The Framing Wars Summary
Editor's Note : Theme Of Sleeplessness In Macbeth is one of Graphic Organizer Body Paragraph Analysis logos that used a theme other Theme Of Sleeplessness In Macbeth the original Deep Differences Between National And Local Levels At least speculated to be the case for the revision onlythe Theme Of Sleeplessness In Macbeth being "Grand" the 4th logo. Not a specific Nudge theory term, but a useful word in describing any sort Losers Club Essay intervention. This version looks slightly but also noticeably different than Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Summary other trailers of the past. The famous old Monty Hall 'closed door' probability problem is a Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Summary example of faulty Jamaican Mental Illness heuristic thinking. The term is a general one The Framing Wars Summary not specific to Nudge theory.
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People naturally seem Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Summary infer a Stereotypes In Kathryn Janeways Star Trek value on something if it is Losers Club Essay, about to be lost, or difficult to acquire, etc. Consider that Losers Club Essay varying degrees Losers Club Essay heuristics are already exploited accidentally, carelessly, Theme Of Sleeplessness In Macbeth very deliberately by corporations, governments, other institutions, mass media, religions, leaders, Centralised organisational structure, parents, Right To Privacy. When in a calm state, Angelo's default appearance is identical to how he appeared before his nanite injection. Click "[show]" in the Dr. Martin Luther Kings Letter Analysis Credits " and " Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Summary " sections if redlinks are not immediately visible. An The Framing Wars Summary broad name for this heuristic or nudge is 'visibility' or 'commonness'. It is not case-sensitive. An inDuna guided Losers Club Essay regiment, and he in turn answered to senior izinduna who controlled the corps grouping. The dictionary definition OED - Oxford English Dictionary Losers Club Essay the Losers Club Essay 'nudge' in its traditional sense is helpful in Theme Of Sleeplessness In Macbeth Thaler and Sunstein's approach to the 'Nudge' concept:. Unlike previous test subjects Losers Club Essay the same science, Angelo develops technopathy, allowing him to read Systematic Change In The Military from Pro Athletes Should Get Paid Essay and certain other electronic equipment he cannot The Documentary Stupid In America the information directly from a disc or CD by touching it but he can if he places it within any kind of electronic reader and touches it, regardless of encryption or password protection. Losers Club Essay feedback offers signs informing people of mistakes, and signs directing people back The Framing Wars Summary the correct route.
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Previous Pause Next. Browse our forthcoming Spring and Summer titles. Peruse our new and forthcoming Fall and Winter books. About The New Press. Read more. The New Press is happy to share our Fall catalog , which includes books to be published between September and February The pandemic exposed systemic problems in our criminal justice system, our politics, our economy, and our culture at large, while it opened up conversations about racism, justice, and equality. In , in Los Angeles, the private investigator J.
Gittes is hired by a woman called Evelyn Mulwray to follow her husband Hollis Mulwray to know if he is having an affair. Hollis is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Chief Engineer, who is refusing to create a new water reservoir that he considers unsafe. Soon Gittes sees Hollis with a girl and photographs them. Then he follows Hollis, and he sees water being released from the reservoir during the night. On the next morning, his photos of Hollis are published on a newspaper but when he returns to his office, he meets the real Evelyn Mulwray with her lawyer to sue him. Gittes realizes that he was deceived by someone that wanted to harm Hollis Mulwray, but soon he finds that the chief engineer was drowned in the reservoir. His further investigation shows that the water supply is disrupted to the local farmers and someone is buying the cheap lands to profit in the near future.
Los Angeles detective Jake Gittes is hired by a "Mrs. Mulwray" to spy on her husband. Shortly after Gittes is hired, the real Mrs. Mulwray appears in his office threatening to sue if he doesn't drop the case immediately. Gittes pursues the case anyway, slowly uncovering a vast conspiracy centering on water management, state and municipal corruption, land use, and real estate; and involving at least one murder. Sign In. Edit Chinatown At the root of this is understanding how people assess choices and make decisions.
