Warning: You are about to be Nudged

Behavioral Science & Policy, 1(1), 35-42, 2015

8 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2015 Last revised: 19 Oct 2015

See all articles by George Loewenstein

George Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Cindy Bryce

University of Pittsburgh

David Hagmann

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Sachin Rajpal

Independent

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The working paper is available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=2417383.

Presenting a default option is known to influence important decisions. That includes decisions regarding advance medical directives, documents people prepare to convey which medical treatments they favor in the event that they are too ill to make their wishes clear. Some observers have argued that defaults are unethical because people are typically unaware that they are being nudged toward a decision. We informed people of the presence of default options before they completed a hypothetical advance directive, or after, then gave them the opportunity to revise their decisions. The effect of the defaults persisted, despite the disclosure, suggesting that their effectiveness may not depend on deceit. These findings may help address concerns that behavioral interventions are necessarily duplicitous or manipulative.

Keywords: advance directives, nudges, defaults, behavioral economics

JEL Classification: C91, I1

Suggested Citation

Loewenstein, George F. and Bryce, Cindy and Hagmann, David and Rajpal, Sachin, Warning: You are about to be Nudged (2015). Behavioral Science & Policy, 1(1), 35-42, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2675567

George F. Loewenstein (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-8787 (Phone)
412-268-6938 (Fax)

Cindy Bryce

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

David Hagmann

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Porter Hall 208
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
6469128602 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dhagmann.com

Sachin Rajpal

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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