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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  77,658 ratings  ·  3,908 reviews
From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions

New York Times bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times

Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes
Paperback, Revised and Expanded Edition, 260 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published April 8th 2008)
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Joan Beyond the first few chapters where the premise is explained, the book is American in its recommendations. Depending on where you live and read, it mi…moreBeyond the first few chapters where the premise is explained, the book is American in its recommendations. Depending on where you live and read, it might not be relevant to you.(less)

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Anya Weber
I don't understand why this is a runaway bestseller--it's just not that enthralling. I've been reading lots of books lately about behavioral psychology and economics: why people make the decisions we do, economically and in other life areas. But Predictably Irrational and Made to Stick both explore these questions in a much more engaging way.

"Nudge" is mostly concerned with how companies and governments can practice what the authors term "libertarian paternalism"--gently, noncoercively pushing p
This one took me longer to read that is reasonable for a book of its length or the clear style it is written in. I mean, such a simply written text of 250 pages ought to have finished in no time. The problem was that I don’t live in the US and so many of the examples made the book a struggle for me. All the same, there are ideas in this book that are important no matter where you live.

Don’t you just love the internet? I wanted to start this paragraph with that quote by Göring, “when I hear the w
da AL
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The book has some value, but the title led me to pick it up under the belief that it might help me to understand myself better and learn better ways to navigate my choices. It turned out to be more of a laundry list of examples how businesses try to manipulate us, a list that was nudged into book-length...
Jan 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This comes with a whole bunch of big name endorsements – the physicist Brian Appleyard, Stephen Leavitt (of Freakanomics fame) and we’re told by the end of Introduction that it is making an impact with Obama and Cameron and so having a policy impact in both the UK and USA. What is more, it is now marketed as a ‘new international edition’. As I ploughed my way through this I kept thinking of a comment by the great photographer Eve Arnold to the effect (and with a few more expletives) that she was ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub-reads
December bookclub read for my sit in bookclub and when I checked in my book shop for this Book and was directed to the ECONOMICS/BUSINESS section I did quite a bit of eye rolling, I had automatically decided I wasn't going to like this book and as christmas reading goes this was going to be a taxing read. But I was pleasantly surprised at how readable and relatable the book was and how our decision making can be influenced by Nudges of all kinds and how society reacts to Nudges.

Only 3 out 10 peo
David Rubenstein
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It starts out like many other pop psychology books, describing an array of psychology experiments that are so often in the literature. But, at some point in the book, the story takes a turn into a direction that few other books seem to touch. Nudge is really about the small, subtle pushes that our modern-day world makes to sway one's opinion or real-world choices.

The book devotes a separate chapter to each of several real-world scenarios. When a company g
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
As an economist, Nudge was a book that I desperately wanted to like. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Perhaps my low rating of the book stems from my high expectations of a book co-authored by the well-regarded behavioral economist Richard Thaler. Without such expectations, my rating might have been higher. But at the same time, without such expectations, I might not have bothered to read the book at all.

The only interesting part of the book is the first part, which consists of the first five
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: got-rid-of, economics

Libertarians are always annoying, and these two are no exception. Their particular brand of libertarianism they call "libertarian paternalism" and it involves the idea of "nudges," which are things/designs/incentives that push people toward "better" options. "Better" options would include: choosing healthfullier food, not smoking, not driving drunk, enrolling in your company 401(k) plan vs. not enrolling, lessening your factory's carbon emissions. An example of libertarian paternalism of which t
Apr 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
This is a terrific book. The authors cover terrain which has been explored recently in a whole slew of books: loosely speaking, why we humans persistently engage in behavior patterns which do not benefit us in the long term. Their own research, at the University of Chicago, builds upon the work of Tversky and Kahneman in behavioral economics (very much in vogue this past few years).

In the book, they provide a funny, engaging, remarkably clear exposition of the various factors which lead us to m
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I second-guessed my purchase of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, almost the minute I received my Amazon e-mail receipt -- I had already read Malcom Gladwell's Blink, and heard about the literary disaster that is Sway, and yet there I was, reading Nudge's introduction about the arrangement of cafeteria food.

