Inside the Nudge Unit

Inside the Nudge Unit

How small changes can make a big difference

David Halpern

let me put it more strongly: I think it is unethical for governments not to do trials. 14 Governments, public bodies and businesses regularly make changes to what they do. Sometimes these changes are very extensive, such as when welfare systems are reformed, school curricula are overhauled, or professional guidelines are changed. No doubt those behind the changes think they are for the best. But without systematic testing, this is often little more than an educated guess. To me, this preparedness to make a change affecting millions of people without testing it is potentially far more unacceptable than the alternative of running trials that affect only a small number of people before imposing the change on everyone.

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