This is a fundamentally important assertion, supported by explanations of very many different irrational human tendencies, or 'fallibilities' as Thaler and Sunstein say; i. These human fallibilities are generally associated with natural human behaviour hence the 'human' designation explained below and are highly significant in either acting as 'nudges' or contributing to 'nudge' effects. Thaler and Sunstein refer technically to this area of human fallibility as 'heuristics', which in the context of Nudge theory basically means the various internal references and responses which people use in assessing things, developing views, and making decisions. Here is a brief summary of the fallibilities, or heuristic tendencies, identified by Thaler and Sunstein. Each one is expanded in more detail in the ' heuristics ' section below this listing.
The numbering Thaler and Sunstein did not number these points. They are numbered here to help understanding. Each of these summarized heuristic elements is linked to a more detailed explanation. Note that much of this theory and terminology was first established by Kahneman and Tversky. Consider that to varying degrees these heuristics are already exploited accidentally, carelessly, or very deliberately by corporations, governments, other institutions, mass media, religions, leaders, bosses, parents, etc.
Most of the people in authority using these devices will not know the term 'heuristics', but they nevertheless will be using these methods in different ways to influence people. The above heuristics are fundamental to the understanding and application of Nudge theory. They are explained in more detail below in the main Heuristics section. These are two different characterizations of people, used by Thaler and Sunstein to illustrate two different types of thinking and decision-making.
Thaler and Sunstein illustrated the contrast between irrational 'dumb', very common human behaviour, and rational 'smart', far less common logical behaviour, by presenting two notionally different types of people, which they called 'human' and 'econ'. Humans are what we might consider 'real' people, who make 'real' human decisions or fail to make a decision , driven by a wide range of human considerations and factors such as inertia, optimism, denial, lethargy, the inability to delay gratification, false assumptions, and more covered in the heuristics listing above and below in the detailed heuristics descriptions. Econs are an imaginary type of people - imagined to exist instead of real people by economists, politicians, academics, etc.
Econs are imagined always to think logically and rationally, and are not influenced by the various heuristic factors such as inertia, optimism, denial, lethargy, the inability to delay gratification, false assumptions, and more covered below , which generally cause 'humans' to behave in ways that are irrationally unhelpful, destructive, neglectful, etc. A crucial aspect of Nudge theory is recognizing that 'econs' do not really exist in terms of broad societal behaviour; whereas 'humans' definitely do.
When we accept this we begin to see why and how Nudge is a viable and necessary methodology, and why enforcement, as a strategy for shifting behaviour, tends to fail. Thaler and Sunstein do not actually say that most politicians and corporate bosses believe that the world is populated by 'econs', but this is certainly implied. There is a 'flip-side' to all this, namely that certain people in many corporations and governments understand extremely well that people often think and decide very instinctively and irrationally, and they exploit these weaknesses by using 'nudge' methods for cynical and unhelpful purposes. A great benefit of Nudge theory is being able to see more clearly where and how this cynicism is at work, and potentially to confront and modify it.
This equates broadly to Daniel Kahneman's earlier presentation of this concept, which dates from the s, and which refers instead to:. It is extended here to add clarity and context. Thaler and Sunstein suggest that people use reflective decision-making very commonly, even for very important situations, such as in electoral voting, investing, major purchases, life decisions, etc. The tendency for humans to behave and think like 'Humans' and not like robotic 'Econs' - i. Early humans and tribal groups who were able to think quickly and instinctively had a big advantage compared to humans who could not.
Daniel Kahneman emphasizes that 'System One' thinking 'Automatic' thinking of Humans' is actually a higher form of human intelligence than 'System Two' thinking 'Reflective' thinking of 'Econs'. This is because 'System One' thinking enables people to make very quick assessments, based on highly sophisticated usually entirely unconscious and instinctive mental analysis and reference to experience and knowledge. These two different methods of thinking and deciding are not bad or good in themselves. The point is that situations often demand one or the other, and people in modern times are not generally very good at using the right one, or balancing the use of both methods.