I'm glad I did. While Thaler and Sunstein are happy to revel in the small ways that their insights into "choice architecture"
Loy Machedo
Oct 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

I love reading book.
Books on Thought-Provoking, Critical-Thinking, Cognitive Science, Business, Biographies, Self-Improvement and so on. But the most important characteristic I admire and love about a book, is its ability to make something simple and understandable.

Nudge is one book that fails to qualify the last criteria.

I presumed that this book was in relation to how we think, how the mind works and connect that to
Thomas Edmund
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It would be unfair to label Nudge as 'one of those pop-psychology books' as a. I frown on pop psychology and rate Nudge higher, and b. I'm trying not to generalise.

What I'm trying to say is Nudge fits into the same category as other insightful books such as Gladwell's Blink, or the recent Redirect

[[ASIN:0316010669 Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking]]

[[ASIN:0316051888 Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change]]

Beginning with a non-partisan disclaimer Nudge explores t
Pap Lőrinc
Even though it has a very valuable core idea, it was a very difficult read for multiple reasons.

It's way too verbose and way too American.

I was expecting universal personality nudges, not american health industry changes that politicians should do, or 401k changes that Americans should consider, or the Boston system for choosing schools, or how you should allocate your stocks and bonds.

And all these in separate, excruciatingly long and detailed chapters, outlining history and unrelated details,
Jeremy Kauffman
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a well-written book. The writing is prosaic. The pacing is meh. You will almost certainly have no trouble putting it down. It is, however, a book almost everyone should read - especially politicians, technocrats, and others in positions of public policy.

Sunstein and Thaler argue that dramatic changes in human behavior can be effected through sensible changes in "choice architecture". Choice architecture is the orchestration of options. It can range from how choices are presented (mak
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Change is hard, yet there are things that can make it easier – or more difficult. I don't buy potato chips, as I can't just eat just one and a quart of ice cream sitting quietly in my freezer is not quiet and, instead, seems to scream my name.

There are also things that we can do at the institutional or governmental level to facilitate good decision-making. Absence of intentional influence is not the same as no influence.

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness was written b
Morgan Blackledge
It’s the first day of 2019, and I’m writing an addendum to the first review I wrote of this book in 2013 (see below).

Although this is a tedious read. In retrospect, this book, as well as Khanaman’s Thinking Fast and Slow remain profoundly influential on my work as a therapist.

So, I feel obliged to upgrade this from a 4 to 5 star review (with an asterisk)

The important takeaway of the book is that the environment (home, work, school, the DMV etc.) has a WAY bigger effect on our behavior than we
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book if you go into it with a little bit of an open mind. It will challenge many of your fundamental beliefs and principles. And while it might have not changed my core beliefs about supporting quality public education and gay marriage, it still provided a very solid argument to understand the opposing views. I believe everyone will find something on which to be challenged and at times offended. That will apply more so to the liberals than the conservatives. There were a few ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read daniel kahneman instead. That's the source. This is just some smart application. Behavioral econ in all things basically ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to C by: .net Magazine
Shelves: non-fiction
This book opened my eyes to how humans make decisions, and how easily they can be influenced by their peers and by the way choices are presented to them. Through engaging research and entertaining anecdotes, it shows how to “architect” choices to nudge people towards certain decisions. The authors call this “libertarian paternalism”, because it uses incentives to motivate desired behavior rather than using command and control measures like laws and bans. I highly recommend this book for its prac ...more
Nicole Harkin
Jul 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who couldn’t use a little help accomplishing a pesky goal every now and again? I know I need help sometimes to get going on a story or making it to the gym. Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (of the University of Chicago) wrote the book as a manifesto to “improve decisions about health, wealth, and happiness.” Seeking to foster what they call a new movement of “libertarian paternalism,” the idea of the book melds individual freedom with the promotion by government of socially optimal de ...more
Orton Family Foundation
If you’re like most Americans, chances are you made a New Year’s resolution to hit the gym, lay off the smokes or eat more green vegetables. And again, if you’re anything like most Americans, chances are you and your resolution parted ways sometime around Valentine’s Day. Take heart: you’re not alone, and it’s not that you actually want to spend more hours watching sitcom reruns—you just need a nudge.

