Norm-Nudging: Harnessing Social Expectations for Behavior Change

Paper by Cristina Bicchieri and Eugen Dimant: “Nudging is a popular approach to achieving positive behavior change. It involves subtle changes to the decision-making environment designed to steer individuals towards making better choices. Norm-nudging is a type of behavioral nudge that aims to change social expectations about what others do or approve/disapprove of in a similar situation. Norm-nudging can be effective when behaviors are interdependent, meaning that their preferences are influenced by others’ actions and/or beliefs. However, norm-nudging is not a one-size-fits-all solution and there are also risks associated with it, such as the potential to be perceived as manipulative or coercive, or the difficulty to effectively implement interventions. To maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of using social information to achieve behavior change, policymakers should carefully choose what behavior they want to promote, consider the target audience for the social information, and be aware of the potential for unintended consequences…(More)”.