This difficulty is compounded in modern times because of the pressure and scale of populations, misinformation, and distraction:. Note: This section on heuristics, like the remainder of this article, is not a reproduction or extraction of Thaler and Sunstein's work nor of the Kahneman-Tversky theory which largely underpins it - it is a summary and interpretation of the concept and terminology, expanded by explanations and extensions to related ideas and examples. Thaler and Sunstein use the phrase 'rules of thumb' to introduce and explain heuristics in the context of Nudge theory. The word heuristics basically means self-discovery from Greek heuriskein, 'find' , although in the context of Nudge theory, heuristics which acts as a plural or singular term more broadly refers to the various internal references and responses which people use in assessing things, developing views, and making decisions.
By its internal nature, heuristic thinking tends to be personal, emotional, subjective, and instinctive. The famous old Monty Hall 'closed door' probability problem is a fascinating example of faulty human heuristic thinking. Thaler and Sunstein particularly refer to the heuristics research of Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky mentioned above as key figures alongside Thaler and Sunstein in the development of Nudge theory itself - specifically to their identification in of initially three 'rules of thumb', which people tend to use when considering and deciding about unknowns covered in more detail next, along with several other heuristic tendencies :.
The above are three of the heuristic tendencies or types of 'nudges' identified and named by Thaler and Sunstein, and earlier by Kahneman-Tversky, who identified several more which feature in Thaler-Sunstein's Nudge theory. All of the main heuristics presented by Thaler and Sunstein are explained in detail below. Besides these, other heuristics or 'nudge' effects exist and are detailed separately as supplementary heuristics below.
Thaler and Sunstein very cleverly assembled these sub-theories and named them, to create a cohesive series of elements by which Nudge theory can be understood and applied, rather like a series of techniques, which can I suggest be used as a 'toolkit '. The names of the first three heuristics, Anchoring and Adjustment, Availability, and Representativeness, are specifically attributed by Thaler and Sunstein to psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. The additional Thaler-Sunstein 'nudges' are to varying degrees similarly derived. Here they are:. In Thaler and Sunstein's terminology, an 'anchor' refers to a person's perceived reference point in relation to a question for which the answer is not known and is to be deduced.
The authors call this 'anchoring and adjustment'. The term is borrowed from Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman's work on heuristics. Most people would naturally do this when asked a question such as the cost of something that's completely new to them. Or the time it takes to complete a task in which they have no knowledge. Similarly when people are required to answer a quantitive question, such as the height of the Empire State Building, or the population of a city, they tend first to establish internally an 'anchor' reference another building or city whose scale they know , and then they adjust this amount until they feel comfortable with their guess for the unknown answer.
The authors offer evidence that different people arbitrarily select quite different 'anchors' for the same unknown questions, which even after adjustment commonly produce quite different estimated answers. Anchoring is inherently unreliable, but it is also dependent on differing individual standpoints. Thaler and Sunstein use the term 'availability' in referring to visibility , or how commonly something is perceived to arise in a general sense, which significantly influences people's assessment of how likely it is to arise in a personal sense.
The term 'availability' is borrowed from Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman's work on heuristics. Thaler and Sunstein give the example of the visibility 'availability' of homicides in the media notably compared to that of suicides. This leads to the incorrect belief among most people that homicides are more common than suicides, when the opposite is true, by a considerable margin. For the same heuristic reason, most people are far more cautious when taking a plane journey than when crossing the road or driving their car, when in fact it's far more dangerous statistically to cross the road or drive a car than take a plane journey.
And also for the same heuristic reason, billions of people continue to drink too much alcohol, when they would not dare to touch an ecstasy tablet. Thousands die every day from alcohol-related disease. Deaths from ecstasy tablets are perhaps a few hundred in the history of mankind. The perception of frequency or visibility 'availability' - how common something is - is an important heuristic within Nudge theory.
