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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness [Kindle Edition]

Richard H. Thaler , Cass R. Sunstein
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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"Fundamentally changes the way I think about the world. . . . Academics aren't supposed to be able to write this well." —Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics

"[An] utterly brilliant book. . . . Nudge won't nudge you-it will knock you off your feet." —Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness

"Nudge is as important a book as any I've read in perhaps twenty years. It is a book that people interested in any aspect of public policy should read. It is a book that people interested in politics should read. It is a book that people interested in ideas about human freedom should read. It is a book that people interested in promoting human welfare should read. If you're not interested in any of these topics, you can read something else." —Barry Schwartz, The American Prospect

"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 Moneyball

Product Description

For fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, a revelatory new look at how we make decisions
More than 750,000 copies sold
New York Times bestseller
An Economist Best Book of the Year
Financial Times Best Book of the Year

Nudge is about choices—how we make them and how we can make better ones. Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioral science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions. In the tradition of The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, Nudge is straightforward, informative, and entertaining—a must-read for anyone interested in our individual and collective well-being.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Fascinating Nov. 27 2009
By Morris
I loved this book! I have a business background but I now work extensively in the area of health promotion. I found the information in the book really practical and helpful. There were all kinds of excellent ideas about things organizations and people can do to (subtly) influence their employees/family/friends to make better decisions, whether we want them to choose healthy food choices in the company cafeteria or make sound and sensible decisions with their retirement savings. For example, you can encourage a parent to have an operation by saying: "there is a 90% chance you will have a full recovery". If you don't want them to have it, just tell them: "there is a 10% chance you'll die".

I have receommended this book to several others; I also dug up an earlier book from Cass Sunstein (the co-author) called "Why Society Needs Dissent" which I stongly recommend also.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Nat Hawthorne TOP 500 REVIEWER
This book came way after the Freakonomics series and other similar books by the legendary Daniel Kahneman. However, they all cover similar topics that are part and parcel of the ever growing field of Behavioral Economics. Therefore, as I was reading through Nudge, I could not help but think that it was an attempt to ride the recent wave.

But, that does not mean the book and its concepts are not relevant. Thaler and Sunstein have worked on this field for decades and are experts on the field. So, they cannot be accused of trying to ride the waves. The book argues that "humans" are not able to make the best decisions for themselves, unlike "econs". And, it argues for "nudges" to help make these humans choose the optimal solutions that they always say they want to achieve but don't act on it. While all that is fine, I thought the abbreviation for these so-called nudges, which was N-U-D-G-E-S, appeared kind of forced. Nevertheless, the ideas are timely and relevant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on reviews and my interests in government management. The first part was very insightful. It gave lots of evidence that people do not always make the best decision for themselves and loved ones. Often just because of lack of knowledge or lack of familiarity with a subject (who practices retirement?).

The second part was how to improve choices in very specific situations. Most the examples concern the USA. I'm from Québec and I felt it only highlited systemic problems in the USA that we do not face here. It didn't give me lots of good ideas on how to help people make better choices, but it did point out why the USA has so many problems. Too many people try to make money off others. Limiting this predatory environment instead of trying to help people make better choices seems like a better way to help people.

Still, the first part was worth it. Lots of studies explaining why people make bad choices. It gives ammunition agaisnt libertarians ad proponant of laissez faire capitalism.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts... Aug. 16 2014
By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER
3.5 Stars...

"Blink." "Sway." "Flip." Such snappy, one-word titles purport to reveal the hidden dimensions of human behaviour by both informing and entertaining the reader. "Nudge" certainly falls into this genre but it goes a step further, making a strong case for more enlightened social and economic policies.

We see ourselves as rational creatures, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler point out, but four decades of research show that our choices tend towards the unrealistically optimistic, the status quo and thoughtless conformity. Citing what they call "the emerging science of choice," the authors contend that the framing and presentation of public choices determines the decisions we make: we eat more from large plates, care twice as much about losing money as gaining it and agonize about rare events like plane crashes instead of common ones like auto accidents.

"Choice architecture" can thus guide, or "nudge," people toward making better choices. A nudge, Sunstein and Thaler write, "alters people's behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives...Nudges are not mandates. Putting the fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not." The authors dedicate much of the book to practical examples of nudges, detailing how to take advantage of people's tendency to expend a minimum of effort and how to make use of subtle social influences. Many of these examples both persuade and entertain; they describe, for instance, how etching a small black fly in a urinal gives men something to aim at, thus reducing reducing spillage by 80 percent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Efficient June 3 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The principles described in this book are useful in the modern context to achieve efficient and efficacious results in public management.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
To read this book is to produce better ways to live life and make decisions. Some needless labels to talk of differences of types of persons and how they make such decisions or nudges to a decision. Good read for politicians, bureaucrats, companies with a bonus web site to keep readers updated on how to nudge people to make a decision, wealth, health, cable and many more. The example for selling magazines the nudge is to automatically renew subscriptions for greater circulation as to letting the subscription run out and asking for a renewal.
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