Prof. Castleman Co-Authors Huffington Post Piece on Effective Nudging


Huffington Post

In Huffington Post op-ed, Prof. Castleman discusses best ways to nudge individuals into participating in certain behaviors

Nudging in a Sludge-Filled World

Even in “successful” nudges, a substantial portion of the population seems immune. For example, while using stuffed aliens as reminders was more effective than was using a non-distinctive cue, it still prompted less than a quarter of participants to use the researchers’ coupon, despite the fact that using the coupon would save the shopper money. So even in the best case, 75% of participants were not doing something in their own self-interest.

What’s getting in the way of these nudges? 

The problem may be something we’re calling “sludge” - (1) characteristics of the decision environment or (2) characteristics of the decision-maker that limit the effectiveness of a nudge. To design more effective interventions, we need to address both of these sludge sources.