When you heard the word “nudge effect”, did it feel unfamiliar? When sending an email, you may notice a confirmation statement: "Would you like to send it?" Surprisingly, this is the nudge effect. It is too natural to notice, but the effect is around us at all times. Let's take a look at where it is and how it happens!
- If You Want to Say “I Aced It,” Use a Nudge!
In English, “Nudge” means that someone pushes gently, usually with an elbow, in order to draw attention to something. Behavioral economist Richard H. Thaler referred to this meaning and created the “Nudge Effect.” The effect is to induce people’s actions and choices for the better through smooth interference. It is not a non-voluntary choice by force, but truly a voluntary act. The reason why the nudge effect was made is that everyone has a vulnerable point. For instance, you might have experienced that you promised, “I will spend and save money reasonably!” But the next day, you spent lots of money again in a meaningless way. Through trivial intervention, or a “nudge,” people can overcome vulnerable points and get great results. Maybe after reading this, several questions will come to mind, such as, “It is a really trivial intervention, but does the intervention manipulate us?” However, if someone thinks that way, they don’t understand the nudge effect properly. The nudge effect is not to prohibit people’s choosing behavior through orders or instructions, but to suggest some other directions for a better situation. It also doesn’t infringe upon free will so people can choose relying on their thoughts and will.
The nudge effect can be applied to marketing, and Seoul Milk is one example. In the past, corporations set the expiration date from when milk was released from the plant, regardless of the date of manufacture. However, consumers think the freshness of products is more important than the price or advertisement these days. Thus, Seoul Milk grasped this idea and it marked the date of manufacture as well as expiration date on products. As a result, consumers could drink fresher milk and feel respected by having the right to know. Moreover, the sales volume of the milk increased from eight million units to over nine million due to the nudge effect.
- Natural Change Shines in Our Lives!
We often forget that paper is one of the precious resources of Earth, so we tend to waste it. To solve this problem, an environmental protection agency, the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) made a tissue case which showed vanishing forests. Whenever people used tissues, they could see that forests were disappearing. Through this, the problem of wasting tissue could be resolved and people could become cautious. Similarly, the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), which is also another international environmental protection agency, made a cup depicting dying forests. Because the consumption of coffee increased, the usage rate of disposable coffee cups also increased. After using the cups, the recycling rate of the cup increased and users were able to be reminded about the importance of paper.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is held every year in Brazil, as a world festival. During the festival, people enjoy seeing colorful parades and drinking beer with others. However, a problem occurred in that traffic accidents increased over 50 percent due to drunk driving. Thus, a beer brand from Brazil conducted a promotion that could allow the participants to get home safely by using a can of beer. If people showed the empty can of beer during the festival at a subway station, they could take the subway for free. In other words, a can of beer acted as a subway ticket. Through the promotion, many people used public transportation spontaneously and accidents caused by drunk driving decreased.
A representative nudge effect in Korea is the Health Donation Staircase at the Seoul Citizen Hall. When people come up the stairs, they can hear a performance of gayageum, which is a Korean traditional instrument. Moreover, there is the fun of finding the ten traditional Symbols of Longevity in the stair case. Through these, the usage rate of the staircase increased by about three times. Whenever people climb the stairs, they can also contribute to children who have mobility difficulties. Through just small changes, the usage rate of the stairs can increase and people who use the stairs can get healthy, have fun and show consideration.
You may be thinking, “I cannot make a nudge effect,” but all people can do this! For example, CBNU students did it in the 2016 Daedongje, which is a CBNU festival. They made a wastebasket with a question: which one do you like between Captain America and Ironman? Vote by using the trash you have. Through this, all students could enjoy the festival in a clean environment. In this way, you can influence someone in a good way through smooth intervention and make great results. Through this chance, how about trying to make a nudge effect to influence everyone?