Most humans are remarkably bad at making choices in their own best interest. We make predictable
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, brain
The authors, both economists at University of Chicago, advocate what they call “paternal libertarianism” in order to improve an equal footing for all in the areas of health care, marriage, taxes, and so on, without impinging on freedom any more than absolutely necessary. They argue, reasonably, that everyone with a stake in an issue or a semblance of power is, whether they like it or not, a change architect – that even not interfering and allowing totally laissez-faire markets to evolve is still ...more
Steven Peterson
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting work. . . . It speaks of how conditions can be changed and perhaps improved by "nudging" people. Rather than "beating up" on people, subtly nudge them. Fascinating reading and very provocative. Is nudging good? Or manipulative?

The authors, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, faculty at the University of Chicago, define a “nudge” as (Page 6): “. . .is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significant
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I probably shouldn't rate and review a book I didn't make it all the way through, but I found myself getting more and more angry the further I went into this book. I liked the first part, where the authors discussed choice architecture generally. However, they then went on to discuss many choice architecture issues in a manner I found confusing. Two examples seem appropriate to consider. The authors seem to find fault with the way student loans are done. They seem to criticize schools for select ...more
lyell bark
I did not find this book very helpful in Improving Decisious About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Hardcover) at all. I would rank it only one star, but in the midst of all the typical Ivy League gabbldeegook i found this truely inspired passage:

contemplation and hard abstract study belong to Saturn who is also the planet of the melancholy temperament, and the star which is inimical to the vital forces of life and youth. Melancholy students who have used up their vital forces in their studies, an
Q.T. Pi
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
So basically we all need to reprogram our brain with little nudges because humans are inherently irrational creatures. I can buy it. Thaler goes on to explain throughout the text that a majority of the time our brain is operating in an autopilot mode. Our conscious thought is reserved for decisions we need to focus on, and can't always handle the stress of making decisions when it matters.

We are burdened with too much or too little information, which leaves us feeling lost or overwhelmed and we
Apr 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not what I thought it would be.

I somehow thought it would be about how to improve decision *making* for, say, yourself (which would impact things like Health, Wealth, and Happiness), but it was about choice architecture and how to frame choices to make people choose what you think they should choose.

Which might have been interesting if that's what the book covered. There was a little bit about "choice architecture" in the beginning, but nothing that extended further than common sens
Femina Ernest
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nudge - A Catalyst to change human routine Blunders. Thaler and Sunstein invite us to experience a new world like a Harry Potter Movie. Instead of Magic, Here he guides us with "Choice Architecture" pattern, which can help us to decide better and proceed smarter. I can say it's a proactive book. I like Parts like Money, Freedom among I love Author's intelligent case studies and explanations of "Save More Tomorrow, Choice Architecture, Saving the planet etc". When he talks about Dozen Nudges, I l ...more
Kadijah Michelle
To understand my five star rating there are a few things you must understand about me. First, I love economics, and this book is not for the casual Freakonomics reader, but for someone who really cares about the subject. Second, I share the authors' politics. I have been shouting some of the policies they promote in this book for as long as I can remember. Like marriage! Come on, why does the government need to stick it's nose into the definition of something that is clearly between the people m ...more
A Nobel prize for a Psychologist; nice; one who profits from his knowledge on how "irrational humans are"; his Fund has been performing well; consequently, the Nobel amount is meant to be spent "in the most irrational way", Thaler said.

-I wonder how??
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Richard H. Thaler is an American economist who was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics.

He is the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he is the director of the Center for Decision Research. He is also the co-director (with Robert Shiller) of the Behavioral Economics Project at th

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