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Nudge: Improving Decisions, Book Review Example

Pages: 3

Words: 899

Book Review

The first six chapters of this book exceedingly alter the thinking style of the reader. Thaler & Sunstein (2009) gave insightful and engaging arguments to explain why human beings do not make decisions in commonly characterized methods. The decisions Human beings make are influenced by factors that cannot be termed as standard in the economic framework before making any decision.

The human brain works in a puzzling way, which explains why one can be very good at doing one task, but clueless when it comes to another. Before making any decision, an individual can do either of the two thinking perspectives. The first one is automatic and intuitive, and the second is rational and reflective. The reflective system is self –conscious and deliberate, unlike the automatic model which barely entails any thinking. In other instances, before making a decision, people use the rule of thumb, which involves incorporating some set guidelines to make a decision. Optimism and overconfidence are also concepts that help in explaining the choices of a person. Human beings are ridiculously optimistic, which explains why serial I individuals take risks. Again, most people feel that they have better chances of having better lives than their counterparts.

Giving several individual options can in no way make them worse off because one always has an option of declining some options. However, in some instances, it becomes very hard to turn down an option, mainly because the temptation is too much. Self-control is essential in such a situation, where an individual has to think of a situation as if they are having a myopic doer and far-sighted planner for the very situation(Thaler & Sunstein, 2009). The doer is the part of a person influenced by the automatic system, whereas the planner is the part focusing on the reflective system. For individuals to make more positive decisions, there is a need for better self-control strategies and making more mindful decisions.

Social influences also have an extensive impact on the actions of individuals because most people re influenced by the actions of others. Thaler & Sunstein (2009) also helps in explaining that one of the most effective ways to nudge, whether for evil or good is through social influence. That can also explain why most people pay many thoughts on what other people think about their actions. A person may believe that other people are paying much attention to what they are doing, especially when you are on the wrong on doing something centrally o societal expectation. Nonetheless, confirming what people think because we are afraid they are paying much attention to us is not necessary. Priming refers to the automatic system of the brain, and it explains that subtle influences can raise the ease with which some information comes to the mind. The main social influences which affect an individual decision can are priming, peer pressure and information, which can be listed as either public or private nudges.

The main reason why an individual needs a nudge is because it determines the time a person makes a decision. Most of the problems arise when individuals need to make decisions that test their self-control capacity. Thus, there is a need for self-control, which occurs when an individual articulately separates the choices and consequences in time. However, that can be faced by some degree of difficulty when making a decision, which is made easier when we practice making certain decisions for extended periods (Thaler & Sunstein, 2009). However, for practice to help in making results perfect, there is needs to have a good learning opportunity. The most effective learning opportunity is when an individual gets immediate feedback after every attempt. Individuals require good nudge for decisions that have long term effects, which means they are more complicated, seldom and have poor feedback systems. However, the environment in which one is determines how people solve such problems. For instance, some organizations give their employees a chance to cater to their weaknesses and exploit them.

It is natural for an individual to opt for the decision, which requires the least effort. However, like Thaler & Sunstein (2009) explained, for every node of a decision, there are associated rules which determine the repercussions of the decision-makers in case they opt to do nothing. Although, in most instances, when one does nothing no change happens, or what was happening keeps on happening, that is not always the case. There are some default rules which one can never avoid, which is usually termed as the mandated or required a choice. Most people who value freedom normally opt for the required option. However, most people perceive making decisions to be a hectic task, which makes them be good defaulters.

Saving is something that every person should do. Nonetheless, there is no standard figure or proportion of the amount of money an individual should save. Although there is no set amount for post-retirement income, people should look for a plan that can help them save (Thaler & Sunstein, 2009). When choosing a strategy to save with, individuals should opt for one which is flexible and can help them save and invest in a manner that reflects their financial tastes and situation. The savings plan should not be mandatory for employees, rather they should be made in ways where one can opt-out when they feel that it is of no benefit to them.

References

Thaler, R., & Sunstein, C. (2009). Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

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