'Many a Slip between the Cup and the Lip': The Effect of Default-Based Nudges on Prosocial Behavior and Attitudes

cege discussion papers, number 297, 2016

30 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2016

See all articles by Alexia Gaudeul

Alexia Gaudeul

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Magdalena Kaczmarek

University of Jena

Date Written: December 19, 2016

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that default based nudges i.e. alterations in the decisional context, can have large effects on decision making and can be used as policy interventions to improve individual and public welfare. This paper presents the results of a controlled experiment (N = 988), designed to evaluate not only the effectiveness of a default manipulation on decision making, but also to explore how yielding or opposing a nudge intervention later affects attitudes (towards the nudge and the nudger) and behavior in a charity giving context. The results show that while the default nudge was effective at the time of application, it was not enough to change attitudes towards the nudged behavior as would be needed for long-term success. Indeed, we rather find that those who adopted an action that went against the nudge were more motivated to follow on through with this action later on than those who went with the nudge. We furthermore show that giving people more leeway in how to respond to a nudge improves acceptance of the nudge. We finally discuss the practical implications of our findings in terms of the applicability of default-based nudges as a tool for policy interventions.

Keywords: Nudging, defaults, decision making, prosocial behavior, charity giving, behavioral economics

JEL Classification: C9, D04, D12, D64, H41

Suggested Citation

Gaudeul, Alexia and Kaczmarek, Magdalena, 'Many a Slip between the Cup and the Lip': The Effect of Default-Based Nudges on Prosocial Behavior and Attitudes (December 19, 2016). cege discussion papers, number 297, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2887410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2887410

Alexia Gaudeul (Contact Author)

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany
+49 (0) 551 39 7333 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://agaudeul.free.fr

Magdalena Kaczmarek

University of Jena ( email )

Furstengraben 1
Jena, Thuringa 07743
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
38
Abstract Views
357
PlumX Metrics