing other options are converging with tourism managers and legislators as they realise that the implementation of nudges leads to cost reductions and greater effectiveness behavioural changes, thus reducing the environmental damage produced by tourists. However, little effort has been made to understand the relationship between nudges and tourism sustainability. To fill this gap, this article systematises the literature on nudge interventions in tourism and sustainability studies, through the following steps: (1) definition of the research question; (2) formulation of review protocols; (3) literature search; (4) extraction of relevant publications; and (5) synthesize the results. For analysis, we used the support of VOSViewer, R (with the Bibliometrix package) and NVivo software, having adopted a descriptive analysis and a thematic analysis of the data. The results of this investigation present the main disciplinary background used in these investigations, with Anglo-Saxon countries leading research on green nudges. The methodological approach adopted by the nudge studies is limited and causal evidence is lacking. Thematic analysis categorizes interventions and supports the idea that nudges target unconscious and conscious behaviours. The preferred interventions are those with low-cost applications, such as bed linen reuse. Social norms are the main trigger for developing hypotheses and designing nudges. This investigation also introduces mediators and moderators of pro-environmental behaviours (PEB) and develops a model for designing nudges in the tourism industry. This research contributes to the literature by offering a systematic review of studies on nudges and a conceptual model of nudge to reduce the environmental damage produced by tourist activities. The present dissertation provides a comprehensive analysis of the relationships, perspectives, methods, and context of the studies, thus tracking consistent aspects related to tourism. Furthermore, in the absence of a consolidated framework, this research will serve as a reference to support future research when planning incentive interventions in the tourism sector. This review does not aim to solve the problem of sustainability as a whole but rather to contribute to reducing the damage of tourism activities, analysing how nudge can make concrete, objective, and measurable changes.
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How does Judith Butler’s theory of ‘grievability’ relate to the neoliberal imperative to assume personal responsibility for one’s actions? And how can this be conceptualised in relation to a broader biopolitics of disposability that renders some lives dispensable and others worthy of protection? Focusing on the particular case of obesity and the UK government’s drive to reduce obesity rates in response to COVID-19, this article shows how conditions that are seen to arise from poor lifestyle ‘choices’ complicate Butler’s articulation of grievability by revealing how state and public investment can coincide with a general consensus of apathy that renders those lives both grievable and ungrievable. By simultaneously straddling the two subject positions, I argue that people living with obesity are often rendered failures within a neoliberal context that equates grievable life with productive life, thus giving way to a new ontology that renders life valuable only when it is not directly harming, or is in the service of, others.
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This study examines the ethics of nudging and consumers’ approval of nudges through the prism of moral foundations theory. Results showed that binding foundations (loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation) are, in general, positively related to approval of System 1 (relying on automatic information processing) and System 2 (relying on deliberative information processing) nudges. Individualising foundations (care/harm, fairness/cheating) are, in general, positively related to supporting System 2 nudges. Some exceptions to these relationships exist, based on the issue the nudge is addressing. Binding foundations mediate the effects of empathy and conservatism on approval of both types of nudges. Individualising foundations mediate the effects of empathy on approval of System 2 nudges. Moral foundations theory is useful for examining acceptance of nudges as it identifies diverse ethical reasons (welfare, fairness, loyalty, authority deference, sanctity) for supporting nudges, linking ethical evaluations with consumers’ approval of nudges. Findings provide insights for persuading consumers to support nudges. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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This chapter goes beyond classic nudges in introducing public policy practitioners and researchers worldwide to a wide range of behavioural change interventions like boosts, thinks, and nudge pluses. These policy tools, much like their classic nudge counterpart, are libertarian, internality targeting and behaviourally informed policies that lie at the origin of the behavioural policy cube as originally conceived by Oliver. This chapter undertakes a review of these instruments, in systematically and holistically comparing them. Nudge pluses are truly hybrid nudge-think strategies, in that they combine the best features of the reflexive nudges and the more deliberative boosts (or, think) strategies. Going forward, the chapter prescribes the consideration of a wider policy toolkit in directing interventions to tackle societal problems and hopes to break the false synonymity of behavioural based policies with nudge-type interventions only.
