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Nudge

Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
Narrated by: Robert Bair
Length: 9 hrs
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
Non-member price: $16.40
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Publisher's Summary

Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

Thaler and Sunstein invite us to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society.

Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful “choice architecture” can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. Nudge offers a unique new take—from neither the left nor the right—on many hot-button issues, for individuals and governments alike. This is one of the most engaging and provocative books to come along in many years.

©2008 Yale University Press (P)2008 Yale University Press

What members say

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very interesting concepts, but a bit long and detailed

I really enjoyed the overall concept of this book, and they have some really good examples. However chapters of this book were devoted to specific ideas in much detail.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 11-02-2018

How to nudge people to make make better choices...

A nudge is a design in policies or arrangement of choices that alters people's behavior in a predictable way (such as placing healthy foods at eye level in a school cafeteria or automatically enrolling employees in retirement plans unless they deliberately opt out). There is no such thing as a "neutral" design. Everything matters. Many people will do what is easier, which may include not doing anything (like accepting the default settings for background, ringtone, and volume on their smartphones). It is fascinating (and scary) that a choice architect can influence people's behaviors. In the example of the smartphone, the choice architect's decision on default settings will become a majority of people's decision through the power of inertia (not change the settings when the decision has already been made).

This book is aimed at choice architects -- those in a position to steer people to choices that are in their best interest. People are able to make good choices in areas where they are experienced or receive prompt feedback. In areas where they are inexperienced, lack information, or don't receive immediate feedback (such as not feeling the ill effects of a poor diet until years later), people may not be making good choices.

Following the mnemonic NUDGE, choice architects could try to influence people's behavior to make their lives longer, healthier, and better:
* iNcentives (such as price)
* Understanding mappings (easy to understand options)
* Defaults (make the best choice the default setting)
* Give feedback
* Expect error (help people recover from a mistake)
* Structure complex choices (have small number of choices)

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Douglas C. Bates
  • 20-04-2012

An Important New Concept: Libertarian Paternalism

I had the pleasure of being in the very first class Richard Thaler ever taught on Behavioral Decision Theory -- the topic that would make his career and would form the foundation for the novel ideas in "Nudge." I've been a junkie on this this topic ever since. It's a delight to see how Thaler has advanced knowledge in this field.

In this era of political polarity in the US, this is a most important book. Thaler presents proposals here that potentially both hard-core conservatives and liberals could both agree would be an improvement over the status quo. These days, that's almost impossible. Every member of Congress should read this book.

The central idea is what Thaler calls "libertarian paternalism." The idea slices through the dichotomy that individuals know best for themselves and that government knows best by establishing systems where individual freedom is not curtailed (a downside of the liberal agenda) but which direct people to better choices (a failure of the conservative agenda).

The ideas presented in Nudge are novel, and they are supported by substantial research in how people make decisions. This research show how mistaken traditional economic theory has been about how people make choices, and how employing a bit of psychology can make outcomes better for all.

The concepts in Nudge have implications beyond government.They apply to business and other areas, too. I sent my company's CFO a copy when he couldn't believe our employee's behavior about our 401k plan. Nudge has a section on how Ph.d. economists make bad 401k decisions. Our employees were the same.

If you're interested in improving how people make decisions, this is a must read.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • p112
  • 24-01-2017

Narration made it impossible to get through

What disappointed you about Nudge?

I couldn't get through more than 10 minutes of this. I'd suggest a different narrator potentially. This one sounded a lot like an automated reading program/robot voice.I've consumed a few audiobooks, and I listen to a lot of podcasts regularly. This was the most difficult narration to listen to I've encountered.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben B.
  • 16-05-2017

The Narration of this version makes it terrible

What disappointed you about Nudge?

I've heard a lot of good things about this book.... so, I picked up the kindle version and the audible narration with it. The narrator was so flat and robotic that there were times I had to honestly ask if this was a computer voice reading to me. I couldn't get through it. Looks like there are other narrations of it, I'd highly recommend checking those out.

Would you be willing to try another one of Robert Bair’s performances?

