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''Nudging the obese: a UK–US consideration''. Over recent years, nudge policies have become increasingly popular (if somewhat confused) internationally. This article attempts to clarify what a nudge entails, and critically summarises some...

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''Nudging the obese: a UK–US consideration''. Over recent years, nudge policies have become increasingly popular (if somewhat confused) internationally. This article attempts to clarify what a nudge entails, and critically summarises some of the nudge policies that have been proposed to motivate weight loss in the United Kingdom and the United States. Despite the fact that most of the evidence on nudge-related policy has so far been produced in the United States, and that the leading nudge champions are American, the United Kingdom, at least with respect to considering policy interventions of this kind at the national level, appears to be relatively advanced. That said, nudge interventions remain of marginal practical import everywhere, and are never going to solve completely the obesity problem. Nonetheless, even a marginal effect may extend and improve many lives, a result that would satisfy most behavioural economists.

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''Nudging legally: On the checks and balances of behavioral regulation'' (2014). As behavioral sciences are unearthing the complex cognitive framework in which people make decisions, policymakers seem increasingly ready to design...

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''Nudging legally: On the checks and balances of behavioral regulation'' (2014). As behavioral sciences are unearthing the complex cognitive framework in which people make decisions, policymakers seem increasingly ready to design behaviorally informed regulations to induce behavior change in the interests of the individual and society. After discussing what behavioral sciences have to offer to administrative law, this article explores the extent to which administrative law may accommodate their findings into the regulatory process. After presenting the main regulatory tools capable of operationalizing behavioral insights, it builds a case for integrating them into public policymaking. In particular, it identifies the need to develop a legal framework capable of ensuring that behavioral considerations may inform the regulatory process while at the same time guaranteeing citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms vis-à-vis the regulatory state.

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''Supermarket and Grocery Store–Based Interventions to Promote Healthful Food Choices and Eating Practices: A Systematic Review''. Increasingly high rates of obesity have heightened interest among researchers and practitioners in...

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''Supermarket and Grocery Store–Based Interventions to Promote Healthful Food Choices and Eating Practices: A Systematic Review''. Increasingly high rates of obesity have heightened interest among researchers and practitioners in identifying evidence-based interventions to increase access to healthful foods and beverages. Because most food purchasing decisions are made in food stores, such settings are optimal for interventions aimed at influencing these decisions. The objective of this review was to synthesize the evidence on supermarket and grocery store interventions to promote healthful food choices.

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''Partitioned Shopping Carts: Assortment Allocation Cues that Increase Fruit and Vegetable Purchases''. Building on the notion of implied social norms, we propose that partitioning a shopping cart for targeted healthy foods (such as fruits...

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''Partitioned Shopping Carts: Assortment Allocation Cues that Increase Fruit and Vegetable Purchases''. Building on the notion of implied social norms, we propose that partitioning a shopping cart for targeted healthy foods (such as fruits and vegetables) may increase their sales. Two converging studies in grocery stores show that most shoppers purchased fruits and vegetables in quantities relative to the size of their allocated partition within a shopping cart. In addition, an online shopping study suggests that partitions are effective because they suggest purchase norms and not simply because they increase salience. Partitioning is a neglected tool with key implications for retailers and e-retailers who wish to stimulate sales in overlooked categories.

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''Nudging: A Very Short Guide''. This brief essay offers a general introduction to the idea of nudging, along with a list of ten of the most important “nudges.” It also provides a short discussion of the question whether to create some...

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''Nudging: A Very Short Guide''. This brief essay offers a general introduction to the idea of nudging, along with a list of ten of the most important “nudges.” It also provides a short discussion of the question whether to create some kind of separate “behavioral insights unit,” capable of conducting its own research, or instead to rely on existing institutions. For a discussion on the ethical aspects of nudging, the same author has written the paper ''The Ethics of Nudging''. 

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Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Cass Sunstein was the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. Thaler is considered one of the founding fathers of...

