Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Everyone Needs a Nudge

I just finished book #1 of my vacation reading list: Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. Overall, I liked the book a lot. The concept is basically that by public and private organizations who exercise libertarian paternalism can drastically influence people's choices for the better. As a liberal person who often suffers from decision paralysis, I fully embrace this theory. If there is a choice that makes more sense, by either making me happier, healthier or wealthier, I am all for it being my default choice. The concept is not complex, but the wide range of examples that Cass and Sunstein use is impressive. They discuss everything from how placement of items in a cafeteria can decrease childhood obesity (which seems like a complete no-brainer to me) to whether states should change their organ donor registration from explicit consent to presumed consent, and many examples in between. I didn't find myself surprised by many of the examples, but I did find it an entertaining and interesting read. If you want to read about more examples you can check out the books' blog. That's it.

And since this is a vacation post that needs some lightening up, here is a picture of some beautiful Hawaiian oranges that I picked when trying to make limeade on Molokai today...easy to see why I confused them:

No comments:

Post a Comment