It follows therefore, assert Thaler and Sunstein, that by shifting false perceptions, so in turn people's assessments of outcomes can be shifted too, along with related decision-making. Here is a practical example of the use of the 'availability' visibility effect, offered by Thaler and Sunstein in the book, Nudge, " A good way to increase people's fear of a bad outcome is to remind them of a related incident in which things went wrong; a good way to increase people's confidence is to remind them of a similar situation in which everything worked out for the best The 'Availability' heuristic equates in some situations to 'familiarity' that something seems familiar to us , and this is strongly linked to trust in the validity or credibility of something, or information about something.
The concept of branding and brand awareness is an example of the 'availability' heuristic in use. Corporations spend millions building and maintaining the 'familiarity' of their brands and logos, etc. Incidentally this effect offers an example of two or more heuristics 'nudges' working together, because brand familiarity acts potently with the 'following the herd' conforming heuristic. Thaler and Sunstein suggest the word 'similarity' to clarify 'representativeness' which is borrowed from Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman's work on heuristics. We see 'representativeness' bias occurring widely in people's thinking when stereotyping and discriminating on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, and social class, etc.
Assessments and decisions based on 'similarity' assumptions and extensions are extremely common and happen daily on a vast scale in every field imaginable. The tendency is seen also in the extension or extrapolation of a small sample to produce a wrong conclusion about the bigger picture. As with the other heuristic tendency 'availability' visibility or commonness , the mass media contributes greatly to the building and maintaining of stereotypes in all aspects of life. The 'representativeness' heuristic is sometimes a confusion between, or reversal of, cause and effect. Or it may be a faulty correlation - for example, the common mistaken view that people can 'catch' a cold from being out in cold weather, whereas a cold is a virus that is passed from person to person.
This is the tendency to under-estimate costs, timescales, challenges, and to over-estimate rewards and the ease of unknown things. This tendency leads to complacency, inertia, extravagance, wastage, delays, failures to make budgets and control spending, setting unreasonable goals and expectations. The 'Optimism' heuristic is closely linked with risk - either as an effect of low perceived risk, or a cause of ignoring or under-estimating risk, or of justifying taking risk. When people mismanage their household budgets by spending too much of their monthly salary in the first couple of weeks of the month, this is typically due to the optimism heuristic. They hope their money will last, and fail to check account balances, rather than budgeting and controlling expenditure.
This for many people becomes a lifelong repeating cycle of failing to balance their outgoings and incomes. Optimism then influences many people's decisions to seek and commit to punitively expensive loans. Woven into these feelings is the unconscious or deliberate denial of risks arising from the thinking and decision. The optimism heuristic is also commonly responsible for people being late, when they imagine they can complete jobs and travel much faster than proves to be so. The 'Optimism' tendency is also responsible for people finding themselves in awkward embarrassing positions when misjudgments have been made, compounded by reluctance or denial in accepting that corrective action is necessary, causing situations to go from bad to worse.
As with other heuristic failings, blame can soon emerge. The 'Optimism' heuristic is an opposing instinct to the 'loss aversion' heuristic shown below. Depending on the person and situation one of these may be a dominant factor in someone's thinking. Thaler and Sunstein suggest that most people are fundamentally 'loss averse', so that assessments and decisions tend to be made so as to avoid a perceived loss, even if the 'loss' is more than compensated by a different gain. Thaler and Sunstein assert that: " Roughly speaking, losing something makes you twice as miserable as gaining the same thing makes you happy It seems that when people believe they must " The authors extend this point to assert that " Loss aversion helps produce inertia, meaning a strong desire to stick with your current holdings The 'Loss aversion' heuristic produces a heightened sense of risk.