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Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Cass Sunstein was the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration. Thaler is considered one of the founding fathers of Behavioural Economics. The book draws on research in psychology and behavioural economics to put forward the concept of libertarian paternalism and active engineering of choice architecture in order to influence people to make decisions that will have more positive impacts on their lives. See the authors discuss nudging in this 2013 discussion at Harvard University, '"Nudging" Policy: Behavioral Economics in the Public Square'

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A group of scientists from different fields and different geographies who work together on scientific projects related to behavioural aspects of alcoholic beverages consumption

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A group of scientists from different fields and different geographies who work together on scientific projects related to behavioural aspects of alcoholic beverages consumption

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A survey in 2014 by Cornell University's Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (B.E.N.) showed that 19,000 public schools—or almost a quarter of all schools—had employed one of the nudges the center advocates. This...

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A survey in 2014 by Cornell University's Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (B.E.N.) showed that 19,000 public schools—or almost a quarter of all schools—had employed one of the nudges the center advocates. This article features five nudge ideas that B.E.N suggests. 

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Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and also the co-founder of BEworks (a consultancy that “applies behavioural economics to...

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Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and also the co-founder of BEworks (a consultancy that “applies behavioural economics to real-world challenges”). Ariely's talks on TED have been watched over 4.8 million times. He is the author of the New York Times best seller Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, which challenges assumptions about making decisions based on rational thought. He wrote and article in McKinsey voices “How to Turn Consumers Green” 

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Considered one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, he won the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in prospect theory. The theory states that people make decisions based on the potential value of losses...

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Considered one of the founding fathers of behavioural economics, he won the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in prospect theory. The theory states that people make decisions based on the potential value of losses and gains rather than the final outcome, and that people evaluate these losses and gains using certain heuristics. He is notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, and hedonic psychology. His book Thinking, Fast and Slow, which summarizes much of his research, is a best seller. 

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There is debate about the ethics of “nudging” and whether the approach is paternalistic, manipulative, etc. In a new essay Cass Sunstein shows that existing evidence supports five general conclusions. First, there is widespread support for...

There is debate about the ethics of “nudging” and whether the approach is paternalistic, manipulative, etc. In a new essay Cass Sunstein shows that existing evidence supports five general conclusions. First, there is widespread support for nudges across partisan lines. Second, the support diminishes when people fear that because of inertia and inattention, citizens might end up with outcomes that they do not like. Third, there appears to be mildly greater support for nudges that appeal to conscious, deliberative thinking than for nudges that affect subconscious processing, though there can be widespread approval of the latter as well (especially if they are meant to combat self-control problems). Fourth, people’s assessment of nudges in general will be greatly affected by the political value of the particular nudges. Fifth, transparency about nudging will not, in general, reduce the effectiveness of nudges, because most nudges are already transparent.

Link to the article. 

''Using health primes to reduce unhealthy snack purchases among overweight consumers in a grocery store''. Healthy-eating intentions of overweight individuals are often thwarted by the presence of attractive food temptations in grocery...

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''Using health primes to reduce unhealthy snack purchases among overweight consumers in a grocery store''. Healthy-eating intentions of overweight individuals are often thwarted by the presence of attractive food temptations in grocery stores and the home environment. To support healthy-eating intentions, we tested the effectiveness of a simple health prime to reduce the purchases of energy-dense snack foods in a grocery store among overweight individuals.

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''Behavioural Sciences in Practice: Lessons for EU Policymakers''. This article by Fabiana Di Porto and Nicoletta Rangone establishes how the regulatory process should change in order to bring out and use evidence from cognitive sciences....

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''Behavioural Sciences in Practice: Lessons for EU Policymakers''. This article by Fabiana Di Porto and Nicoletta Rangone establishes how the regulatory process should change in order to bring out and use evidence from cognitive sciences. It further discusses the impact of cognitive sciences on the regulatory toolkit, positing that, on the one hand, traditional tools should be rethought about; and, on the other, that the regulatory toolkit should be enriched by two more strategies: empowerment and nudging (where the first eases the overcoming of cognitive and behavioural limitations, while the second exploits them).

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A podcast hosted by one of the authors of Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner, who interviews economists researching subjects like ‘conspicuous conservation,’ which means signalling one’s altruism through consumption (in Hey Baby, Is That a Prius...

