Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
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|Made me think, but wanted a bit more meat on the theories.|
|Readable and interesting.|
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Thaler and Sunstein develop libertarian paternalism as a middle path between command-and-control and strict-neutrality choice architectures. Libertarian paternalism protects humans against their damaging psychological traits (inertia, bounded rationality, undue influence) by exploiting those habits to nudge people into making better choices.
Every day we make decisions about things, and often our decisions are based on incidental arrangements of our environments. We choose the food we see first in the cafeteria, the product that is at eye level in the grocery store, and we usually stick with the default settings in our computer applications. Cass and Sunstein discuss the concept of a "choice architecture," and argue that given that people are influenced by such things we might as well make an effort to make sure that the world is structured so as to guide us towards 'good' choices, an approach that they refer to as libertarian paternalism. The book takes readers on a broad tour of factors that shape everyday decision making, and provides a broad set of examples of how one might design 'nudges' for everything from weight loss to energy conservation.