Decision making

Nudge

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Peter Singer at The College of New Jersey
Peter Singer at The College of New Jersey

Peter Singer in his provocative book The Life You Can Change raises the phenomena of a gentle nudge to slowly help shift community trends to overcome apathy. He mentions this in relation to a culture of giving.

Singer argues that even when we are choosing in our own interests, we often choose unwisely. So his writing here is about informing better decision making.

If major corporations, universities and other employers were to deduct 1% of each employee’s salary and donate the money to organisations fighting global poverty, unless the employee opted out of the scheme, that would nudge employees to be more generous and yield billions more for combatting poverty.

He writes that while the idea might sound odd now, but if a few corporations or institutions adopt it, it could spread.

Is this part of the solution? More money? If so, how should it be distributed and spent?

What other changes might be introduced through giving it a bit of a nudge over time?