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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  41,113 Ratings  ·  1,963 Reviews
From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions

New York Times bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times


Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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Trevor
This one took me longer to read that is reasonable for a book of its length or the clear style it is written in. I mean, such a simply written text of 250 pages ought to have finished in no time. The problem was that I don’t live in the US and so many of the examples made the book a struggle for me. All the same, there are ideas in this book that are important no matter where you live.

Don’t you just love the internet? I wanted to start this paragraph with that quote by Göring, “when I hear the w
...more
Anya Weber
I don't understand why this is a runaway bestseller--it's just not that enthralling. I've been reading lots of books lately about behavioral psychology and economics: why people make the decisions we do, economically and in other life areas. But Predictably Irrational and Made to Stick both explore these questions in a much more engaging way.

"Nudge" is mostly concerned with how companies and governments can practice what the authors term "libertarian paternalism"--gently, noncoercively pushing p
...more
Dem
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub-reads
December bookclub read for my sit in bookclub and when I checked in my book shop for this Book and was directed to the ECONOMICS/BUSINESS section I did quite a bit of eye rolling, I had automatically decided I wasn't going to like this book and as christmas reading goes this was going to be a taxing read. But I was pleasantly surprised at how readable and relatable the book was and how our decision making can be influenced by Nudges of all kinds and how society reacts to Nudges.

Only 3 out 10 peo
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Malcolm
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This comes with a whole bunch of big name endorsements – the physicist Brian Appleyard, Stephen Leavitt (of Freakanomics fame) and we’re told by the end of Introduction that it is making an impact with Obama and Cameron and so having a policy impact in both the UK and USA. What is more, it is now marketed as a ‘new international edition’. As I ploughed my way through this I kept thinking of a comment by the great photographer Eve Arnold to the effect (and with a few more expletives) that she was ...more
Lobstergirl
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: economics, got-rid-of

Libertarians are always annoying, and these two are no exception. Their particular brand of libertarianism they call "libertarian paternalism" and it involves the idea of "nudges," which are things/designs/incentives that push people toward "better" options. "Better" options would include: choosing healthfullier food, not smoking, not driving drunk, enrolling in your company 401(k) plan vs. not enrolling, lessening your factory's carbon emissions. An example of libertarian paternalism of which t
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David
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It starts out like many other pop psychology books, describing an array of psychology experiments that are so often in the literature. But, at some point in the book, the story takes a turn into a direction that few other books seem to touch. Nudge is really about the small, subtle pushes that our modern-day world makes to sway one's opinion or real-world choices.

The book devotes a separate chapter to each of several real-world scenarios. When a company g
...more
David
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
This is a terrific book. The authors cover terrain which has been explored recently in a whole slew of books: loosely speaking, why we humans persistently engage in behavior patterns which do not benefit us in the long term. Their own research, at the University of Chicago, builds upon the work of Tversky and Kahneman in behavioral economics (very much in vogue this past few years).

In the book, they provide a funny, engaging, remarkably clear exposition of the various factors which lead us to m
...more
Viola
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
As an economist, Nudge was a book that I desperately wanted to like. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Perhaps my low rating of the book stems from my high expectations of a book co-authored by the well-regarded behavioral economist Richard Thaler. Without such expectations, my rating might have been higher. But at the same time, without such expectations, I might not have bothered to read the book at all.

The only interesting part of the book is the first part, which consists of the first five
...more
Chris
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I second-guessed my purchase of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, almost the minute I received my Amazon e-mail receipt -- I had already read Malcom Gladwell's Blink, and heard about the literary disaster that is Sway, and yet there I was, reading Nudge's introduction about the arrangement of cafeteria food.

I'm glad I did. While Thaler and Sunstein are happy to revel in the small ways that their insights into "choice architecture"
...more
Loy Machedo
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

I love reading book.
Books on Thought-Provoking, Critical-Thinking, Cognitive Science, Business, Biographies, Self-Improvement and so on. But the most important characteristic I admire and love about a book, is its ability to make something simple and understandable.

Nudge is one book that fails to qualify the last criteria.

