Nudging courtship with life

~Punithan & Poovendiran

“ A choice architect has the responsibility for organising the context in which people make decisions” – Richard H. Thaler, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

In general, Nudging is a choice architecture which is a positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to make a choice or course of action. The idea of Nudging is all about applying the concepts of decision making and behavioural economics to yield a better and spontaneous decision, without limiting the choice. Putting it more straightforwardly, Nudging is helping people in making better choices for oneself without restricting their freedom of choice.

You can nudge for GOOD, or you can nudge for EVIL. Nudging not only contributes to the business world but also for the wellness of the society. Nudging helps to influence and direct people in the right way as we discuss two topics and examples here. 

Social Nudging is the concept of positioning our direction of a nudge for a social cause. When you nudge a person, and if his choice contributes something to society, then it falls under this category. Recently, a 90 years old man was in the limelight on social media. The chat waala opens his ‘Bhaba ka Dhaba’ stall early in the morning and closes it by 5:30 in the evening, finishing all his stock. But during this pandemic, he couldn’t make ends meet. A famous food blogger got concerned about the older man’s dire situation. The food blogger recorded a video of the older man (she fondly calls her Uncle Ji) and posted it on her social handle. Fortunately, many people stepped up to show their support for Uncle Ji. Many celebrities also posted on their social handles. We can see both the food blogger and the stars have nudged the society to contribute something for someone’s good. 

Nudging can be a handy tool in teaching — a hard lesson in the right way. A famous incident became viral on social media. As the incident goes, a teacher intentionally wrote a wrong equation on the blackboard. Students started to laugh at the teacher’s mistake. Then, the teacher explained the reason behind it, “You students did not appreciate me when I wrote the correct ones, but you all started to laugh when I made one mistake.” She added “The world is more similar to you; when you do many good things, no one will appreciate you. But when you do one bad thing, people will start to criticise you, and they will forget all the good things you did”. This is behavioural science is related to negativity bias where one tends to have a negativity dominance and tend to emphasise on that. Mistakes are a never-ending part of our life. We should  improve ourselves from those mistakes. The teacher nudged an important message into those students’ minds – to be mindful, determined and confident in their life. 

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