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Der vorliegende Beitrag widmet sich der Frage, unter welchen Voraussetzungen verbraucherwissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse als Impulse für die Verbraucherpolitik wirken können. Grundsätzlich bieten die Verbraucherwissenschaften erhebliches Potenzial für die Ausgestaltung von politischen Instrumenten, allerdings ist der Transfer der vielfältigen Erkenntnisse voraussetzungsvoll. Vor diesem Hintergrund führt der Beitrag zunächst in die Debatte um verbraucherpolitische Instrumente und die Rolle der Verbraucherwissenschaften ein und erläutert konkret, welche Bedeutung verhaltenswissenschaftlicher Forschung dabei zukommt. Um einen Ausblick darauf zu geben, wie Verbraucherwissenschaften zu Impulsgebern für eine innovative Verbraucherpolitik werden können, stellt der Beitrag konkrete Beispiele aus unterschiedlichen verbraucherrelevanten Handlungsfeldern vor. Daran zeigt sich, dass Verbraucherwissenschaften wesentliche Impulse setzen können, wenn sie zum einen mit der jeweiligen verbraucherpolitischen Problemstruktur korrespondieren und zum anderen im politischen Prozess konstruktiv verarbeitet werden, was dadurch vereinfacht wird, dass verbraucherrelevante verhaltenswissenschaftliche Expertise auch organisatorisch und institutionalisiert eingebunden wird.
Article
A remaining challenge for optimizing car travel is that route assignments still contain temporary impedance. The question arises as to how the degree and the order of more and less impeding route sections influence experienced utility of routes. On driving simulator routes, participants were assigned one out of two mean speeds and one out of three segmentations (i.e., “Fast Slow,” “Constant,” and “Slow Fast”). Independent of assigned mean speed, routes with the segmentation “Slow Fast” were rated less arousing, more positive, faster and more flowing than routes with the segmentation “Fast Slow.” Further differences were revealed by an interaction between mean speed and route segmentation. In summary, optimized segmentation can increase the utility of impeded routes. This may increase the acceptance of traveler information systems and in turn subjective well-being due to more efficient travel. The study warrants further investigations of varying driving cycles under real-world conditions.
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The design community has an increasing interest in behavior change and applying it intentionally in the design processes. At the same time, practitioners from diverse fields such as health and policy have embraced behavioral economics theory to inform behavior change interventions. The success of behavioral economics – or nudge – theory can be explained by its visible results with small investments; however, its application is limited to discrete problems and long-term effects are unclear. Designers look for possibilities and desirable futures rather than discrete interventions based on science. This article is a critical review of behavioral economics theory and its limited application in designing products and systems that are expected to change human behaviors or lifestyles. A behavioral economics-driven design process only works for situations that are narrow and specific. In the majority of design projects, behavioral economics concepts are a reference that informs designers and some design activities like ideation.
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The city state of Singapore has a long history of social engineering efforts, yet only recently have social scientists and civil servants started to use behavioural insights (BI) to create ‘nudges’ and integrate them into the daily lives of citizens. Colloquially known as a nanny state for its extensive social programmes and sometimes heavy-handed approach to guiding social behaviour, Singapore is often regarded favourably by its neighbours in terms of its cleanliness, efficiency, and productivity. Yet how it manages its populace and the restrictions it imposes on unwanted behaviours are sometimes viewed sceptically by others in Asia and the West. Thus, many in the Singapore Civil Service have come to see nudging as a less coercive way to promote social welfare and well-being. This article reviews some of the latest actions in three areas: finance, health, and the environment. In discussing the range of nudging practices, their effectiveness will be assessed and some of the implications for society and individuals will be addressed. To the extent that Singapore can be considered a bellwether or harbinger, its use of nudges may offer a glimpse of what lies ahead for other countries in the region. JEL codes: E70, O35
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This chapter goes beyond classic nudges in introducing public policy practitioners and researchers worldwide to a wide range of behavioural change interventions like boosts, thinks, and nudge pluses. These policy tools, much like their classic nudge counterpart, are libertarian, internality targeting and behaviourally informed policies that lie at the origin of the behavioural policy cube as originally conceived by Oliver. This chapter undertakes a review of these instruments, in systematically and holistically comparing them. Nudge pluses are truly hybrid nudge-think strategies, in that they combine the best features of the reflexive nudges and the more deliberative boosts (or, think) strategies. Going forward, the chapter prescribes the consideration of a wider policy toolkit in directing interventions to tackle societal problems and hopes to break the false synonymity of behavioural based policies with nudge-type interventions only.
