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Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  396 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Every day we make countless decisions, from the small, mundane things to tackling life’s big questions, but we don’t always make the right choices.

Behavioural scientist Dr David Halpern heads up Number 10’s ‘Nudge Unit’, the world’s first government institution that uses behavioural economics to examine and influence human behaviour, to ‘nudge’ us into making better decis
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published August 27th 2015 by Virgin Digital (first published May 7th 2015)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  396 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
For Aristotle, the pursuit of ‘eudaimonia’ – let’s call it happiness for the moment – was the ultimate objective in life, since all other goals, be they material or spiritual, were a means to this end. He saw it as a distinguishing feature of humans that we could use our reasoning to choose actions that would attain this state: seeing through momentary pleasures, or discomforts, to fashion a life of virtue, intellectual curiosity and friendship, and through these attain a deep sense of what we
Sarah Clement
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
There's a lot of useful and interesting information in here, but I didn't feel like it provided me with a lot more insight than Nudge or Nudge, Nudge, Think Think. Like some other readers, I was disappointed to see that it didn't really offer any more insight into the operation of the Nudge unit than previous books, which would have offered something distinct and interesting. As with all books on behaviour change, I am always skeptical about how long the impact of interventions last, and in gene ...more
Jay Hennessey
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
Thought provoking read - 3.5+stars

I really liked this book - it was really interesting to hear the details of the Behavioral Insight Team. One of the leadership / behavioral takeaways is that if you want to make a change, think EAST - Easy, Attractive, Social (show that everyone is doing it) and Time (when most receptive).

The book is full of great examples and adds to much of what I have read in other books on the topic (Nudge by Thaler; Work Rules by Laszlo Bock)

I recommend this book to leader
Harald Groven
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of inspiring case studies from the UK on how to use behavioural science to make government more efficient without sacrificing either citizens' freedom nor money.
Good intro to the EAST framework (make services Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely).

Reads like a business book, except that its change in the government sector, not the private sector that is encouraged. Lots of practical advice on both political, administrative, psychological factors on how to make policies evidence based.
Stephan Hogenboom
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: behaviour
I read this book after reading Nudge and Thinking slow & fast. It adds little in terms of behavioural insights. It does add policy to the equation
Rob Thompson
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: physical, non-fiction
The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), also known unofficially as the "Nudge Unit", is an organisation that was set up to apply nudge theory (behavioural economics and psychology) to try to improve government policy and services as well as to save the UK government money.

Originally set up as a team within the Cabinet Office, it is now a limited company, Behavioural Insights Limited. It is headed by psychologist David Halpern. Although specific ideas devised by BIT have been imitated in several oth
Grace Dickinson
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A few of the chapters I found to be a bit repetitive and got a bit lost in empirical data and experimental facts and figures, however as a whole the concept of the book really intrigued me. Of particular interest to me was the chapter on happiness and well-being: examining the keys to our own happiness and how we can make conscious choices to work towards that- and aim policies to encourage it. My favorite inquiry the book makes: we measure GDP so closely, yet we still don't have mechanisms to m ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very enjoyable and fascinating. Even though my own personal politics takes a typically dim view of government interference in society, this was a superb book detailing the life of the BIT and the persuasion techniques used to deliver improved results.

Whether pro-nudge or sceptical of nudging, its one of the best in genre that I've read.

Though the term 'libertarian paternalism' is an offense to the language of political philosophy, this is just classic paternalism done with a bit of thinking.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I really liked the book in the beginning, with fun and inspiring ways to nudge (and not force by penalising or rewarding) people to improve. The focus in on governmental ways for this, with examples from the writer's experience in the UK.
But the book lost me a bit in the second half, it seemed repetitive and not adding new insights and information. Also, which was to be expected, it is very Anglo-Saxon, and while it acknowledges that, the writer seems to dismiss the other options and complexitie
Alice Chau-Ginguene
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is a book with a very interesting subject matter - behavioural science. However, I am a bit disappointed the book is a bit different than what I thought it would be. I thought it would cover more the actual science part but as it turns out it is more about the history of how behavioural science become mainstream in government worldwide. It is still interesting nonetheless but just quite a bit different than what I expected.
Maciek Wilczyński
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amazing introduction to behavioral economics, written by one of the best scientists in the discipline -Richard Thaler. Funny, contains anecdotes and real life examples. One of these books, which changed my interests and made me a huge fan of behavioral economics.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: work
If you have any interest in this area you'll already be familiar with the background theory and many of the case studies. Nevertheless, it's an engaging overview of how UK government began to embrace behavioural science. Some fascinating insights into the workings of Whitehall too.
Jules Arntz-Gray
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for public policy regulators.
Robert Crow
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Adds a dimension to the other "nudge" books.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent introduction to the tools of behavioural economics and history of the BIU in the U.K. Fascinating examples and insights including many you can use in your own life and work.
Alex Taylor
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Slightly overlong but some thought provoking and very useful stuff in here.
Interesting read. Great to learn about ways in which it is possible to subtly influence behaviour, and how the government has actually been using these insights. Social pschology in action.
Miriam Williams
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read for work. Interesting principles.
Peter Gasston
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, non-fiction
Interesting, rather than fascinating.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was ok

Nudge but for UK policy wonks. Decent but undistinguished, lots of detail about how Whitehall does and doesn't work.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Classical economics assumes that human beings are perfectly rational and formulates theories on that basis. But is it flawed ? Yes as demonstrated by behavioural scientists and psychologists in a number of fun-to-read books accessible to even us laymen. But, the question is, if "behavioural economics" is a science, to what use can its findings be put to ? Other than those fun-to-read books ofcourse.
This book tries to show how findings of behavioural economics were put to use in public policy by
Benjamin De Baets
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
In reply to 'Who's nudging the nudgers?', the dictum made famous by Alan Moore: we should nudge the nudgers into nudging us better (should make a great inspirational poster)!

Adjusting the words of Eric Arthur Blair, who failed to predict the coming of the NUDGE (which shouldn't be a terrible surprise, as he even failed to predict the meteoric rise of the personal computer) ,big momma will still be nudging you in the future, so we better use behavioural insights to become engineers of our minds a
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Wigal
Oct 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting book. A bit too much "inside baseball" on how the teams were developed. Also Halpern tended to go over the same turf repeatedly. But the nudge concept is fascinating. I probably should have read the original book "Nudge," by Thaler and Sunstein.
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
Covers a few real case studies to implementation of behavioural insights to achieve change. Introduction to nudge framework.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
must read for experimental economists and government of india officials tasked with policymaking across departments
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting and accessible introduction to Behavioural Insight and Economics, using examples of its application in UK government.
Alistair Gilfillan
rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2019
Des Route
rated it it was ok
Feb 09, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2019
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