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A podcast hosted by one of the authors of Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner, who interviews economists researching subjects like ‘conspicuous conservation,’ which means signalling one’s altruism through consumption (in Hey Baby, Is That a Prius You’re Driving?), or how to encourage pro-social behaviour via the ‘herd mentality,’ which is humans’ psychological tendency to want to be part of the majority (in Riding the Herd Mentality

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''Placement and promotion strategies to increase sales of healthier products in supermarkets in low-income, ethnically diverse neighborhoods: a randomized controlled trial''. The greater presence of supermarkets in low-income,...

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''Placement and promotion strategies to increase sales of healthier products in supermarkets in low-income, ethnically diverse neighborhoods: a randomized controlled trial''. The greater presence of supermarkets in low-income, high-minority neighborhoods has the potential to positively affect diet quality among those at greatest risk of obesity. In-store marketing strategies that draw attention to healthier products may be effective, sustainable, and scalable for improving diet quality and health. Few controlled studies of in-store marketing strategies to promote sales of healthier items in low-income, high-minority neighborhoods have been conducted. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of in-store marketing strategies to promote the purchase of specific healthier items in 5 product categories: milk, ready-to-eat cereal, frozen meals, in-aisle beverages, and checkout cooler beverages.

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Hunt Allcott is an Assistant Professor of Economics at New York University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He authored the oft-cited research that found offering feedback to consumers on their...

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Hunt Allcott is an Assistant Professor of Economics at New York University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He authored the oft-cited research that found offering feedback to consumers on their energy consumption in the form of smiley or frowny faces impacted their behaviour. “The Short-Run and Long-Run Effects of Behavioral Interventions: Experimental Evidence from Energy Conservation."

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Olivier Oullier, PhD, is an expert on the behavioural and brain mechanisms of decision-making in improving strategy, risk management and policy-making. His paper written together with Sarah Sauneron '''Green nudges': new incentives for...

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Olivier Oullier, PhD, is an expert on the behavioural and brain mechanisms of decision-making in improving strategy, risk management and policy-making. His paper written together with Sarah Sauneron '''Green nudges': new incentives for ecological behaviour'' features green nudges that favour environmentally friendly choices and lifestyles. The paper ''Improving public health prevention with a nudge'' written by Olivier Oullier, Robert Cialdini, Richard H. Thaler and Sendhil Mullainathan lists interesting examples of nudging in the public health sector. Both papers were published by the Centre for Strategic Analysis (Centre d’analyse stratégique), a research and advisory institution under the authority of the French Prime Minister.

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PSI is one of Britain's leading research institutes. PSI's principal current focus is on the environment and sustainable development. The primary role of PSI is to inform and influence public policy through research. "Contrary to the...

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PSI is one of Britain's leading research institutes. PSI's principal current focus is on the environment and sustainable development. The primary role of PSI is to inform and influence public policy through research.

"Contrary to the belief of many economists, consumers very rarely weigh-up the full costs and benefits of their purchasing decisions. Instead, they are strongly influenced by emotional factors, the behaviour of other people, by habits, and by the use of mental short-cuts, which all help to speed up decision-making," it notes.

"Rather than being consistent, consumer preferences have also been shown to be inconsistent, changing over time and according to the situation and the way in which information is presented. In turn, while information provision and choice are important, neither necessarily leads to improved consumer decision-making or changes in consumer behaviour,"

Designing policy to influence consumers: Consumer behaviour relating to the purchasing of environmentally preferable goods

Includes a review of behavioural economics and marketing literature, as well as a summary of the main influencers of consumer behaviour and recommendations for using this information (p 5-8).

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Convincing people to buy into green, renewable energy plans could be as simple as making it their default option, suggests a new study co-authored by a Stanford behavioral economist, Sebastian Lotz.

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Convincing people to buy into green, renewable energy plans could be as simple as making it their default option, suggests a new study co-authored by a Stanford behavioral economist, Sebastian Lotz.

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Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion on persuasion and marketing popularised the concept of “social proof,” a theory that describes humans’ tendency to want to do what others do. It is one of 6 ‘key principles of...

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Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion on persuasion and marketing popularised the concept of “social proof,” a theory that describes humans’ tendency to want to do what others do. It is one of 6 ‘key principles of influence’ he put forward. 

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Sara Bleich, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has translated nutrition information into exercise equivalents. Her latest findings on the effectiveness of the concept are published in the American...

