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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness Paperback – Feb 24 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Updated edition (Feb. 24 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014311526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115267
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"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

About the Author

Richard H. Thaler is a pioneer in the fields of behavioral economics and finance.

Although his first writings on behavioral economics appeared in 1980, Thaler became more prominent between 1987 and 1990 when he wrote a regular column called “Anomalies”, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. In his column he wrote on a myriad of subjects that illustrated the ways in which human behavior seemed to violate traditional economic theories. These columns were later published in the collection The Winner's Curse.

Daniel Kahneman later cited his joint work with Thaler as a “major factor” in his receiving the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Commenting on the prize, he said, “The committee cited me ‘for having integrated insights from psychological research into economic science'. Although I do not wish to renounce any credit for my contribution, I should say that in my view the work of integration was actually done mostly by Thaler and the group of young economists that quickly began to form around him.”

Thaler is currently the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, and Director of the Center for Decision Research, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. He previously taught at Cornell University and MIT.


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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Morris on Nov. 27 2009
Format: Paperback
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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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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By Reader Writer Runner TOP 50 REVIEWER on Aug. 16 2014
Format: Paperback
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 By Syndicator on 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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