Warning: You Are About to Be Nudged
23 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2014 Last revised: 19 Oct 2015
Date Written: March 28, 2014
The published paper is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2675567.
Defaults have been shown in prior research to impact important decisions, including how people complete advance directives (which specify the medical treatments they want to receive if they become unable to communicate their wishes). However, defaults and other nudges are often criticized for violating individual autonomy because those affected are typically unaware that they are being influenced. We report results from a study in which people were informed that they were being defaulted, either before they completed a hypothetical advance directive or immediately afterwards (and then were given an opportunity to revise their choices). Neither pre-informing nor post-informing respondents appreciably diminished the impact of the defaults.
Keywords: advance directives, nudges, defaults, behavioral economics
JEL Classification: C91, I1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation