Nudge nudge, say no more

January 8, 2018
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(This article was originally published at Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.)

Alan Finlayson puts it well when he writes of “the tiresome business of informing and persuading people replaced by psychological techniques designed to ‘nudge’ us in the right direction.”

I think that’s about right. Nudging makes sense as part of a package that already includes information and persuasion. For example, tell us that smoking causes cancer, persuade us to reduce or quit, then also provide nudges that make smoking more difficult and make non-smoking more comfortable. But to try to nudge people without informing and persuading them, that seems like a mistake.

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