Nudge for good

How a little nudge can lead to better decisions

When Richard Thaler signs copies of the best-selling book Nudge, which he co-authored with legal scholar Cass Sunstein, he always writes “Nudge for good” next to his name. “That’s a plea, not an expectation,” explains the Chicago Booth professor, and one of the fathers of nudge theory, which describes how small interventions in the environment or incentives can encourage people to make better decisions. Yet in those three words Professor Thaler encapsulates some of the biggest concerns of critics of nudge theory: that this area of behavioural economics, of which “nudging” is one element, can be used to manipulate people to their detriment as well as their benefit. ….[READ]

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