Inside the Nudge Unit

Inside the Nudge Unit

How small changes can make a big difference

David Halpern

The US Office of War Information, created by Franklin D. Roosevelt, was reputed to have produced more than 200,000 different posters during the Second World War. These campaigns pursued a wide range of objectives, from encouraging people to buy war bonds; eating different, and previously unpalatable, foods; planting ‘victory gardens’; and bolstering the preparedness to fight and support the Allies. These campaigns were often highly successful. For example, billions of dollars were raised from US war bonds from the civilian population, including more than a billion from children alone. Similarly, vegetable production from the 50 million civilian ‘victory gardens’ is estimated to have exceeded that of commercial vegetable production.

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