No.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Brennan Collins
  • 19-06-2015

Good ideas, robotic narrator

I enjoyed the concepts and like the idea of libertarian paternalism. The narrator was oddly paced and sounded robotic though. It made me keep checking how much more there was left in the book since I was about ready to move on.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sa
  • 03-01-2017

Outstanding but wish I could see the visuals

A truly outstanding book about behavioral economics/psychology. I'm looking forward to learning more. I thought the book did a really good job of serving in a popularly interesting way. I only feel a little bit hindered in listening to the audiobook as opposed to reading the book because they make frequent reference to diagrams in their book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan S.
  • 21-03-2019

Good Book - Very Poorly Narrated

The subject matter was interesting, but the narrator sounded like a poorly configured A.I. reading bot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew Mahlstedt
  • 28-02-2019

Fascinating book. Horrible reader

I almost stopped after 5 minutes because the reader is so bad, but was excited about the book so stuck with it. The book is great - useful examples, productive concept. But by the end I wonder if this was actually read by a computer - many mispronounced words when they were a bit complex or foreign, etc. A shame, but if you are interested enough in the concept, it’s bearable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kyle
  • 19-10-2016

Interesting insight but long winded

The book offered interesting insight into choice architecture. Subtle differences in how options are presented can have dramatic impacts on results.

The book was a tad long winded. If the Cliff Notes exist, save your time and read/listen to them. There will be little loss of substance

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • thatAmy
  • 27-07-2016

Very reasonable way to look at a variety of issues

A new system of design architecture is described in which people retain the freedom to make any choice they desire, but they are more informed and set up to easier make better decisions for themselves. A wide variety of difficult issues are used as examples to show how well the system could work. I like that it removes much of the political agendas and gets down to the basics where both sides can work together if they really want what it best for the country and her citizens.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MS F
  • 30-07-2016

Great book ruined

This is a really important book and should be, given its content, very engaging but it was ruined by awful, robotic reading. Hugely disappointing. This was my first book on here and if the others are read this badly then I'm not sure I will stay that long.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lucille Briance
  • 23-01-2019

Narrator

The monotonous voice of the narrator ruined this interesting book for me and made it impossible for me to listen to. I thought at first it might be a computer voice, but see that it is read by Robert Bair a person

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  • Nigel C. Cox
  • 04-11-2018

Interesting concepts for choice design and materialisation

The first half of the book lays out well the premise of good choice architecture and nudging.
The second half presents a series of examples where those principles can be applied effectively and discusses how benefits may materialise.
Although these examples give an apparent empirical structure, it must be remembered this is theoretical but supported by parallel results in similar areas.

The book is perhaps a little parochial in its examples in some areas and does skip the all too human (not econ) prejudices that lead to controls in some areas. Is “Nudging” people with such long held, entrenched positions possible?

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  • Howard
  • 02-10-2018

Disappointing in this format

I had high hopes for this book after hearing about it in a number of places. I’m sure it probably is a great book, just not thru the medium of audio. Narrator is so monotone I’m not sure I’ll finish it. From the 6h or so I have listened to, it wasn’t particularly insightful for me, a lot of common sense and some interesting points, but I got bored listening to very American-centric discussions of Medicare and retirement planning. I don’t recall any practical approaches for the casual choice architect so far.

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  • Lyn
  • 03-05-2018

Basic info for beginners

I initially bought the book after reading that David Cameron had hired a team to help with Government Nudges. But to be honest, I found I already knew most of the information (hence the 2 stars).

So I would judge this for a beginner, someone that hasn't really read too many books on this type of subject.

The Author provides nice little stories to explain a point so 3 stars in that regard.

Having said all that, the Narrator seemed to be speed reading, at least twice I stopped to check if I had accidentally set the speed to 1.5x or 2x (I hadn't). There were no pauses between Chapters, and I had to check on multiple occasions whether I had moved onto a new chapter. In my personal opinion, I would not buy another book narrated by Robert Bair.

But you should always check for yourself by doing the sample, as I'm sure different people have different ideas of what an acceptable narrator should sound like. Although judging by the scores I'm not the only person who had a problem with the narration.

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  • Alex Chernenko
  • 28-04-2018

Too long for the points covered

Overally good, but too long. Author repeats himself many times. Still it is worth listening

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-04-2018

Could be interesting

The narrator is dry dull and robotic.. Making it hard to listen, learn and enjoy. Such a disappointment.

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  • N. Drennan
  • 06-02-2018

Started off great but waffle near the end

The concept of Nudge is great and is well described. However the last 1/3 of this book is almost total waffle. Having said that the description of the principle will well thought out and worth it just for that bit if the book

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  • Colin D
  • 11-11-2017

Terrible recording - robotic voice.

It is so unfair publishers do this. It is spoken by a robot not a person - it becomes a drone and is difficult to listen to for any extended time :-)

I feel I have been ripped off

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-10-2017

Appalling narration on great book

This might as well been read by a computer, and may well have been. Manages the astonishing feat of making a wonderful book boring and hard to focus on.