A Nudge is the capacity to influence a decision.
When you get a new cell phone, for example, you have a series of choices to make. The fancier the phone, the more of this choices you face, from the background, to the ring sound, to the number of times it rings before the caller is sent to the voice mail.
The manufacturer has picked one option as the default option for each of this choices.
Research shows that whatever the default choices are, people stick with them, even when the stakes are much higher than choosing the noise your phone makes when it rings.
Two important lessons can be drawn from this research. First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed. If private companies or public officials think that one policy produces better outcome, they can greatly influence the outcome by choosing it as a default.
As we will…
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