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We all need a little nudge in life, don’t we?  Will, I certainly do.  And we can thank Richard Thaler, 2002 Noble prize winner and his book Nudge, for coining the phrase ‘ nudge theory’.

By following the theory that if one person does the right thing, others will follow.  You may have already been nudged without even knowing. 

Probably the most well-known example was first introduced in an airport toilet in Amsterdam (back in 1999).  The ingenious idea of a gentle nudge, by way of an itching of a fly, helped save on cleaning costs and, well, made things a whole lot more pleasant for half of the population.

Other examples would include:

  • Banning smoking in public places and in cars where children are passengers
  • Higher tax on cigarettes and alcohol
  • Designing building with fewer lifts
  • Calorie count on menus
  • Banning the use of sunbeds for the under 18s
  • The speed camera lottery – the fun theory (see video)
 

 So, a little nudge (not too hard – hence the image of the egg) can drive a positive outcome.

This theory, combined with fun or vibrant graphics, can also be used when looking at recycling or improving social behaviours around food waste management.   Download the Bespoke Recycling Solutions eBook to see some examples of how major UK brands have adopted positive nudge theories within their workspace.

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