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Thursday, October 16, 2014

It’s All for Your Own Good

By Jeremy Waldron
The New York Book Review
Originally published on October 9, 2014

Here is an excerpt:

Nudging is an attractive strategy. People are faced with choices all the time, from products to pensions, from vacations to voting, from requests for charity to ordering meals in a restaurant, and many of these choices have to be made quickly or life would be overwhelming. For most cases the sensible thing is not to agonize but to use a rule of thumb—a heuristic is the technical term—to make the decision quickly. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” “Choose a round number,” “Always order the special,” and “Vote the party line” are all heuristics. But the ones people use are good for some decisions and not others, and they have evolved over a series of past situations that may or may not resemble the important choices people currently face.

The entire article is here.