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Here's how you can be nudged to eat healthier, recycle and make better decisions every day

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.

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Here's how you can be nudged to eat healthier, recycle and make better decisions every day

Here's how you can be nudged to eat healthier, recycle and make better decisions every day

http://theconversation.com/heres-how-you-can-be-nudged-to-eat-healthier-recycle-and-make-better-decisions-every-day-122254

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

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.

Multiple systems of the mind

The mind seems to involve various simple systems throughout the body that are not always in agreement. Some systems are shortsighted, some care about relationships, and some prioritize the future of humanity.

We are not always aware of each mechanism. Sometimes we make decisions carefully and other times intuitively.

Nudging methods

  • Highlighting the decisions of others you consider influential. Reading “Most other guests staying at this hotel reuse towels,” may make you feel compelled to align your behavior with the majority.
  • “Injunctive norms” focus on how one should act in a particular situation. “Reusing towels meets a high standard for environmental responsibility,” highlights self-imposed standards. It involves a belief about right and wrong that consider abstract concepts.

Setting the scene

A way to nudge people involves changing the decision environment. 

For instance, a grocery store that is trying to encourage consumers to purchase ecologically responsible products will display the product repeatedly throughout the shop. It will re-trigger the internalized norm and will increase environmentally responsible purchases.

Nudging people

Nudges enhance or suppress virtuous behaviors. They cannot make people do something they don't want to do. They only encourage them to make a decision that may be hidden by other factors.

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  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
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Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler

“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

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Think in Years, Not Days

Before jumping to a conclusion, think about the long-term consequences of your decision.

We may respect those able to fling themselves into a hard problem and make a quick choice with seemingly little thought, but making a meaningful decision needs to be done with care for the long-term effects.

Understand Decision Fatigue

It’s important to be aware of what state of mind you’re in before tackling a hard choice.

Decision fatigue happens when the mental energy required to weigh the tradeoffs of our decision becomes too much for us to handle. 

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Decision-making obstacles

Decision-making obstacles
Psychological reasons why we find decision-making difficult right now:
  • The realness of the present threat: the new virus is really contagious and people are dying from ...

The pandemic and our biases

The threat, uncertainty, and anxiety related to the pandemic lead us to make short-sighted decisions:

  • we crave more information so we are spending a lot of time looking for news updates relating to the virus and its spread. But too much negative news causes stress and distraction.
  • the lack of agency causes people to seek out actions that will make them feel more in control. Early on, this took the form of buying hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

Financial decisions

People want to take action quickly, even when inaction might be more prudent.
Faced with anxiety, some are making quick decisions about finances as well and started fear selling their stocks. But this is taking a paper loss in the present that is likely to come back in the future (given the way stock markets have acted in the past).

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