Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Overview

For fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, a revelatory new look at how we make decisions

A New York Times bestseller
An Economist Best Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year

Nudge is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of ...

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

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Overview

For fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, a revelatory new look at how we make decisions

A New York Times bestseller
An Economist Best Book of the Year
A Financial Times Best Book of the Year

Nudge is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. In the tradition of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, Nudge is straightforward, informative, and entertaining—a must-read for anyone interested in our individual and collective well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

Benjamin M. Friedman
Yes, there is such a thing as common sense—and thank goodness for that. At least that's this reader's reaction to Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge, an engaging and insightful tour through the evidence that most human beings don't make decisions in the way often characterized (some would say caricatured) in elementary economics textbooks, along with a rich array of suggestions for enabling many of us to make better choices, both for ourselves and for society.
—The New York Times
Library Journal

In the first of these two books exploring human behavior and the choices we make, organizational expert Ori Brafman (coauthor, The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations) and his psychologist brother, Rom, an organizational expert, discuss the various psychological forces (e.g., diagnosis bias and loss aversion) that cause people to act irrationally. To help illuminate their discussion, they draw on the latest research in social psychology, behavioral economics, and organizational behavior. In Nudge, Thaler (behavioral science & economics, Graduate Sch. of Business, Univ. of Chicago) and Sunstein (jurisprudence, Univ. of Chicago Law Sch.) consider how the science of choice can gently "nudge" individuals toward making life-improving decisions. They divide the text into five parts-"Humans and Econs," "Money," "Health," "Freedom," and "Extensions and Objections"-and employ numerous examples throughout. Easy to read, conversational in tone, and story-driven, Sway is suitable for public libraries. Nudge, a more research-based analysis full of practical solutions to real-life problems, is strongly recommended for public libraries.
—Anita N. Jennings

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143115267
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 37,888
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard H. Thaler is the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics and the director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.


Cass R. Sunstein is Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School and Department of Political Science.
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Read an Excerpt

Common "Nudges"

  1. The design of menus gets you to eat (and spend) more. For example, lining up all prices on either side of the menu leads many consumers to simply pick the cheapest item. On the other hand, discretely listing prices at the end of food descriptions lets people read about the appetizing options first…; and then see prices.
  2. "Flies" in urinals improve, well, aim. When Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport was faced with the not uncommon issue of dirty urinals, they chose a unique solution: by painting "flies" in the (center of) commodes, men obligingly aimed at the insects, reducing spillage by 80 percent.
  3. Credit card minimum payments affect repayment schedules. Among those who only partially pay off credit card balances each month, the repayment level is correlated with the card's minimum payment — in other words, the lower the minimum payment, the longer it takes a consumer to pay off the card balance.
  4. Automatic savings programs increase savings rate. All over the country, companies are adopting the Save More Tomorrow program: firms offer employees who are not saving very much the option of joining a program in which their saving rates are automatically increased whenever they get a raise. This plan has more than tripled saving rates in some firms, and is now offered by thousands of employers.
  5. "Defaults" can improve rates of organ donation. In the United States, about one–third of citizens have signed organ donor cards. Compare this to Austria, where 99 percent of people are potential organ donors. One obvious difference? Americans must explicitly consent to become organ donors (by signing forms, for example) while Austrians must opt out if they do not want to be organ donors.
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Table of Contents

Nudge Acknowledgments
Introduction

Part I: Humans and Econs

1. Biases and Blunders
2. Resisting Temptation
3. Following the Herd
4.When Do We Need a Nudge?
5. Choice Architecture

Part II: Money

6. Save More Tomorrow
7. Naive Investing
8. Credit Markets
9. Privatizing Social Security: Smorgasbord Style

Part III: Health

10. Prescription Drugs: Part D for Daunting
11. How to Increase Organ Donations
12. Saving the Planet

Part IV: Freedom

13. Improving School Choices
14. Should Patients Be Forced to Buy Lottery Tickets?
15. Privatizing Marriage

Part V: Extensions and Objections

16. A Dozen Nudges
17. Objections
18. The Real Third Way
19. Bonus Chapter: Twenty More Nudges
Postscript: November 2008
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 30, 2009

    "Nudge"--a leftist fraud manifesto

    The very first page sets the tone--an optical illusion that the authors had to cheat on to convey their point. (Look at the dimensions of the table legs...) Hidden nicely in the authors protestations of being "libertarians" is the unmistakable "we know better than you" leftist agenda. Plus, anyone who yet advocates for anthroprogenic global warming in the face of all of the scientific evidence disproving same illustrates a deficiency of intellect, and severely tarnishes their attempt at a 'scholarly' treatise. Granted there are some interesting points, but on the whole, the piece is fundamentally flawed. What else did they slant to make their argument(s)?

    8 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    Must Read

    Must read for anyone interested in public or private policy issues.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Free-Thinking Enlightenment

    History has proven time-and-again, that paternalism, libertarian or otherwise, will eventually lead to corruption and abuse.

    having said this, I would still recommend this book, and the ideas contained within. To those who appreciate free-thought, as opposed to partisan-bias.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Viper

    I wasnt using you i would never

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Nudge

    Leaves never to come back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Mirrere

    *Stands*

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    Nudge

    Interesting book along the lines of The Tipping Point and Blink.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good for perspective

    I not only enjoyed the book, but found it's emphasis on making small changes which can make a big difference. Should be required reading for government employees and lawmakers.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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