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Sara Bleich, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has translated nutrition information into exercise equivalents. Her latest findings on the effectiveness of the concept are published in the American Journal of Public Health. In the study, researchers posted signs next to the soda and juice in Baltimore corner stores that read: “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about 50 minutes of running?” or “Did you know that working off a bottle of soda or fruit juice takes about five miles of walking?” The questions effectively led to fewer juice and soda purchases, and to purchases of smaller sizes (12-ounce cans instead of 20-ounce bottles). 

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Sendhil Mullainathan is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and the author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. He conducts research on development economics, behavioural economics, and corporate finance.

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Sendhil Mullainathan is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University, and the author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. He conducts research on development economics, behavioural economics, and corporate finance.

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''Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness'', The Conference Board of Canada, 52 pages, January 15, 2015. Report by David Verbeeten.  This report explores “nudging,” a new, cost-effective policy tool than can...

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''Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness'', The Conference Board of Canada, 52 pages, January 15, 2015. Report by David Verbeeten. 
This report explores “nudging,” a new, cost-effective policy tool than can be used to modify behaviours that cause disease or undermine our well-being, thereby improving quality of life and the sustainability of health care systems. 

Behaviours such as smoking, drinking, eating too much, and exercising too little impose a huge disease burden on individuals and societies. “Nudging” is a new approach that policy-makers and others can use to modify such behaviours, with the goal of improving quality of life and the sustainability of health care systems. Nudges are little cues that can help us make better decisions about our lifestyles. Rather than using coercion, prohibition, or large financial incentives to influence decision-making, nudges leverage the scientific insights of behavioural economics and cognitive psychology to influence conduct. Usually inexpensive and simple to implement, they are cost-effective and are intended to act as a supplement and occasionally an alternative to conventional mechanisms such as regulation and legislation. The Canadian government has recently expressed its interest in exploring the potential of nudging within the public service, and the nudge agenda has already been pursued by governments within the United Kingdom and the United States with positive results.

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The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) is a Pan-European think tank exploring sustainable development options for European societies. They are involved in the EU FP7 Project GLAMURS, for which a team of 11 European research...

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The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) is a Pan-European think tank exploring sustainable development options for European societies. They are involved in the EU FP7 Project GLAMURS, for which a team of 11 European research institutions will be working on “Green Lifestyles, Alternative Models and Upscaling Regional Sustainability” until the end of 2016. Around 50 researchers will work on “what lifestyles are” and how these will or will not change towards contributing to sustainable development. In 7 regions all over Europe, groups pioneering in sustainable lifestyles will contribute their knowledge to the project. Results from the project will also be communicated to EU policy makers in two workshops in Brussels during the course of the project. 

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The mission at the Sustainable Consumption Institute is to bring insight and clarity to a key part of the sustainability challenge: the role of consumption. The institute takes original insights from the Social Sciences, insights that...

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The mission at the Sustainable Consumption Institute is to bring insight and clarity to a key part of the sustainability challenge: the role of consumption. The institute takes original insights from the Social Sciences, insights that often challenge orthodox thinking, and subject them to critical empirical scrutiny. This, they believe, is essential for advancing fundamental understandings about processes of consumption and social change.
 
Their research approach develops novel methodologies for addressing key research questions, including the use of a wide range of data and comparative methodologies that recognise sustainable consumption is an international challenge.

Through an ambitious research programme they tackle head-on the scale and urgency of societal responses required to address sustainability – responses that require collaboration between a wide-range of stakeholders, including businesses and policy-makers, who can both benefit from and contribute to their research.

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The Behavioural Science group at WBS focuses on the interaction between the natural science and social science approaches to understanding behaviour. The group is highly interdisciplinary, using methods drawn from psychology, economics,...

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The Behavioural Science group at WBS focuses on the interaction between the natural science and social science approaches to understanding behaviour. The group is highly interdisciplinary, using methods drawn from psychology, economics, philosophy, mathematics and statistics. The group conducts basic research, but is also heavily involved in applications for business and policy.

Based on the idea of hackathons, the WBS Behavioural Science Group in conjunction with Which? organised the world’s first “Nudgeathon” in March 2015, with the objective to enable students to develop genuinely implementable solutions to a consumer issue Link

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