The soft power that changes your choice
The soft power that changes your choice
  • 변은비 기자
  • 승인 2017.12.11 09:00
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Have you ever heard about the ‘Nudge effect’? Nudge effect is used in ‘Nudge’ of Richard H. Thaler’s book and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Originally, it was used as an English word like 'poke with the elbow’, but this books’ writer Thaler and Sunstein defined nudge as the smooth intervention that drives the choices of others. In other words, it helps people to make a right choice not with compulsion and an order but mild suggestion as if they were poked with an elbow. Likewise, nudge is based on free interventionism that encourages better choices but does not violate freedom of choice by delivering a flexible and non-compulsory message. It naturally changes people's behavior in a predictable way without prohibiting any choice or significantly changing economic incentives. Examples of nudge effects include singing stairs, male urinal flies, and smoking room pictures.

First, singing stairs were introduced as the unique subway stairs via the media a few days ago. The staircase, decorated like a piano tiles, made a different sound every time you stepped on it so that the commuters could use the stairs to improve their health without using the escalator.

Second, there are men’s toilet in Netherlands Amsterdam International Airport. Because the airport toilet is used by many people, the urine protrudes out and the bottom is dirty, which makes cleaning difficult. Surprisingly, when people urinate, the sticker of a fly at the bottom of the white toilet prevents urine from splashing out of the toilet by as much as 80%. There used to be signs in the toilets of Australia and other countries that said. “We aim to please, will you aim too please”.

Lastly, there is the pictures on cigarettes packets.. Rather than putting written cigarette warnings on a cigarette packs, when you put a rotten, cancerous picture of a lung on it, people are more alert and have a much lower desire for smoking.

However, recently with many companies, they use nudge effect for only the corporation’s profit not for the customer’s benefit. Robert Shiller, Yale university professor has called this behavior bad nudge or ‘phishing fraud’ in ‘The New York Times’. Examples of this are writing precautions vaguely, in that customers can be mislead; and an induction method that makes paid use look like it’s for free, when it’s not.

Likewise, we look various nudge effects that changes our choice unconsciously. There are good nudges that helps us to the make right choices and bad nudges; phishing fraud. You want you to make a smart choice when you see a good nudge.


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