Nudge: Behavioral Economics in Action
Nudge: Behavioral Economics in Action
  • Hong Ha Sunwoo
  • 승인 2014.11.07 02:19
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Have you ever heard of the Belgrade Bridge in Serbia? The bridge is notorious for its number of suicides.  When you go to the bridge, you will see something amazing.  Under the bridge, there is the conspicuous phrase: 'You're not alone' along with a counseling agency’s phone number.  This device is a good example of Nudge Theory.  In addition to this case, there are other cases that use Nudge Theory.  The Sookmyung Times introduces a lecture on Nudge Theory as it relates to Behavioral Economics.

Click on the Lecture

We sometimes silently say to others, 'You do it' as we nudge them with our elbows.  If one is not conscious of your behavior, you might become frustrated.  Nudge is the word used to describe the action of gently pushing someone, usually with your elbow.  The word is used as a soft intervention leading to the selection of someone.  Rather than prohibiting someone from something or powerfully demanding action, it is much better to persuade someone through soft suggestion.  It doesn't infringe upon the freedom of choice, and Behavior Economics is based on this Nudge Theory.  According to the lecture introduction, the lecture offered various contents related to the area of Behavior Economics, and many people were eager to learn its methods.  Also, the lecture looked at nudge design and the decision tools that aid people in making better decisions.  The lecture consists of a 6-week curriculum.  After 2-week of basic principle understanding, the lecture enters into two weeks of experimental design and analysis study followed by two weeks of understanding the processes for nudge designs and helping people make better decisions.

These days, there are many situations that employ Nudge theory.  As with the earlier case, this theory is now being used at the national level.  To make national policies, the government is employing the Nudge Theory to help people make better choices.  In reality, site operators are becoming more insensitive to the protection of personal information.  Lee Jangwoo, director of Ahnlab said, "Companies use audit and discipline strategies, but they are having little affect on people in terms of motivation.  It is important to have full disclosure for workers so that they know the direct effect on them and to avoid insensitive protection of personal information by using Nudge."1 In addition, Marketing also uses Nudge Theory to discreetly induce customer purchases.  The lecture shows how the Nudge Theory affects people's cognitive thought.  Understanding experimental design and interpretation is central to your ability to truly use Behavior Economics.

More Debate Topics with Nudge

The lecture opens up debate on topics such as "What strategy is best for improving welfare – nudging or education?” Nudging induces behavior and glides people to a better choice, but it could also end with a worsened situation because inducing limits human thought.  Sometimes it could lead people in the wrong direction.  In other words, nudging may indiscreetly force to choice particular things, so education may be a better option for improving welfare and the freedom to choice independently.  The lecture also asks participants to ponder debate topics deeply taking into account Nudge Theory.  Join this lecture and debate along with other participants now!


Kim Gookbae, "Raise Awareness about Protection of Personal Information Using Nudge," Eyenews24, April 25, 2014



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