Transport for London, which oversees buses and the Tube in “The Old Smoke,” wants drivers to pay more attention to cyclists sharing the road with them. As part of a public service campaign to reduce car-bicycle accidents, they’ve released this “awareness test” ad. Stop here and watch the one-minute video before reading on. Pay close attention.
The Nudge blog is the online companion to Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.” Here you’ll find much more about nudging, choice architecture, libertarian paternalism, and many other terms you won’t read about in standard economics books.
Cass Sunstein is currently the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and has no affiliation with the Nudge blog.
The Nudge blog is edited by John Balz.
Tell us about a nudge
The possibilities for great nudges are everywhere. For a list of favorites from the book, check out our dozen nudges. We invite readers to send their own nudge suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Choice Architecture?
Decision makers do not make choices in a vacuum. They make them in an environment where many features, noticed and unnoticed, can influence their decisions. The person who creates that environment is, in our terminology, a choice architect. The goal of Nudge is to show how choice architecture can be used to help nudge people to make better choices (as judged by themselves) without forcing certain outcomes upon anyone, a philosophy we call libertarian paternalism. The tools highlighted are: defaults, expecting error, understanding mappings, giving feedback, structuring complex choices, and creating incentives.
For a user-friendly introduction to choice architecture, check out this paper.