Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness is about our choices and how we make them. It is a eye opener in what we do and why we do things. Thaler and Sunstein offers a new perspective on how to prevent the countless bad mistakes we make in our lives. The book covers personal investment, consumptions of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources and more. A nudge makes it more likely that an individual will make a certain choice. By altering the choice architecture we can in a predictable way without forbidding options change automatic cognitive processes to favor a desired outcome. Sunstein & Thaler both describe that we process things in two systems of thought:

       1. System is a automatic, fast and prone to enviromental stimuli

       2. System is slow reflective and take intentions as well as goals into account

A nudge alters environmental stimuli and resulting in choice that is the most positive or desired outcome. Like in a cafeteria where the cake is placed in the end and not as the first item.

To push slightly or gently, especially with the elbow, to get someone's attention, prod someone into action, etc.

My thoughts

I really liked this book but it was sometimes a bit tedious in length. Some critics may say that these small nudges won’t change long term behavioral patterns. When that is said the book gives good insight on how the human brain functions on a smaller scale and has both application in marketing, business and small scale decision making techniques. Some of the book was applicable but I felt other parts could be left out. Overall great and interesting book with a Mentor Score of  3/5



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About the Authors

Cass R. Sunstein is a American scholar of law. Born in Massachusetts USA in 1954. Sunstein has taught for 27 years at the University of Chicago Law School, is the University Professor at Harvard Law School and is a Honorary Doctor at Copenhagen Business School. Studies published between 2009 – 2013 Sunstein has ben found to be the most frequently cited American legal scholar. Sunstein has also been Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012

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Richard H. Thaler born 1945 and American economist. Thaler was president of the American Economic Association in 2015 and is a Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2017 he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Announced in the Nobel Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that his “contributions have built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making”.

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