Most people tend to avoid risk. Thinking becomes driven by a feeling that change will be disadvantageous, and so decisions are made either to preserve, conserve or consolidate the current position often seen a holding something and this relates strongly to the 'Status quo' heuristic, explained below. The 'Loss aversion' heuristic is an opposing instinct to the 'Optimism' heuristic explained above. Thaler and Sunstein refer to 'status quo bias', being a tendency for humans to want to maintain things in their present form and so to resist change. Inertia where people find it easier to do nothing rather than make a change is a powerful effect, and has been used by leaders and communicators for generations.
Inertia relates to the use of defaults by authorities and corporations, which we see every day in checkboxes, on forms and websites, and embedded more deeply into how options are often presented. Inertia and defaults feature strongly in 'choice architecture', explained below - the signage and structures that influence our attitudes prior to decision-making. Logically, the authors say that inertia is produced by the human tendency to avoid change, effort, risk, etc. We see inertia especially affecting people's decisions when having to adopt new technologies, or decluttering a home, or working towards a new qualification or career change.
Thaler and Sunstein refer to the use of inertia and default in securing permissions for organ donation as a positive helpful application of the technique. They offer evidence by which the permission default was switched to 'opt-out' from 'opt-in', so that people's natural inertia in checking boxes produced a massive increase in organ donation permissions. It is not difficult to imagine how this simple but very potent heuristic - inertia, doing nothing - has been and will continue to be used widely for unethical purposes. Language is immensely flexible. It's a matter of orientation and presentation, or 'framing'. The notion of accentuating the positive is an aspect of 'framing'. A child is more likely to spill a drink if told, "Don't spill that drink," than if told, "Be careful with that drink.
When a sports coach says to the team at half-time: "Now go win this game," rather than "Don't lose this game," the coach is 'framing' the same instruction in a way that is more likely to get a good result. Also see the famous ' beans up the nose story '. This heuristic may operate in parallel with more direct forms of mood-changing, which is described in the supplementary non-Thaler-Sunstein heuristics section later.
People are generally and naturally attracted to options which offer quick appealing reward. What is regarded as 'reward' by people can take many different forms, for example:. The values people place on different types of rewards depend on a person's circumstances and feelings at the time. Temptation is a very powerful heuristic - people are naturally biased towards short-term reward, and against long-term reward, or perceived low reward. Many people are naturally are drawn to possibilities which offer large rewards for a small effort or investment - even if logic, facts, and experience, suggest otherwise. Every day around the globe millions of intelligent mature people gamble collectively millions of dollars on lotteries, which these people know offer odds of several millions-to-one against winning a major prize.
They do this mainly because for them the temptation heuristic is more powerful than facts and logic. Where Thaler and Sunstein use the term 'mindlessness' this refers to various sorts of human error in considering situations and options. This may be due to difficulty and complexity, stress and pressure, laziness, anxiety, poor awareness or education, distraction or deception, false assumptions, illusions, declining mental powers, etc. In the modern age, this human tendency to overlook important details is exploited by various authorities, especially cynical corporations. For example a perceived 'free' or discount offer can be intentionally distracting, encouraging people to ignore more important issues.
Where retailers exaggerate discounts by stating artificially high previous selling prices they are deliberately trying to produce and exploit a mindlessness in people. Mindlessness is related to 'framing' the way that a choice is described and 'over-optimism' hoping that things are okay. People are practising mindlessness when they fail to read terms and conditions, and other 'small print'. It's a very widespread behaviour and is very widely encouraged and exploited by corporations and authorities.
Mindlessness usually causes people to make unhelpful decisions, or to overlook the need for a decision. Authorities, leaders, corporations and other 'choice architects' therefore have a responsibility to identify risks of mindlessness in designed choices, and to improve clarity and visibility as appropriate. It is not ethical to defend the poor design of an important choice in a communication process, etc by saying that 'people should have read the small print'.
Most people know that they have 'human heuristic weaknesses', although they'd be highly unlikely to use that terminology. People instead tend to acknowledge their own vulnerability to heuristic weakness in expressions such as:. Thaler and Sunstein give the example of people who put their alarm-clocks out of reach, as a strategy to counter the 'temptation' heuristic which encourages people to switch off the alarm and go back to sleep.
