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 www.rotman.utoronto.ca/FacultyAndResearch/NewThinking.aspx.
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 www.rotman.utoronto.ca.
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