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
 
More than 750,000 copies sold
 
New York Times bestseller
An Economist Best...

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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
 
More than 750,000 copies sold
 
New York Times bestseller
An Economist Best Book of the Year
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

From the Publisher
"Fundamentally changes the way I think about the world. . . . Academics aren't supposed to be able to write this well." —Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics

"[An] utterly brilliant book. . . . Nudge won't nudge you-it will knock you off your feet." —Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

"Nudge is as important a book as any I've read in perhaps twenty years. It is a book that people interested in any aspect of public policy should read. It is a book that people interested in politics should read. It is a book that people interested in ideas about human freedom should read. It is a book that people interested in promoting human welfare should read. If you're not interested in any of these topics, you can read something else." —Barry Schwartz, The American Prospect

"This book is terrific. It will change the way you think, not only about the world around you and some of its bigger problems, but also about yourself." —Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball
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: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 43,386
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard H. Thaler, a pioneer in the fields of behavioral economics and finance, is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he is the director of the Center for Decision Research. He is also the co-director (with Robert Shiller) of the Behavioral Economics Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the 2015 President of the American Economic Association. He has been published in several prominent journals and is the author of a number of books, including Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics.
 
Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, where he is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. He is by far the most cited law professor in the United States. From 2009 to 2012 he served in the Obama administration as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He has testified before congressional committees, appeared on national television and radio shows, been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations, and written many articles and books, including Simpler: The Future of Government and Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter.

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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

NudgeAcknowledgments
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 24, 2010

    eBook does not contain figures as in the print version

    I bought this book for my nook but was disappointed to realize, after reading a few pages, that many of the figures that are present in the print version are not present in the ebook. In place of the figures, there are boxes with a statement saying that rights were not granted for digital media, and "please refer to print version." I thought that the point of buying a nook and ebooks was to, for the most part, replace the print ones. It's an interesting book, but I wouldn't buy the e-version until they have the figures and exact same content as print.
    Barnes and Noble should tell people in advance whether an ebook does not have same content as the print version. Not sure if by not warning people, B&N gives grounds for a class action lawsuit, but it is, at best, unethical not give such warning. Let the buyer beware is not exactly the way to satisfy your customers.

    25 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    do not buy the nook version

    Many important figures are missing. The formatting is very bad, headings are not in bold and spacing is wrong. it does not feel like a book but instead some draft version of the book. Barnes and Noble should not be selling the nook version if they arent able to deliver the e-book experience. very disappointed - dont even consider it.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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)?

    9 out of 18 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 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    Not compelling.

    This was recommended by someone who read the book but I should have read more excerpts before purchasing. I have only gotten through the first 3 CDs and not very motivated to spend the time listening to the remaining cds. The substance is somewhat basic, common sense. I will eventually listen to the remaining CDs and hope the content improves.

    3 out of 4 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 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2015

    Nudging, it's not just for mama elephants anymore!

    Read this for a sociological project and appreciated the humor with which the authors addressed some of the issues. It contains great examples of how our benevolent overseers can nudge us in the right direction and help us as mere humans make the decisions we might otherwise be unwilling or too lazy to make for ourselves. My only criticism is that the points are made through examples from many areas and then repeated and repeated and REPEATED!!!! It could we'll have been shorter and still very good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Mirrere

    *Stands*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    Nudge

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

    0 out of 4 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 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 27, 2011

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    Posted April 17, 2009

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted July 26, 2010

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    Posted June 24, 2009

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