Der er mange diskussioner om, hvad er et ægte nudge og tilmed grande af nudging. I andre sammenhænge bliver det også diskuteret, hvornår det er tilladt at undgå nudging og bruge et påbud, fordi det er bedst for et menneske på både kort og lang sigt. I denne artikel fra Forbes forsøger Richard Thaler at give en populær forklaring på nudging til journalist Peter Ubel. Du kan læse artiklen

Forklaring på nuding

En anden forklaring kan du læse her, som er et udrag fra en bog skrevet af bl.a. Richard H Thaler et. al. på engelsk :

Nudge theory was named and popularized by the 2008 book, ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness’, written by American academics Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein. The book is based strongly on the Nobel prize-winning work of the Israeli-American psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

Nudge theory seeks to improve understanding and management of the ‘heuristic’ influences on human behaviour, which is central to ‘changing’ people.

Central to behaviour, is decision-making, from the choices available.

Nudge theory is mainly concerned with the design of choices, which influences the decisions we make. Nudge theory proposes that the designing of choices should be based on how people actually think and decide (instinctively and rather irrationally), rather than how leaders and authorities traditionally (and typically incorrectly) believe people think and decide (logically and rationally).

In this respect, among others, Nudge theory is a radically different and more sophisticated approach to achieving change in people than traditional methods of direct instruction, enforcement, punishment, etc.

The use of Nudge theory is based on indirect encouragement and enablement. It avoids direct instruction or enforcement.

Here are some simple examples to illustrate the difference between traditional enforced change and ‘Nudge’ techniques:

Instructing a small child to tidy his/her room. Playing a ‘room-tidying’ game with the child.
Erecting signs saying ‘no littering’ and warning of fines. Improving the availability and visibility of litter bins.
Joining a gym. Using the stairs.
Counting calories. Smaller plate.
Weekly food shop budgeting. Use a basket instead of a trolley.

Nudge theory accepts that people have certain attitudes, knowledge, capabilities, etc., and allows for these factors (whereas autocratic methods ignore them). Nudge theory is based on understanding and allowing for the reality of situations and human tendencies (unlike traditional forcible instruction, which often ignores or discounts the reality of situations and people).

Fundamentally (and properly, according to its origins) Nudge theory operates by designing choices for people which encourage positive helpful decisions; for the people choosing, and ideally for the wider interests of society and environment, etc.

Additionally, Nudge theory offers a wonderful methodology for identifying, analysing and re-shaping existing choices and influences that people are given by governments, corporations, and other authorities. Given that so many of these choices and influences are extremely unhelpful for people, this is a major area of opportunity for the development and use of Nudge theory, even if it were not envisaged as such by its creators


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