Behavioral Decision-Making

What is the real human motivation? Find the nudge.

President Obama has just signed an order compelling US government agencies to use behavioral sciences to “better serve the American people.” I think this makes a lot of sense. Too often government policies sound good on paper but fail to have a big impact on the way the world really works. We think if we tell people something is good for them – like saving money, exercising more, or caring about the environment – they’ll follow that plan because it’s in their own best interests. But everyone who has studied the fascinating field of behavioral decision-making knows that in reality we make choices for very irrational reasons. We need to nudge people differently.


photo Ron Mader