It’s that time of year when many U.S. high school seniors are making their final college decisions. They have their last acceptance letters, and now must choose which school they will attend in the fall. It’s a good time to think about how the college search process begins, and how the choice architecture of the college decision process can be improved. […]
Nudge is all about choice architecture, a discipline which structures choices in a way that produces the most beneficial outcome. I don't have to tell Neuromarketing readers that humans often behave in conflict with the traditional economist's view of rational decision-making. Thaler and Sunstein not only provide plenty of evidence of irrationality, but they show how to avoid some of the problems it causes.
One of the most popular examples of choice architecture – how our decisions are influenced by the way options are presented – is the 401K enrollment process. (For non-US Neuromarketing readers, most companies have replaced traditional pension plans with 401K plans. Employees have the option to contribute to an account, the employer matches some or all of the employee’s contributions, and over time the money accumulates. The money belongs to the employee and can be withdrawn at time of retirement, or earlier with penalties.) […]