The anti-nudge herd


Interesting phenomenon emerging in the last few days: a spontaneous anti-nudge herd.

First, over at the RSA there have been a number of critical blogposts (the latest of which makes the very good point that all the crowing about "nudging" is likely to undermine it's impact on real people)

Secondly, the arch humanists at Spiked have been having a repeated go at the illiberality of it all – and the condescending attitudes it reveals towards our "feckless" fellow citizens.

And then from the other end of the forest, comes the social angle as advocated by Paul Ormerod and summarised here by me).

Just remember, you heard it here first, folks


  1. David Harvey
    January 7, 2011

    I worry that a lot of this – nudging, social complexity etc – as applied to government and management is fuelling the idea that management is something “we” do to other people. We’re telling a generation of managers and politicians that because it’s somehow “scientific”, that it’s morally and socially OK to be manipulative.

  2. Mark Earls
    January 7, 2011

    I agree on both points, David.
    It just seems a lot cleverer and magical than the hard yards of long-term behaviour change programmes (and without the necessary expenditure, committment or unpopularity).