I presumed that this book was in relation to how we think, how the mind works and connect that to
...more
عبدالرحمن عقاب
هذا الكتاب ينقسم إلى جزئي الأول يناقش الأساس الذي يبني عليه الكاتب فكرته ونصيحته ( nudge ) والثاني هو ما يسعى فيه لإبداء النصح للحكومات والأفراد فيما يتعلق ببعض الشئون المالية والصحية والإجتماعية.
لذا كان القسم الثاني ويحتل ما يقارب ثلثي الكتاب لا فائدة منه بالنسبة للقاريء العربي مثلي، الذي لا شأن له في تقرير السياسات و القوانين.
لكن الجزء الأول من الكتاب على مدى 107 صفحات فيه الكثير من المعلومات والإشارات الجيدة و عرض لكثير من الدراسات المميزة في المجال. ويعطي للقاريء اشارات مهمة يمكن استخدامها
...more
Nicole Harkin
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who couldn’t use a little help accomplishing a pesky goal every now and again? I know I need help sometimes to get going on a story or making it to the gym. Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (of the University of Chicago) wrote the book as a manifesto to “improve decisions about health, wealth, and happiness.” Seeking to foster what they call a new movement of “libertarian paternalism,” the idea of the book melds individual freedom with the promotion by government of socially optimal de ...more
Christen
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I probably shouldn't rate and review a book I didn't make it all the way through, but I found myself getting more and more angry the further I went into this book. I liked the first part, where the authors discussed choice architecture generally. However, they then went on to discuss many choice architecture issues in a manner I found confusing. Two examples seem appropriate to consider. The authors seem to find fault with the way student loans are done. They seem to criticize schools for select ...more
Jeremy Kauffman
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a well-written book. The writing is prosaic. The pacing is meh. You will almost certainly have no trouble putting it down. It is, however, a book almost everyone should read - especially politicians, technocrats, and others in positions of public policy.

Sunstein and Thaler argue that dramatic changes in human behavior can be effected through sensible changes in "choice architecture". Choice architecture is the orchestration of options. It can range from how choices are presented (mak
...more
lyell bark
I did not find this book very helpful in Improving Decisious About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Hardcover) at all. I would rank it only one star, but in the midst of all the typical Ivy League gabbldeegook i found this truely inspired passage:

contemplation and hard abstract study belong to Saturn who is also the planet of the melancholy temperament, and the star which is inimical to the vital forces of life and youth. Melancholy students who have used up their vital forces in their studies, an
...more
Thomas Edmund
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It would be unfair to label Nudge as 'one of those pop-psychology books' as a. I frown on pop psychology and rate Nudge higher, and b. I'm trying not to generalise.

What I'm trying to say is Nudge fits into the same category as other insightful books such as Gladwell's Blink, or the recent Redirect

[[ASIN:0316010669 Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking]]

[[ASIN:0316051888 Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change]]

Beginning with a non-partisan disclaimer Nudge explores t
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Pap Lőrinc
Even though it has a very valuable core idea, it was a very difficult read for multiple reasons.

It's way too verbose and way too American.

I was expecting universal personality nudges, not american health industry changes that politicians should do, or 401k changes that Americans should consider, or the Boston system for choosing schools, or how you should allocate your stocks and bonds.

And all these in separate, excruciatingly long and detailed chapters, outlining history and unrelated details,
...more
Femina Ernest
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nudge - A Catalyst to change human routine Blunders. Thaler and Sunstein invite us to experience a new world like a Harry Potter Movie. Instead of Magic, Here he guides us with "Choice Architecture" pattern, which can help us to decide better and proceed smarter. I can say it's a proactive book. I like Parts like Money, Freedom among I love Author's intelligent case studies and explanations of "Save More Tomorrow, Choice Architecture, Saving the planet etc". When he talks about Dozen Nudges, I l ...more
Tuncer Şengöz
Kazancını maksimize etmeye çalışan akıllı yatırımcıların, her zaman aklın yolunu bulmasını bilen akılcı tüketicilerin, rasyonel insanların dünyasından "serbestçi ataerkil dürtmenin" toplumsal/ekonomik davranışlarımızı yönlendirmede en iyi yol olduğu düşüncesine geldik. Nobel ödüllü Thaler'in, davranışçı iktisat ve hukuk konularında çalışan düşünür Cass R. Sunstein'la ortaklaşa yazdığı kitap, insanların davranışlarının "istenen sonuçlar" vermesi için küçük dürtmelerle düzeltilmesi gerektiği ana f ...more
Siah
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book if you go into it with a little bit of an open mind. It will challenge many of your fundamental beliefs and principles. And while it might have not changed my core beliefs about supporting quality public education and gay marriage, it still provided a very solid argument to understand the opposing views. I believe everyone will find something on which to be challenged and at times offended. That will apply more so to the liberals than the conservatives. There were a few ...more
Orton Family Foundation
If you’re like most Americans, chances are you made a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym, lay off the smokes or eat more green vegetables. And again, if you’re anything like most Americans, chances are you and your resolution parted ways sometime around Valentine’s Day. Take heart: you’re not alone, and it’s not that you actually want to spend more hours watching sitcom reruns—you just need a nudge.

