Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

3.4 65
by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein, Sean Pratt
     
 

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Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often

Overview

Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

Thaler and Sunstein invite the listener to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take-from neither the left nor the right-on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative audio books to come along in many years.

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

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596592704
Publisher:
Gildan Audio
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 5.80(h) x 4.80(d)

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.

What People are saying about this

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

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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Nudge 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Romero More than 1 year ago
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.
Nilesh Saraf More than 1 year ago
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.
Missive65 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great techniques for the slow brainwashing of the great mass of people who have no interest in thinking for themselves. A must read for any aspiring dictator, whether they dream of controling a country or a corporation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read for anyone interested in public or private policy issues.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anyone who has a psych degree will know these ideas/priciples. May be interesting to others though.
lollo55 More than 1 year ago
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
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