The challenge of behavioral change

How Behavioral Economics Can (and Can’t) Boost Health

As the bestsellers started piling up, from 2008’s Predictably Irrational and Nudge to 2011’s Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, the buzz around behavioral economics — the science and practice of nudging people toward a particular decision — could be heard from the classroom to the board room. Many dismissed it as a passing fad. Some balked at its paternalism. Others considered it “kinda creepy.” We at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation were cautiously optimistic. Could behavioral economics, a tool that has helped people save money, also help save people’s lives? Could its power be wielded to make the healthy choice the easy choice?  ….[READ]