"Nudge" off: Why the czars of suggestion are doomed to failure

“We found that there was relatively little evidence available to support the use of nudging,” Professor Theresa Marteau, director of the Behavior and Health Research Unit at Cambridge University, told BBC Radio 4.

“And where there was evidence, it suggested that amount of change that was achieved was relatively small compared to the amount of change that’s going to be needed to shift our behavior.”

She added, “The bad nudge is actually more potent.” Putting fruit by the register? Useless. Putting chocolate there will goose chocolate sales, though…

The new paternalism of Obama appointees is very much in tune with the boss. In a neverending series of campaign speeches, he’s taken to saying things like, “That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I’ll use it.” And, “We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress.”…

“This is why this idea has caught on, because it’s selling a very attractive proposition,” Cambridge Professor Marteau told Pacific Standard magazine.

“It’s a political philosophy rather than behavioral science.”