Sunday, February 23, 2020

This Study Seems to Refute the Nudge Effect

Nudge (longer title at link) is a book that was highly influential in how many programs of the Progressive Elite (WE Know Better Than You) were set up. The idea was to "gently nudge" people towards the outcome desired by the Nanny-Staters, rather than being coerced by the Progressive Gestapo.

In some examples - setting up a retirement fund at work, opting-in to email, or agreeing to be an organ donor - making the desired choices a default seemed to increase the likelihood of getting people to make that choice.

Now, there is evidence that - other than irritating most of us - nudging really doesn't work.

The thing is, nudging SEEMS like it SHOULD work. Those who shrink from demanding a specific result - an order or law - would prefer that the individuals would make the preferred choice, whether that be because of enthusiastic agreement, or because it's harder to make a non-preferred choice.

It's Socialism/Leftism, with a Gentle Touch (trademark pending).

But, it doesn't work with everyone. Not even most.

Let me explain why it doesn't with an example from my life.

My first kid was amazing. She was born early, with many medical problems, and - just by that factor - caused me to have a high level of anxiety and stress.

But, she had the most sunny, upbeat, cheerful attitude towards life and all those around her - still does, for that matter. She was the kid in the pediatric ward that they gave to the student nurses to practice on, as she was the most cooperative and easygoing.

A great kid to have as the first child, as I was able to gain confidence in my parental skills.

She didn't really have the Terrible Two's. Even at that age, she was generally not oppositional or difficult. Truly a dream child for a nervous, exhausted first-time parent.

Her brother was a whole other child. If he'd been born first, he'd have been an Only Child.

He was born with a strong sense of what he liked and didn't like. Nudging or coaxing - or trying to - was a waste of time. You couldn't reduce resistance by saying, "Would you like to wear the yellow shirt with the kangaroo, or the blue shirt with the train?" Most of the time, his response was - Neither.

Nudging and coaxing didn't work. Brute force, when necessary (shots had to be given, snowsuit had to be put on, time was an issue), was the only thing that worked. Well, that, and complete capitulation on our part.

But, when we weren't trying to force him to go along with something he definitely didn't want to do, he was a sunny delight. But, you could NOT push, pull, or nudge. He had definite opinions, and he would not budge.

BTW, they both grew up into wonderful adults. My son's son is the one we call Payback. Even though he's not 1/2 as much trouble (which still constitutes a challenge).

My response to the idea that Nudging is the way to go:
Americans are independent people, with strong opinions about the direction of their own life. They are not subjects or serfs. They are CITIZENS. Treat them like that.
All of the above explains why Bernie Sanders is likely to be VERY unpopular with the voters in the fall, as are pretty much all of the other Democratic choices. They all think they know better than American citizens do.


Francis W. Porretto said...

There's also Glenn Beck's famous observation:

"First then nudge, then they shove, then they shoot."

We should bear that in mind.

evilfranklin said...

"First they nudge, then they shove, then they shoot." But, many of us shoot back. Fortunately it has not come to the "shoot" part, yet.

evilfranklin said...

Miss Fox,

Perhaps, by now, your daughter has learned to be a little belligerent and your son has not lost any of his.


"Yet" being the operative conditional word.

I both agree and disagree. People, IMHO, do respond to nudges when they're not aware they're being nudged.

As to the election, a LOT of people IMHO clearly want to be CARED FOR. Witness the attractiveness of FREE STUFF.

Linda Fox said...

My eldest daughter is a Franciscan sister, and not at all belligerent. But, she does assert herself - nicely.

My son has actually mellowed. Good thing, as Payback is a handful.

Sam L. said...

Let the kid wear BOTH shirts, the yellow and the blue.

A Reader said...

May God bless your daughter and her vocation. We desperately need the prayers of the religious and the consecrated.