A Systematic Scoping Review of the Choice Architecture Movement: Towards Understanding When and Why Nudges Work

Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 2017

40 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017 Last revised: 7 Dec 2017

See all articles by Barnabas Szaszi

Barnabas Szaszi

Eötvös Loránd University

Anna Palinkas

Eötvös Loránd University

Bence Palfi

University of Sussex

Aba Szollosi

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Balazs Aczél

Eötvös Loránd University

Date Written: July 31, 2017

Abstract

In this paper, we provide a domain-general scoping review of the nudge movement by reviewing 422 choice architecture interventions in 156 empirical studies. We report the distribution of the studies across countries, years, domains, subdomains of applicability, intervention types, and the moderators associated with each intervention category to review the current state of the nudge movement. Furthermore, we highlight certain characteristics of the studies and experimental and reporting practices which can hinder the accumulation of evidence in the field. Specifically, we found that 74% of the studies were mainly motivated to assess the effectiveness of the interventions in one specific setting, while only 24% of the studies focused on the exploration of moderators or underlying processes. We also observed that only 7% of the studies applied power analysis, 2% used guidelines aiming to improve the quality of reporting, no study in our database was preregistered, and the used intervention nomenclatures were non-exhaustive and often have overlapping categories. Building on our current observations and proposed solutions from other fields, we provide directly applicable recommendations for future research to support the evidence accumulation on why and when nudges work.

Keywords: choice architecture; nudge; review; public policy; behavioral interventions

Suggested Citation

Szaszi, Barnabas and Palinkas, Anna and Palfi, Bence and Szollosi, Aba and Aczél, Balazs, A Systematic Scoping Review of the Choice Architecture Movement: Towards Understanding When and Why Nudges Work (July 31, 2017). Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3051585

Barnabas Szaszi (Contact Author)

Eötvös Loránd University ( email )

Pazmany Peter setany 1A
Budapest, -- H1117
Hungary

Anna Palinkas

Eötvös Loránd University ( email )

Pazmany Peter setany 1A
Budapest, -- H1117
Hungary

Bence Palfi

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

Aba Szollosi

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Balazs Aczél

Eötvös Loránd University ( email )

Pazmany Peter setany 1A
Budapest, -- H1117
Hungary

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