Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1116650
 
 

References (39)



 


 



Smart Defaults: From Hidden Persuaders to Adaptive Helpers


N. Craig Smith


INSEAD

Daniel G. Goldstein


Microsoft Research New York City; London Business School

Eric J. Johnson


Columbia Business School - Marketing

February 3, 2009

INSEAD Business School Research Paper No. 2009/03/ISIC

Abstract:     
Defaults have such powerful, pervasive and unrecognized effects on consumer behavior that in some settings they may be considered 'hidden persuaders'. Looking at defaults from the perspective of consumer welfare, consumer autonomy and marketing ethics, this paper shows that ignoring defaults is not an option. It identifies three theoretical causes of default effects-implied endorsement, cognitive biases, and effort-to guide thought on the appropriate marketer response to the issues posed for consumer autonomy and welfare. We propose the concepts of "smart defaults" and "adaptive defaults" as welfare-enhancing and market-oriented alternatives to the current practice of generally ignoring default effects, in addition to other remedies. Our analysis highlights how an ethical market orientation would consider the process of consumer decision making as well as its outcomes: marketers bear responsibility for consumer buying mistakes arising from the marketer's inept neglect or misuse of defaults. As well as recommendations for marketing practice, we also identify policymaker and research implications of defaults and consider, more broadly, the ethics of using techniques that influence consumer choice without consumer awareness.

Keywords: Default Effects, Marketing Ethics, Consumer Choice, Consumer Welfare, Consumer Autonomy

working papers series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: April 6, 2008 ; Last revised: February 19, 2013

Suggested Citation

Smith, N. Craig and Goldstein, Daniel G. and Johnson, Eric J., Smart Defaults: From Hidden Persuaders to Adaptive Helpers (February 3, 2009). INSEAD Business School Research Paper No. 2009/03/ISIC. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1116650 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1116650

Contact Information

N. Craig Smith (Contact Author)
INSEAD ( email )
Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France
Daniel G. Goldstein
Microsoft Research New York City ( email )
641 Avenue of Americas
New York, NY 10011
United States
London Business School ( email )
Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom
+44 0 20 7000 8611 (Phone)
+44 0 20 7000 8601 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.dangoldstein.com
Eric J. Johnson
Columbia Business School - Marketing ( email )
New York, NY 10027
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,826

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.688 seconds