Default effect in energy choice

Want to fix the world? Start by making clean energy a default setting

In recent years, psychologists and behavioral scientists have begun to decipher why we make the choices that we do when it comes to using energy. And the bottom line is that it’s hard to characterize those choices as fully “rational.” Rather than acting like perfect homo economicuses, they’ve found, we’re highly swayed by the energy use of our neighbors and friends — peer pressure, basically. At the same time, we’re also heavily biased by the status quo — we delay in switching to new energy choices, even when they make a great deal of economic sense. All of which has led to the popular idea of “nudging,” or the idea that you can subtly sway people to change their behavior by changing, say, the environment in which they make choices, or the kinds of information they receive. ….[READ]

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