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A nudge… is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.



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Understand Mapping

Understand Mapping

A good system of choice architecture helps people to improve their ability to map and select options that will make them better off.

One way to do this is to make the information about various options more comprehensible, by transforming numerical information into units that translate more ...


178 reads

Two Opportunities

Two Opportunities

Insights from the architecture of choice reveal two opportunities for the innovator based on basic psychology and the fact that people have two distinctive thinking styles that they flip between;

  • Reflective thinking (aka “Systematic”, “Central”, “System 2” thought) tha...


202 reads

Biases and fallacies in how we choose

  • Loss Aversion: We prefer not to lose rather than gain
  • Myopia: We make choices based on short term gain, often at long-term costs
  • Conformity: We tend to make choices to conform with the behaviour and expectations of others
  • Anchoring Bias: Choosing by relying too heavil...


519 reads

The Fly in the Urinal

The Fly in the Urinal

The authorities at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam have etched the image of a black housefly into each urinal in the men's room. Men usually don't pay much attention to where they aim but if they see a target, their attention and accuracy increases.

The natural urge is to aim (and drown the fl...


288 reads

6 Principles of good choice architecture

6 Principles of good choice architecture

iNcentives - The right incentives for the right people enable good decision-making processes.

Understand Mappings is how people can better relate to the consequences of different decision pathways

Defaults - People often leave the def...


225 reads

Who is a Choice Architect and why do we need nudges?

Who is a Choice Architect and why do we need nudges?

A choice architect is one who indirectly influences the choices other people make. They are entitled to the responsibility for organizing the context in which people make decisions. 

If you design the ballot the voters use it to choose candidates or design ...


325 reads

Defaults are ubiquitous and powerful

Defaults are ubiquitous and powerful

For a given choice there is a default option, an option that will obtain if the chooser does nothing, then we can expect a large number of people to end up with that option. 

Automatic renewal for magazine subscriptions is a classic example.

If the choice architect forces to choose th...


174 reads

How to Change the World

  1. Either play on the fallacies and biases that pattern our automatic (lazy) thinking (see list further down),
  2. Or jolt people into reflective thinking by providing them with a new way of thinking about something 


253 reads




Generalist. Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

Although this book is focused more on policy innovation, I liked the parts which show that any consumer-focused innovation should begin with understanding how consumers choose.


The perfect nudge

Nudging involves gently coaxing someone into a decision or behavior. The successful nudge is one that results in the desired choice or behavior without the person realizing any external influence.

2. Economist

2. Economist

  • There are many thinking tools native to economics, but a foundational one is simple. 
  • People respond to incentives.
  • Tyler Cowen, the economist, delivers this best, explaining that a key element of econ...

How Economic Incentives Affect Our Choices

If a person is told about the economic incentives of their selection, they are more likely to make an active choice.

If the person is told about the pros and cons of their decision, they have a logical reason to make the desired choice, as it can minimize any potential los...

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