In NWO project Wink (Welfare improvement through nudging knowledge) we investigate effectiveness, ethics and feasibility of nudging for public health purposes. The project is a collaboration between Wageningen University and Utrecht University and a number of external partners (RIVM, WRR, RVS, Gemeente Utrecht).
In the project on ethics of nudging, we investigate to what extent specific nudges in different domains are legitimate by studying the acceptance of nudges and the impact nudges have on autonomous decision making. In the autumn, we start a study to investigate the effect of nudging on the experienced autonomy of health workers in a hospital setting. The nudge will aim to change behaviour in relation to infectious diseases (e.g., promoting hand hygiene, uptake of influenza vaccination). We also investigate to what extent the nudge in this setting is deemed acceptable (according the health workers). Nudging hospital care workers makes an interesting case, as nudges for health care workers are not intended to benefit their own health but the health of others (patients). This research project is most relevant for students who want to combine quantitative and qualitative research methods and who are interested in applying behavioural change techniques (such as nudging) in practice.