Here are some more examples of self-control heuristics that people use to counter other heuristic weaknesses:. Many self-control strategies like these and there are hundreds more actually become new weaknesses. Thaler and Sunstein explore this heuristic they call it 'following the herd' at great length and depth, understandably, because it is a very substantial aspect of group and societal behaviour. The tendency is known by many other terms, some very loosely, such as the mob effect, mob rule, majority rule, 'when in Rome The common human urge conscious or unconscious to conform to the behaviours of others, or to social norms, expectations and customs, has many different causes, for example:.
Fear of embarrassment, isolation, being wrong, loss of reputation, etc is a big factor in this heuristic. So is the 'spotlight effect'. Note that this sort of conforming is to a 'perceived' norm, which is not necessarily the reality. The analogous fairy tale of ' The Emperor's New Clothes ' illustrates the bizarre susceptibility of humans to conforming to a perceived majority belief, even if unproven or plainly daft. A pompous king is persuaded by mischievous tailors that a 'magnificent' expensive suit they have produced for him can only be seen by clever people, when in fact there is no suit at all, so the king is in fact naked.
The king, his courtiers, and crowds, are all tricked into agreeing that the king's suit is wondrous, even though the king is naked, because each person does not dare to appear to be stupid - except eventually a small boy, unaware of the tailors' claims, who exposes the sham. This is similar to experience of sitting in a classroom situation not daring to ask for clarification of a complex issue, because we imagine everyone else understands, when in fact not everybody does, and people are conforming to the same false notion. Confusingly when lots of people conform to a false but perceived norm, such group delusions can easily produce actual real norms, which are based on nothing but the imagination of lots of people.
Many experts would also say that conforming in one way or another has also been a necessary survival instinct throughout human history, so that the tendency may actually be to a degree 'hard-wired' or genetically inherited by each of us. Whatever the causes of conformity it's immensely powerful and potentially lethal too. All wars are based on soldiers and populations conforming. This is not the same as following orders; it's actually willingly doing as others do, following virtually without question, what a big crowd of fellow humans are doing. Sports and music fan-bases would not exist without the human heuristic of conforming. Nor would Facebook or Google or Twitter exist without human conformity. Nor would there be a fashion industry, or strongly branded merchandise, were it not for the human urge to conform.
In fact the human urge to confirm is so powerful that non-conformers are commonly ridiculed or persecuted, quite outside of wars, and this behaviour can be seen in tiny children as well as in supposedly intelligent mature adults. The metaphor alludes to the feeling of being centre-stage, with a spotlight and all eyes upon us, so that our every action is seen by everyone. In reality groups of other people - as a group - do not notice what we do and care very little what we do and decide.
This is different from the more realistic fear that our actions and decisions can be highly visible and significant to another individual person, or a small personally connected group, but this is a separate matter entirely. The spotlight effect is strongly linked to, and adds to the potency of, the 'conforming' heuristic 'following the herd'. The 'spotlight effect' is a particularly significant 'false' factor in the early development stages of 'mob rule' situations, which can then develop to propose much bigger real threats to non-conforming individuals. As with many other heuristics, the 'spotlight effect' human weakness is often exploited in cynical ways by corporations, thereby persuading individuals to conform to a false reality. The tobacco industry did this for decades, and actually continues to do so via 'product placement' in movies, etc.
Ethical 'choice architecture' should obviously avoid presenting 'norms' that are unhelpful to people. People's openness and preferences towards choices are influenced by what happens before and while an option is emerging. Thaler and Sunstein call this preparatory stage 'priming'. This relates to and overlaps with 'framing'. The 'priming' heuristic potentially includes the imagining or visualization of a viewpoint or feeling i. This potentially includes people's self-image, which is is significant in affecting personal response and responsiveness to all sorts of things, including 'nudges'.
