top of page

Nudge theory: the elbow or helping hand?

Most of us remember the 2008 book, Nudge. In it, Thaler and Sunstein showed a new way to do policy-making with a simple premise: we can create massive, pro-social change just by subtly guiding how people make choices.

Politicians adored the Nudge concept – mainly, perhaps, because it promised to transform any nation’s “health, wealth, and happiness” for a fraction of the usual cost of government interventions. But 15 years on, in a sceptical and post-Covid world, it’s time to take a cold, hard, fresh look at what became of those promises.

Some original proponents of Nudge are now its sternest critics; what’s all that about?

How much does it matter that some Nudge-adjacent behavioural science is now discredited, amid allegations of data manipulation and academic fraud?

After its rise, the fall (and possible rehabilitation) of Nudge Theory should matter to you, whether you’re a policy wonk, Corporate Affairs lead, academic, or ‘general public’ person who’s a bit less inclined these days to trust in science. From a theory that once seemed set to change everything, how has the narrative unravelled?

What are the critical lessons for the future of #behaviouralscience?

Join me as I delve into these compelling issues in this published article.

As ever, you’re welcome to join the conversation on Linked In.


bottom of page