Never mind the nanny state

Should Governments Nudge Us to Make Good Choices?

Our decisions are constantly shaped by subtle changes in our environment. Even choices that feel deliberate and conscious can be swayed by cues that we may not even notice, such as social norms or the setting of a default option. Behavioral scientists use the phrase “choice architecture” to describe the ways in which the environment influences how we decide. In the past five years several governments have begun to guide people toward making better choices—for themselves and for society—by using behavioral science research. Scientists refer to choice architecture interventions that push people toward a certain outcome as “nudges.” ….[READ]

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