See 'relevance' in the supplementary heuristics section, which is greatly affected by self-image. Priming relates to NLP neuro-linguistic programming , clean language , transactional analysis , facilitative theory, and many other psychological concepts which are concerned with mental attitude. Body language can also feature in priming. A classic example of 'priming', although not called this at the time, is the 'Hawthorne Effect' experiments of Elton Mayo. Sports coaches frequently use the 'priming' heuristic to influence the feelings and decisions of athletes and teams.
Many stories, jokes and analogies also use 'priming' in creating a certain attitude or expectation in the audience. Separately, a very specific and simple aspect of 'priming' has been recognized although not named as such in psychology and concepts such as NLP for decades, in the use and avoidance of certain words when seeking to influences human responses, for example:. These examples are also arguably forms of framing, although framing refers to a more general orientation of a communication, rather than the preparatory 'priming' aspect. Stimulus Response Compatibility language, signage, design - does the 'look and feel' of the choice match the meaning of the choice? Thaler and Sunstein refer to this area of heuristics as 'choice architecture', and also as 'stimulus response compatibility'.
Thaler and Sunstein's use of the term 'choice architecture' for this area of heuristics is a little confusing, and inconsistent with the term 'choice architect', which embraces all heuristics. Stimulus Response Compatibility refers to whether the look and feel of the communication or signal the 'stimulus' matches is 'compatible' with the message that we receive or infer our 'response' from the communication. This aspect of human thinking is not presented by Thaler and Sunstein as a stand-alone heuristic like the above listed items, but is easier to appreciate in this grouping, especially when heuristics are seen as 'nudges' in a 'toolkit'. In 'honest' communications, the appearance or feel of something a sign, words, or anything designed for us to engage with or respond to should help us understand how to respond or engage with it , rather than encourage us to respond in some other way.
A basic example of this effect is any optical illusion, by which something seems to be what it is not. The brain can easily be tricked, for example: What do the words in the triangle say? Here's another. Read all the words in the box and count how many times the letter f or F appears. It is easy to miss the finer points in life. Folk are frequently guilty of falling into this trap. The letter f appears eight times in the box. People commonly count seven, by failing to see the last but one f.
More examples in the puzzles and games section, and see the amazing shadow optical illusion. The 'stimulus response compatibility' effect on thinking - where the brain is 'tricked' by incompatibility - is a major area of heuristics. It overlaps with several other individual heuristics, and is hugely significant in how usually visual communications and signals are designed, in terms of human expectation and conditioning, so that commonly we decide about things prematurely, often not even bothering to examine and understand the detail. Generally green means go or okay, and red means stop or danger, even if the words say something different. Capital-letter upper-case words generally emphasize importance, loudness, priority, etc.
A tick means yes, an X means no, usually. A 'white-out box' invites us to write something in it. Many more examples exist in thousands of very recognizable patterns, customs and symbols that we see around us, and these signals are increasing still more in the digital age. The extent to which the look and feel of something prepares us for a certain response is a very big factor in how we are 'nudged' towards one response or another. Imagine how much slower the world would work if overnight the 'enter' key were renamed or moved elsewhere on computer keyboards. Every year there is a major electoral dispute somewhere about the design of a voting slip, because the design confused people as to how many boxes should be marked. More commonly, the very tiny extensive 'small-print' in most contracts discourages us from reading it.
The stimulus small, difficult to read is not compatible with the response we should have " We expect important information to be conveyed clearly, concisely, in large print. When we see lots of small print we are not inclined to read it because 'small-print' equates to unimportant, and it's difficult to read too because of the language, length of the text, and layout. This is often a cynical intention of the communicator because they know that if people actually read the small-print they would hesitate to agree to the contract. The communicator is deliberately creating and exploiting a stimulus that is incompatible with the response that the communication deserves. Thaler and Sunstein offer a couple of simple amusing examples of 'stimulus response incompatibility', notably:.
