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What’s a Nudge?
‘A nudge is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives’ – Nudge, C. Sunstein & R. Thaler
Nudges take into consideration biases and heuristics that humans have, which affect their behaviour as well as their tendency to depart from rationality.
The Rise of nudge units
Best sellers such as Nudge, by Thaller and Sunstein, and Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman, … to name a few, have put in question in an accentuated way, rationality of humans and have provided much of the intellectual backbone for the rise of nudging and the early wave of nudge units as well as behavioural insights centres around the globe, e.g. the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in the UK, the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) in the USA, and more recently the Qatar Behavioural Insights Unit (QBIU), the first nudge unit in the Middle East.
The number of nudge units – governmental and nongovernmental – with dedicated institutional set-ups has been constantly growing with many more planned over the coming period, especially in the Middle East, following the Qatar Behavioural Insights Unit.