What could and should public policy makers do with new insights from the behavioural sciences?
Nudges are subtle changes in the choice architecture. For example: put the healthy product in the front of the supermarket shelf. Or place clear signs ‘stairs’ in an office building. The choice is guided, but not limited. You can still buy the unhealthy food, or take the elevator.In this series we explore the effectiveness of nudges, their usability for (health-)policy, and the ethics behind their use.
The promise of nudging is that governments can help citizens make better decisions without harming their autonomy and freedom. Should governments nudge their citizens in the 'good' direction by anticipating their predictable irrational behaviour? Or does this necessarily lead to paternalism, manipulation and technocracy? How can policy makers tempt citizens to behave more healthy and sustainable? Is it enough to make healthy and sustainable options more available, prominent and attractive? Jasper Zuure will discuss what public policy makers could and should do with new insights from the behavioural sciences. In the process he will explore the conditions under which nudges can replace more coercive instruments.
Jasper Zuure is Senior Consultant at the Dutch Council for Public Health & Society (RV&S) and the Dutch Centre for Ethics and Health (CEG). He graduated (cum laude) in Social and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University in 2009 and is currently writing a dissertation on mass psychology in political philosophy.