Nudge Me Right: Personalizing Online Nudges to People's Decision-Making Styles

26 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2019 Last revised: 31 Mar 2019

See all articles by Eyal Peer

Eyal Peer

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Federmann School of Government and Public Policy

Serge Egelman

International Computer Science Institute (ICSI); University of California, Berkeley - Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS)

Marian Harbach

International Computer Science Institute (ICSI)

Nathan Malkin

University of California, Berkeley

Arunesh Mathur

Princeton University - Department of Computer Science

Alisa Frik

International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) / University of California Berkeley

Date Written: January 29, 2019

Abstract

Nudges are simple and effective means to help people make decisions that could benefit themselves or society. However, effects of nudges are limited to local maxima, as they are almost always designed with the “average” person in mind, instead of being customized to different individuals. Such “nudge personalization” has been advocated before, but its actual potency and feasibility has never been systematically investigated. Using the ubiquitous domain of online password nudges as our testbed, we present a novel approach that utilizes people’s decision-making style to personalize the online nudge they receive. In two large-scale studies, we show how and when personalized nudges can lead to considerably stronger and more secure passwords, compared to administering “one-size-fits-all” nudges. We discuss the implications of these findings and how more efforts by researchers and policy-makers should and could be made to guarantee that each individual is nudged in a way most right for them.

Keywords: nudge, personalization, decision-making style, password

Suggested Citation

Pe'er, Eyal and Egelman, Serge and Harbach, Marian and Malkin, Nathan and Mathur, Arunesh and Frik, Alisa, Nudge Me Right: Personalizing Online Nudges to People's Decision-Making Styles (January 29, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3324907 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3324907

Eyal Pe'er (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Federmann School of Government and Public Policy ( email )

Israel

Serge Egelman

International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS) ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720-1712
United States

Marian Harbach

International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

Nathan Malkin

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Arunesh Mathur

Princeton University - Department of Computer Science ( email )

35 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
United States

Alisa Frik

International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) / University of California Berkeley ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

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