Too Many Options - Nudge by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler - Joe Abittan

Too Many Options

Writing specifically about new employee enrollment in retirement savings plans, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in their book Nudge write, "One study finds that the more options in the plan, the lower the participation rates. This finding should not be surprising. With more options, the process becomes more confusing and difficult, and some people will … Continue reading Too Many Options

Default Choices

More On Default Choices

In many decision situation there is a default choice. Many online forms already have a bubble selected as you scroll through, there are many opt-out clauses in hospital disclosures, and when you go to sign-up for a social media platform there are pre-set security and information sharing agreements and settings. These defaults can matter a … Continue reading More On Default Choices

A Limitation on Nudges

A Limitation on Nudges

"Rare, difficult choices are good candidates for nudges," write Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. Throughout their book Nudge, Sunstein and Thaler try to encourage limitations on nudges. They acknowledge that anytime people are in a position to influence decision-making by determining how choices are designed and structured, they will be providing people with nudges, regardless … Continue reading A Limitation on Nudges

Paternalistic Nudges - Joe Abittan

Paternalistic Nudges

In their book Nudge, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler argue in favor of libertarian paternalism. Their argument is that our world is complex and interconnected, and it is impossible for people to truly make decisions on their own. Not only is it impossible for people to simply make their own decisions, it is impossible for … Continue reading Paternalistic Nudges

Do People Make the Best Choices?

Do People Make the Best Choices?

My wife works with families with children with disabilities and for several years I worked in the healthcare space. A common idea between our two worlds was that the people being assisted are the experts on their own lives, and they know what is best for them. Parents are the experts for their children and … Continue reading Do People Make the Best Choices?

Paternalistic Choice Architects

Paternalistic Choice Architects

The idea of paternalism in the United States is full of contradictions, challenges, and conflicting opinions. Many people in the country don't want to be told what to do by anyone, and don't want to appear as though they are accepting paternalistic messages or nudges. Some people fully buy into the idea of paternalism, looking … Continue reading Paternalistic Choice Architects

Frame Bound vs Reality Bound

Frame Bound vs Reality Bound

My wife works with families with children with disabilities and one of the things I learned from her is how to ask children to do something. When speaking with an adult, we often use softeners when requesting that the other person do something, but this doesn't work with children. So while we may say to … Continue reading Frame Bound vs Reality Bound

Framing Costs and Losses - Joe Abittan

Framing Costs and Losses

"Losses evokes stronger negative feelings than costs. Choices are not reality-bound because System 1 is not reality-bound," writes Daniel Kahneman in Thinking Fast and Slow.   We do not like losses. The idea of a loss, of having the status quo changed in a negative way without it being our deliberate choice, is hard for … Continue reading Framing Costs and Losses