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Submitted by aldo matteucci on

Excellent - it night further profit from focusing on two related issues which tend to shape its usefulness.

(a) Nudging does not aim at the individual, but the population. For that aim, success is measured by a "good enough" result of the group, not individual compliance. This is often insufficiently or imperfectly explained. Intuitively, however, it runs contrary to our ingrained ideology of self-evident personal rights and obligations as well as personal autonomy.

(b) Nudge must be as imperceptible as possible - the Chinese speak of wu wei: action without action. Confrontations - even for educational purposes (as in the case of plastic straws) - could be counterproductive. Therefore, local tweaking of a nudge is essential.

In the same vein, one might like to sever a direct link between information and action (a version of the Hume's guillotine). We need to become comfortable with the information (internalize it) before we "autonomously" decide to act on it. Anything else is often perceived as bullying.