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Devlet paternalizmi, devletin egemenlik hakkı ve yetkisine dayanarak kendi toprakları altında yaşayan insanların kendilerine, ailelerine ve başkalarına verecekleri zararları ortadan kaldırmak; sağlık, huzur, mutluluk ve refahlarını arttırmak gayesiyle onların rıza ve onayını almaksızın davranış, karar ve tercihlerine “zorla” (cebren) bazı sınırlamalar ve yasaklar getirmesi ve bu yönde yasal düzenlemeler ve uygulamalar yapmasıdır. Bu kitapta paternalizmin felsefi ve kültürel temellerini ve ayrıca hukuki ve ahlaki sınırlarını araştıran ve sorgulayan muhtelif incelemeler yer almaktadır.
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Understanding what motivates people and what drives their behaviour is self-evidently central to policy making. If you are trying to change human society for the better then you are likely to have some theory of what it is that makes humans "tick". Social science in its theoretical work also looks to discover microfoundations: the individual-level behaviour that underlies social activity. In social science the search for microfoundations rests on identifying individual-level mechanisms which bring about aggregate social outcomes. For policy makers microfoundations play a role in shaping governance choices because they provide the rules of thumb which guide their work. For them they are the starting point for thinking about what to do, what might be effective and what could be feasible. We open our discussion with the proposition that understanding motivations matters in the design of public services. We argue that microfoundations provide a conduit into that world. Indeed microfoundations -particularly those that assume we are self-interested calculators-are deeply embedded in our thinking about public service design and policy but that there are potential costs and limitations in such an approach. Next we make a case for microfoundational plurality rather than frugality when it comes to policy-making and argue that although there are strong social science foundations to thinking that individuals are self-seeking these are powerfully matched by social science perspectives that support other microfoundational assumptions. There is plenty of social science thinking that does not assume people are rational, self-interested calculators. Moreover those traditions that do hold to a microfoundational assumption of rational, calculating selfishness do so with a number of caveats and for purposes of analytical grip rather than as a direct reflection of empirical reality. Third we identify a range of empirical evidence from the social sciences to show the mixed motivational map that does indeed guide human behaviour. We need to recognise that we are boundedly rational in our decision-making and influenced by social norms and moral considerations because the evidence tells us we are.
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Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself. Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take-from neither the left nor the right-on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative books to come along in many years. © 2008 by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. All rights reserved.
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This paper reviews two contrasting approaches governments use to engage the citizen to promote better public policy outcomes: nudging citizens using the insights of behavioural economics, as summarised by Thaler and Sunstein (2009) or giving citizens the space to think through and debate solutions, as indicated by proponents of deliberative democracy. The paper summarises each approach, giving examples; then it compares and contrast them, illustrating their relative strengths and weaknesses. The paper concludes by suggesting that the approaches share some common features and policy-makers could useful draw upon both.
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Research in the field of behavioral economics indicates that humans stumble in their decisionmaking in predictable ways that can often be corrected by a gentle nudge from the appropriate regulatory authority. Two new books -- Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational and Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge -- recount the findings of behavioral research on predictable patterns in human decisionmaking and lay the foundation for regulation through choice architecture that recognizes these human stumbles. In this Review Essay, we provide a critical account of remaining gaps in behavioral economics research and suggest that some types of behavioral insights may be better translated into law and policy reforms than others. We further argue that Nudge's concept of libertarian paternalism both understates and exaggerates the jurisprudential and policy implications of regulatory innovation. While key insights from the behavioral field may lead to effective regulation systems with minimal intervention, these systems entail costs, have distributional effects, solve macro coordination problems, and are inevitably value driven. Moreover, policy nudges serve merely as a first stage of sequenced regulation where, inevitably, more coercive measures are required in later stages. The idea of choice architecture is then related to the growing body of regulatory studies collectively termed new governance. We conclude with a call for a more nuanced account of the range of mechanisms as well as the limits, costs, and consequences of applying lessons from the field of behavioral economics to law.