Most humans are remarkably bad at making choices in their own best interest. We make predictable
...more
Ran
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have the unfortunate habit of backtracking through citations in books I've recently finished. I like to see where the author(s) have pulled evidence from and how they use it. I found that Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow heavily cited Thaler's Nudge to the point that I basically needed to read this book. Then, the chicken or egg question started to repeat itself in my head while I was reading.

Nudge needs to be prefaced with the fact that Richard H. Thaler and Daniel Kahneman met at
...more
Ensiform
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, brain
The authors, both economists at University of Chicago, advocate what they call “paternal libertarianism” in order to improve an equal footing for all in the areas of health care, marriage, taxes, and so on, without impinging on freedom any more than absolutely necessary. They argue, reasonably, that everyone with a stake in an issue or a semblance of power is, whether they like it or not, a change architect – that even not interfering and allowing totally laissez-faire markets to evolve is still ...more
Steven Peterson
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting work. . . . It speaks of how conditions can be changed and perhaps improved by "nudging" people. Rather than "beating up" on people, subtly nudge them. Fascinating reading and very provocative. Is nudging good? Or manipulative?

The authors, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, faculty at the University of Chicago, define a “nudge” as (Page 6): “. . .is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significant
...more
Suz
Apr 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not what I thought it would be.

I somehow thought it would be about how to improve decision *making* for, say, yourself (which would impact things like Health, Wealth, and Happiness), but it was about choice architecture and how to frame choices to make people choose what you think they should choose.

Which might have been interesting if that's what the book covered. There was a little bit about "choice architecture" in the beginning, but nothing that extended further than common sens
...more
Kadijah Michelle
To understand my five star rating there are a few things you must understand about me. First, I love economics, and this book is not for the casual Freakonomics reader, but for someone who really cares about the subject. Second, I share the authors' politics. I have been shouting some of the policies they promote in this book for as long as I can remember. Like marriage! Come on, why does the government need to stick it's nose into the definition of something that is clearly between the people m ...more
Q.T. Pi
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
So basically we all need to reprogram our brain with little nudges because humans are inherently irrational creatures. I can buy it. Thaler goes on to explain throughout the text that a majority of the time our brain is operating in an autopilot mode. Our conscious thought is reserved for decisions we need to focus on, and can't always handle the stress of making decisions when it matters.

We are burdened with too much or too little information, which leaves us feeling lost or overwhelmed and we
...more
Serena
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Thaler is one of the BIG names of cognitive psychology. His work is covered in some of my graduate psychology courses, and to get a leg up, I decided to read his book for the public. Books for the public are more direct and entertaining than anything published in scholarly journals.

In Nudge, Thaler and his partner Sunstein make the case that everyday decisions in our lives are influenced in substantial ways by our environment. These influences are predictable and systematic. For example, a defa
...more
Doğan
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
İyisin hoşsun ama çok Amerikalısın.
Chad Warner
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: .net Magazine
This book opened my eyes to how humans make decisions, and how easily they can be influenced by their peers and by the way choices are presented to them. Through engaging research and entertaining anecdotes, it shows how to “architect” choices to nudge people towards certain decisions. The authors call this “libertarian paternalism”, because it uses incentives to motivate desired behavior rather than using command and control measures like laws and bans. I highly recommend this book for its prac ...more
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619 followers
Richard H. Thaler was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics. He is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he is the director of the Center for Decision Research. He is also the co-director (with Robert Shiller) of the Behavioral Economics Project at the National Bureau of Economi ...more
More about Richard H. Thaler

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“A choice architect has the responsibility for organizing the context in which people make decisions.” 10 likes
“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 7 likes
More quotes…