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Given that so many of these choices and influences are extremely unhelpful for people, this is a major area of opportunity for the development and use of Nudge theory, even if it were not envisaged as such by its creators.
From these beginnings, the Nudge concept now offers vastly bigger implications and applications.Nudge has dramatically affected thinking and methods for motivating and changing people.Nudge theory advocates change in groups through indirect methods, rather than by direct enforcement or instruction.The use of Nudge theory is based on indirect encouragement and enablement. Here are some simple examples to illustrate the difference between traditional enforced change and 'Nudge' techniques: Nudge theory accepts that people have certain attitudes, knowledge, capabilities, etc., and allows for these factors (whereas autocratic methods ignore them).Nudge theory is based on understanding and allowing for the reality of situations and human tendencies (unlike traditional forcible instruction, which often ignores or discounts the reality of situations and people).Probably not, as the privatised company is selling its services to the corporate world and other governments, and will inevitably seek to maximise profits for its investors.
On which point, it's important to note that anyone can use Nudge theory (see 'Anyone can use Nudge theory').
Nudge theory proposes that the designing of choices should be based on how people actually think and decide (instinctively and rather irrationally), rather than how leaders and authorities traditionally (and typically incorrectly) believe people think and decide (logically and rationally).
In this respect, among others, Nudge theory is a radically different and more sophisticated approach to achieving change in people than traditional methods of direct instruction, enforcement, punishment, etc.
There are lots of these unhelpful 'nudges' everywhere - notably in advertising and government; some accidental, many very deliberate. Developing, adapting and using Nudge theory - other types of 'nudges' - examples and correlations to other theories and disciplines 9. Glossary of terms - Nudge theory and related concepts Nudge theory is credited mainly to American academics Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein.
Note: This article is not a reproduction or extraction of Thaler and Sunstein's work - it is a summary, interpretation and extension 'Nudge' theory, including the main terminology, expanded by supplementary methods, with helpful explanations, examples and connections, to related ideas and concepts of motivation and management. They built much of their theory on the 'heuristics' work of Israeli-American psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, which first emerged in the 1970s in psychological journals.
The roots of Nudge theory can be traced back to a wide variety of psychological models and philosophical concepts, especially the theories on thinking and decision-making of Kahneman, Tversky and others.