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Behavioral Theory Is More Than Just a "Nudge"

Two of nudge’s fellow travelers offer a particularly instructive parable

Anyone who has endured a college reunion knows that there’s a melancholy side to milestones. Marking time has a way of bringing to mind those missing from the celebration, so that every heady remember when gets chased by a soberer whatever happened to…

So it is with behavioral science. On the 10th anniversary of Nudge, it’s worth recalling a few behavioral research programs with which many behavioral scientists have lost touch. Doing so will allow us to tell the story of behavioral science’s last 10 years more faithfully—though hindsight is twenty-twenty, it’s often tunnel vision—and prepare us for the challenges of the next 10.

Two of nudge’s forgotten fellow travelers, think and steer, offer a particularly instructive parable. Both remain obscure despite promising applications and solid scientific grounding, much of it shared with nudge. Both also carried weighty financial and normative implications that went against the grain of the period in which they emerged. This lack of political resonance likely did them in.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Behavioral Scientist.

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