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In their recently published book Nudge (2008) Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein (T&S) defend a position labelled as ‘libertarian paternalism’. Their thinking appeals to both the right and the left of the political spectrum, as evidenced by the bedfellows they keep on either side of the Atlantic. In the US, they have advised Barack Obama, while, in the UK, they were welcomed with open arms by the David Cameron's camp (Chakrabortty 2008). I will consider the following questions. What is Nudge? How is it different from social advertisement? Does Nudge induce genuine preference change? Does Nudge build moral character? Is there a moral difference between the use of Nudge as opposed to subliminal images to reach policy objectives? And what are the moral constraints on Nudge?
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Selinger and Whyte argue that Thaler and Sunstein are insufficiently sensitive to cultural variance in Nudge. I construct a taxonomy of the various roles that cultural variance may play in nudges. First, biases that are exploited in nudging may interact with features that are culturally specific. Second, cultures may be more or less susceptible to certain biases. Third, cultures may resolve conflicting biases in different ways. And finally, nudge may be enlisted for different aims in different cultures.
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The present research investigated the persuasive impact and detectability of normative social influence. The first study surveyed 810 Californians about energy conservation and found that descriptive normative beliefs were more predictive of behavior than were other relevant beliefs, even though respondents rated such norms as least important in their conservation decisions. Study 2, a field experiment, showed that normative social influence produced the greatest change in behavior compared to information highlighting other reasons to conserve, even though respondents rated the normative information as least motivating. Results show that normative messages can be a powerful lever of persuasion but that their influence is underdetected.
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The idea of libertarian paternalism might seem to be an oxymoron, but it is both possible and legitimate for private and public institutions to affect behavior while also respecting freedom of choice. Often people's preferences are ill-formed, and their choices will inevitably be influenced by default rules, framing effects, and starting points. In these circumstances, a form of paternalism cannot be avoided. Equipped with an understanding of behavioral findings of bounded rationality and bounded self-control, libertarian paternalists should attempt to steer people's choices in welfare-promoting directions without eliminating freedom of choice. It is also possible to show how a libertarian paternalist might select among the possible options and to assess how much choice to offer. Examples are given from many areas, including savings behavior, labor law, and consumer protection.
Article
The idea of libertarian paternalism might seem to be an oxymoron, but it is both possible and desirable for private and public institutions to influence behavior while also respecting freedom of choice. Often people's preferences are unclear and ill-formed, and their choices will inevitably be influenced by default rules, framing effects, and starting points. In these circumstances, a form of paternalism cannot be avoided. Equipped with an understanding of behavioral findings of bounded rationality and bounded self-control, libertarian paternalists should attempt to steer people's choices in welfare-promoting directions without eliminating freedom of choice. It is also possible to show how a libertarian paternalist might select among the possible options and to assess how much choice to offer Examples are given from many areas, including savings behavior, labor law, and consumer protection.
Article
Is it possible to interfere with individual decision-making while preserving freedom of choice? The purpose of this article is to assess whether 'libertarian paternalism', a set of political and ethical principles derived from the observations of behavioural sciences, can form the basis of a viable framework for the ethical analysis of public health interventions. First, the article situates libertarian libertarianism within the broader context of the law and economics movement. The main tenets of the approach are then presented and particular attention is given to its operationalization through the notion of a 'nudge'. Essentially, a 'nudge' consists in an intervention, which aims to suggest one choice over another by gently steering individual choices in welfare-enhancing directions yet without imposing any significant limit on available choices. Finally, the article concludes that, while it fails as an overreaching framework of ethical analysis, libertarian paternalism nonetheless constitutes a valuable addition to the conceptual toolbox of public health ethics.
