Nudge is a concept in behavioural economics, political theory, and behavioural sciences. which proposes positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as ways to influence the behaviour and decision making of groups or individuals. Nudging contrasts with other ways to achieve compliance, such as education, legislation or enforcement.

A nudge, as we will use the term, is an aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates.
For example, Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not.


The old elephant nudges younger to move forward.


Nudges Examples

A nudge makes it more likely that an individual will make a particular choice, or behave in a particular way, by altering the environment so that automatic cognitive processes are triggered to favour the desired outcome.

In this form, drawing on behavioural economics, the nudge is more generally applied to influence behaviour. Nudge as a concept could be implemented in lots of different fields, and within the same solution or concept, you may rely on multiple nudges with multiple interaction/communication models.


An individual’s behaviour is not always in alignment with their intentions (termed a value-action gap). It is common knowledge that humans are not fully rational beings; that is, people will often do something that is not in their own self-interest, even when they are aware that their actions are not in their best interest.

As an example, when hungry, people who diet often underestimate their ability to lose weight, and their intentions to eat healthily can be temporarily weakened until they are satiated.

Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman describes two distinct systems for processing the information as to why people sometimes act against their own self-interest:

System 1 is fast, automatic, and highly susceptible to environmental influences:

When situations are overly complex or overwhelming for an individual’s cognitive capacity, or when an individual is faced with time-constraints or other pressures, System 1 processing takes over decision-making.

System 1 processing relies on various judgmental heuristics to make decisions, resulting in faster decisions. Unfortunately, this can also lead to sub-optimal decisions. In fact, Thaler and Sunstein trace maladaptive behaviour to situations in which System 1 processing over-rides an individual’s explicit values and goals. It is well documented that habitual behaviour is resistant to change without disruption to the environmental cues that trigger that behaviour.

System 2 processing is slow, reflective, and takes into account explicit goals and intentions.

Nudge ideally is not targeting dealing with system 2, even though the core concept could be implemented in both cases.


Nudging techniques aim to use judgmental heuristics to the advantage of the party creating the set of choices. In other words, a nudge alters the environment so that when heuristic, or System 1, decision-making is used, the resulting choice will be the most positive or desired outcome.

An example of such a nudge is switching the placement of junk food in a store so that fruit and other healthy options are located next to the cash register, while junk food is relocated to another part of the store.

Nudges could widely be implemented, whatever the field, goal and group of users you are targeting. Moreover, you can reuse the nudges of a specific area to serve your purpose on another, after implementing and addressing the core differences for sure.

For example, based on Craig Stoss article “7 Types of Nudges to Provide Better Customer Experience” he mentioned these points:

Read the full article to get the full idea of what he meant. but as you can see, and due to the Due to the Interference between different models and touchpoints. Inspiration and unification are doable now.


It’s important to remember that nudge core characteristics are

  1. Nudges Maintain Freedom of Choice.
  2. Transparency and Effectiveness.
  3. The Need for Evidence and Testing.

Ten Important Nudges

  • default rules
  • simplification
  • uses of social norms
  • increases in ease and convenience
  • disclosure
  • warnings, graphic or otherwise
  • precommitment strategies
  • reminders
  • informing people of the nature and consequences of their own past choices.

More information could be found here.

References & Further Readings About Nudge theory

  1. Nudge theory - Wikipedia

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  2. Nudge-Learning In The Workplace - eLearning Industry

    Do you know what nudge theory is? Read this article to learn more about nudge-learning and how it can help solve modern-day workplace issues.

  3. 4 Tips for Using Nudge Theory in Your Learning | Learning solutions | Talent Management System

    Nudge theory has gained a lot of attention in recent years. But what exactly is nudge theory and how can it be applied in your learning programs?

  4. 10 Examples of Nudge Theory

    Positive reinforcement and indirect suggestion may be nudges. Nudge Theory is a behavioral, influence, and motivation worth studying.

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  6. 7 Types of Nudges to Provide Better Customer Experience

    How to use nudges within your product, or service offerings to drive value for customers? Let's explore applying the "nudge" concept to customer experience!

  7. A Brief History of Nudge ㅡ Learn the power of nudge to win at behavioral change

    Learn the power of nudge to win at behavioral change !

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