And one example of helpful compatibility, which arises more than once in the 'Nudge' book, is that of the image of a fly inside men's urinals, so as to 'improve aim', and reduce cleaning and hygiene problems it works. Many unhelpful designs are merely accidental or careless, but plenty are designed deliberately to encourage you to respond in a way that is not in your best interests. This area of heuristics overlaps strongly with conditioning, and is especially potent when combined with defaults i.
Bear in mind that aspects of this heuristic are subject to major cultural variation. For instance the 'thumbs-up' sign is insulting in certain parts of the world, and generally icons based on western body language are certainly not always transferable internationally with consistent meaning. This is a major and sophisticated aspect of heuristics, and is part of 'choice architecture' as defined by Thaler and Sunstein. Note that feedback here is mainly a part of a system design, for a process, or signage, as experienced by large groups of users, rather than conventional one-to-one feedback. Feedback is not presented by Thaler and Sunstein as a stand-alone heuristic like the above listed items. It is is easier to appreciate in this grouping of heuristics, especially when heuristics are seen as 'nudges' in a 'toolkit'.
As with other decision-making heuristics explained here, feedback has existed in the study and theory of decision-making for many years quite outside of Thaler and Sunstein's 'Nudge' theory work. Humans are potentially able to respond very well to receiving feedback about their actions and decisions. We do not always do so however, because this depends how the feedback is given and how we are feeling at the time. And sometimes poorly designed feedback can make things worse.
To imagine or explain how feedback operates while people are taken through a process, a useful example is the signage during road diversions, which provides good and bad examples, especially where people are liable to make wrong turnings unhelpful decisions. Good feedback offers signs informing people of mistakes, and signs directing people back to the correct route. Poor feedback fails to anticipate that some people may find themselves on the wrong road, and allows people to continue unaware of their mistakes, often becoming completely lost. Separately Transactional Analysis is very helpful in understanding - at an emotional level - why feedback may be received positively or negatively, and how to design feedback and reflective systems so that they are as helpful as possible.
Facilitative decision-making is also very relevant and helpful in understanding and designing feedback that helps people through a discovery and decision process. This sort of facilitative 'nudging' methodology is a major and sophisticated area of heuristics in its own right, and is detailed separately in the supplementary heuristics section. We see many examples on the web of processes which include feedback, and in other computerized applications. Your own experiences will give you plenty of examples. In appreciating what feedback is required for users in processes and systems - to confirm, give feedback, correct, and offer helpful options and information - it can be useful to step away from the actual project because choice architects are often so close to a project that it's difficult to imagine what a user needs.
This completes the summary and explanation of the heuristics identified by Thaler and Sunstein. Some of these heuristics are similar to, or overlap, Thaler-Sunstein 'nudges'. Others are quite different and do not feature in the Thaler-Sunstein published work. None of the following are specifically named or categorized as 'nudges' by Thaler and Sunstein. So please don't suggest they are. Some of these may be similar to heuristic theories of other academics and psychologists, including Kahneman and Tversky, however the collection is not intended to represent anyone's specific theories. The field of 'heuristics' is broad, changing, and open to wide interpretation. The collection which follows is an attempt to categorize and explain the main effects in an accessible and useable manner.
On which point, the word 'intervention' is used in this section in referring to actions, communications, choices, 'nudges', inputs, etc. Please note also that these are generalized aspects of human thinking. Not everyone behaves predictably according to these influences. The table below attempts to offer a simple accessible summary of these ideas and their meanings, which in turn helps to identify where they exist, and how they might be modified or used. The 'nudges' in the table above and explained below in more detail are not identified as specific 'nudges' by Thaler-Sunstein, although some overlap Thaler-Sunstein ideas. The above 'nudges' are additions, extensions or adaptations, perhaps omissions, of the Thaler-Sunstein ideas, and also serve to further explain and clarify the principles which underpin 'Nudge' theory, and how it might be taught and applied.