Nudge Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

Publication date:
13 May 2008
224 pages: 235 x 156 x 30mm

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Every day we make decisions on topics ranging from the personal investments we select to the schools we pick for our children to the foods we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, as authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein astutely observe, we don't always choose well. The reason, the authors explain, is that we all are susceptible to cognitive biases and blunders that make us human, fallible, and prone to error.Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that recognizes our humanness as a given. They show that the way we think can be used to our advantage: it is possible to design environments that make it more likely for us to act in our own interests. Using colourful examples from all aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how 'choice architecture' can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting the full menu of choices available to us. Nudge offers a unique new take, from neither the left nor the right, on many current issues, and is one of the most engaging and provocative books to come along in years.

Richard H. Thaler is the Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. Cass R. Sunstein is Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Chicago Law School.

'There are superb insights in Nudge ... [it] applies behavioural economics - a field in which Mr Thaler is a pioneer - to government and business leadership.' -Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times

'Nudging is the new politics.' -Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

'The nudge agenda is starting to creep into Tory policy ... By seizing on Nudge over the past few weeks - the Tory party has rather effectively projected itself as being the one with all the fresh ideas.' -Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian

'An engaging new book.' -Catherine Bennett, The Observer

'The newest craze is 'nudge' ... Human actions are too mysterious and unpredictable to be liable to quanitfication and modelling ... 'Nudge' steers, but does not order or plan.' -Simon Jenkins, The Guardian

'Essential summer reading for the political classes.' -Jonathan Oliver and Isabel Oakeshott, Sunday Times

'Authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein have used their academic expertise in economics, law and behavioural science to pen Nudge, a book that shows how circumventing routine biases to make impartial, considered decisions can herald significant differences.' -Esquire

'Thaler and Sunstein are to be commended not merely for an engaging and innovative book, but also for adding nudges to the toolkit of policy makers.' -Joel Anderson, Economics and Philosophy (26)

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