Nudge & Behaviourial Insights
'A good rule of thumb is to assume that everything matters' - Sunstein & Thaler, Nudge.
Behavioural Insights is a powerful method used by organisations to design low cost, simple interventions to motivate desired behaviour without perverse economic consequences. Interventions based on the BI approach are:
- Low cost
BI can assist in motivating higher levels of compliance to regulation through the use of low cost interventions or ‘nudges’.
Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein define nudging as 'any aspect of choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid [i.e. they do not reduce choice]. Nudges are not mandates.'
The following are examples of how low-cost, non-intrusive interventions can nudge people to make different choices and to modify their behaviour.
- A school cafeteria increased healthy choices by placing healthier food options at the eye level of hungry students. By rearranging the presentation of the food, consumption of specific foods were increased or decreased by 25 per cent.
- At Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, a drawing of a fly was etched into men’s urinals to 'improve aim'. Spillage was reduced by 80 per cent.
- Use of ‘default’ settings (in mobile phones, in online forms and applications etc.) have been shown to greatly influence choice. Due to inertia, most people choose the default option presented to them.
- Charities typically provide givers with “options” of giving $100 or $500 or more. Studies show that the higher the set of options, the more people tend to give.
- Responses to questions on forms are affected by where the questions are placed in relation to each other. One question can act as an anchor to other questions.