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Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s Nudge advances a theory of how designers can improve decision-making in various situations where people have to make choices. We claim that the moral acceptability of nudges hinges in part on whether they can provide an account of the competence required to offer nudges, an account that would serve to warrant our general trust in choice architects. What needs to be considered, on a methodological level, is whether they have clarified the competence required for choice architects to prompt subtly our behaviour toward making choices that are in our best interest from our own perspectives. We argue that, among other features, an account of the competence required to offer nudges would have to clarify why it is reasonable to expect that choice architects can understand the constraints imposed by semantic variance. Semantic variance refers to the diverse perceptions of meaning, tied to differences in identity and context, that influence how users interpret nudges. We conclude by suggesting that choice architects can grasp semantic variance if Thaler and Sunstein’s approach to design is compatible with insights about meaning expressed in science and technology studies and the philosophy of technology. KeywordsTrust-Nudge-Libertarian paternalism-Design ethics-Expertise-Interface
Article
In this brief commentary, I suggest Selinger and Whyte are essentially correct in their criticism of the Nudge approach advocated by Thaler and Sunstein. I use some examples from road behavior and traffic planning to amplify the criticism that the simple behavioral economics approach fails to take account of the embedding of humans and technology in the wider social and cultural context. KeywordsNudge-Technology-Choice architects
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Why nudging might make for muddled public health and wasted resources
Article
This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection as well as empirical evidence on the effects of patent rights. Then, the second part considers the international aspects of IPR protection. In summary, this paper draws the following conclusions from the literature. Firstly, different patent policy instruments have different effects on R&D and growth. Secondly, there is empirical evidence supporting a positive relationship between IPR protection and innovation, but the evidence is stronger for developed countries than for developing countries. Thirdly, the optimal level of IPR protection should tradeoff the social benefits of enhanced innovation against the social costs of multiple distortions and income inequality. Finally, in an open economy, achieving the globally optimal level of protection requires an international coordination (rather than the harmonization) of IPR protection.
Article
The "new paternalism" claims that careful policy interventions can help people make better decisions in terms of their own welfare, with only mild or nonexistent infringement of personal autonomy and choice. This claim to moderation is not sustainable. Applying the insights of the modern literature on slippery slopes to new paternalist policies suggests that such policies are particularly vulnerable to expansion. This is true even if policymakers are fully rational. More importantly, the slippery-slope potential is especially great if policymakers are not fully rational, but instead share the behavioral and cognitive biases attributed to the people their policies are supposed to help. Accepting the new paternalist approach creates a risk of accepting, in the long run, greater restrictions on individual autonomy than have been heretofore acknowledged.
Are Nudging and Shoving Good for Public Health?
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Cass Sunstein-infiltrate! http://www.glennbeck.com/content
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in Preference Change
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Defending Moral Autonomy Against an Army of Nudgers
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Cass Sunstein -infiltrate!
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Beck, Glenn. 2010. Cass Sunstein -infiltrate!. [Online]. Retrieved on 5 July 2011 from: http://www.glennbeck. com/content/articles/article/198/39348/.
‘David Brooks’ Theory of Human Nature
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Nick Clegg's sinister nannies are 'nudging' us towards an Orwellian nightmare
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O'Neil, B. 2011. 'Nick Clegg's sinister nannies are 'nudging' us towards an Orwellian nightmare.' The Telegraph. [Online]. Retrieved on 5 July 2011 from: http://tgr.ph/g7gLsp.
Initiative for Science
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Selinger, E. 2011. 'Concerns Over Nudging.' Initiative for Science, Society, and Policy Essay Series Vol. 2. [Online].
The Rise of the New Paternalism
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Whitman, R. 2010. 'The Rise of the New Paternalism.' Cato Unbound. [Online]. Retrieved on 5 July 2011 from: http://www.catounbound.org/2010/04/05/glen-whitman/the-rise-of-the-new-paternalism/.
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
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Zimbardo, P. 2007. The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York, NY: Random House.
Concerns Over Nudging
  • Selinger