Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

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by Richard Thaler and Prof. Cass Sunstein
Yale University Press; 1 edition (April 8, 2008)

Amazon.com Book Description:

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 us 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 books to come along in many years.

Praise for this Book:

“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 Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World and Liar’s Poker

“How often do you read a book that is both important and amusing, both practical and deep? This gem of a book presents the best idea that has come out of behavioral economics. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to see both our minds and our society working better. It will improve your decisions and it will make the world a better place.”-Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, Nobel Laureate in Economics, author of ”Thinking, Fast and Slow

“In this utterly brilliant book, Thaler and Sunstein teach us how to steer people toward better health, sounder investments, and cleaner environments without depriving them of their inalienable right to make a mess of things if they want to. The inventor of behavioral economics and one of the nation”s best legal minds have produced the manifesto for a revolution in practice and policy. Nudge won”t nudge you-it will knock you off your feet.”- Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology, Harvard University, author of Stumbling on Happiness

Follow the “Nudge” blog, and learn more about how you can improve your decision-making process, at http://nudges.org/

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1 Comment

  1. Renato Pasion says:

    Despite the mixed reviews, I personally enjoyed this book. It explains how many of the everyday decisions we make, such as what we eat or what we spend on, are influenced by the smallest of seemingly insignificant factors. The author goes in depth of how this apparent flaw in our brains can be used by “choice architects” to “nudge” people in the right direction, which still gives them the freedom to choose, but are still given subtle hints of what choice would be good for them. This can be applied to numerous problems where restricting choices isn’t a good or possible option. One of the 1st examples mentioned is healthy school lunches. While, simply removing all junk foods from school premises is a possible, but very unfavorable solution. However, studies show the 1st food item children see will most likely be chosen than the last food item. Therefore, according to the author, the best way to apply this is instead of removing junk food all together, just simply put it in after the healthier foods and let the kids choose. Based on the aforementioned study, they will more likely fill their plates with the healthy food. The author goes on to explain similar solutions in other areas such as money management, business, law, and healthcare. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in not only how our brain make choices based on subtle influences, but also how to use that knowledge for the greater good.

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