nudge

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nudge

A term of art referring to a health-promoting philosophy in the UK in which people are incentivised into leading healthier lives by gently pushing them in the right direction with vouchers for healthy living, foods, walking and so on. Some view “nudging” as more effective than “nannying”, in which government attempts to reinforce healthy habits in citizens with regulations and sanctions forunhealthy behaviour or actions.
References in periodicals archive ?
18) For these people, the nudger effectively makes the choice.
For instance, the most popular nudge involves setting a default option in a contract or on a government form (such as the organ donation question on a driver's license application (30)) to the choice the nudger prefers, with the hope that many people will stick with the default either because the default contains normative information or because of cognitive or motivational inertia.
Why can we not say the nudgee's preferences ultimately control even where the nudger favors one choice over another?
Rather than seeking to promote decision-making competenc, as choice-independent nudges do, choice-dependent nudges seek to take advantage of cognitive or motivational biases to push people to choices the nudger thinks they should make.
For this group of persons, who depart from the rational ideal, the availability of an easy way around the default set by the nudger will be meaningless.
58) There is no principled reason to treat passive acceptance as normatively significant only when it favors the path chosen by the nudger.
This creates an incentive for the nudgers, who wish to increase the nudgees' welfare as they understand it, to advertise what they are doing as little as possible.
But nudgers are people who are convinced that they are doing good.
For once again, the more easily avoided the nudge, the less effective it is, and thus the more incentive there is for zealous, well-meaning nudgers to increase the costs of avoiding the nudge.
And the more aware of the nudging the subjects become, the more likely it becomes that those whose conception of welfare differs from that of the nudgers opt out.
Are Thaler and Sunstein (the latter being the former administrator of President Obama's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) really libertarian heroes, or are they subconsciously (or consciously) relying on the motivation of the nudgers to do good to cause them to depart from the transparent, low opt-out cost model of nudging?
Given the massive growth and biased use of federal power between 1789 and today, one can only hope that the current generation of nudgers is more successful than its intellectual forebears.