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.

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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

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.

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.

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.

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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RELATED IDEAS

  • Don't keep in the house food that isn’t on your diet or you know is unhealthy.
  • Buy items from the outer edges of the grocery store. The aisles are usually used for junk and processed foods.
  • Trick your brain into eating less by using smaller plates and bowls.
  • Plan and prep your meals in advance so you always know what to eat each day.

8

IDEAS

Perhaps the easiest way to make sure we can face a hard decision with our full attention is to simply make fewer decisions.

Think of people like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama, who limit their wardrobe choices to a few staple pieces, in order to save mental energy for important decisions.

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 it around the world.
  • The amount of uncertainty about the virus: the real number of infected people, the speed of its spread, future projections.
  • We have little control over the situation. This creates anxiety. In addition, we may be doing our part, but it is hard to know which actions and programs are having an impact on creating the absence of the disease.

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