Media Releases

Researchers at UofT’s Rotman School of Management publish guide to nudging

April 2, 2013

TORONTO, ON – A new guide from a team of behav­iour econ­o­mists at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment aims to help prac­ti­tion­ers devel­op effec­tive nudges. Draw­ing on research on this area of behav­iour eco­nom­ics, the guide demon­strates how nudg­ing influ­ences behav­iour by chang­ing the way choic­es are pre­sent­ed in the envi­ron­ment.

“This guide is not meant to add to the dis­cus­sion on the appro­pri­ate­ness of nudg­ing, its phi­los­o­phy, and its pros and cons rel­a­tive to oth­er meth­ods of induc­ing behav­iour­al change,” says Rot­man Prof. Dilip Soman. “Rather it pro­vides an orga­ni­za­tion­al frame­work which iden­ti­fies dif­fer­ent types of nudg­ing, pro­vides some short case stud­ies, and helps the prac­ti­tion­er with some guide­lines on how to devel­op the choice archi­tec­ture for nudg­ing.”

Prof. Soman co-authored the report along with Rot­man grad­u­ate Kim Ly, and Rot­man Profs. Nina Mažar, and Min Zhao.

In the guide, the term “nudg­ing” Is used to mean a delib­er­ate change in choice archi­tec­ture with the goal of engi­neer­ing a par­tic­u­lar out­come. For exam­ple, one study in Copen­hagen found that paint­ing green foot­steps on the side­walk lead­ing to garbage bins helped reduced lit­ter. A school cafe­te­ria changed their food dis­play so that healthy foods were placed in easy-to-reach places while junk food was placed on high­er and hard­er to reach shelves which increased the con­sump­tion of healthy foods.

The guide pro­vides a step-by-step to nudg­ing draw­ing on an exten­sive orga­ni­za­tion­al frame­work and also rec­om­mends that prac­ti­tion­ers eval­u­ate both the process of the nudge as well as the out­come.

The guide is avail­able, free of charge, online.

For the lat­est think­ing on busi­ness, man­age­ment and eco­nom­ics from the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment, vis­it

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is redesign­ing busi­ness edu­ca­tion for the 21st cen­tu­ry with a cur­ricu­lum based on Inte­gra­tive Think­ing. Locat­ed in the world’s most diverse city, the Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables the design of cre­ative busi­ness solu­tions.  The School is cur­rent­ly rais­ing $200 mil­lion to ensure Cana­da has the world-class busi­ness school it deserves. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


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Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
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