Nudging shows how behavioral science can be applied to decision-making within the public sector. It is a pragmatic way of injecting the desired evidence into public sector decision-making, moving away from intuition-based approaches and toward the strategies that have shown to work. Instead of seeking to persuade individuals about the merits of a specific course of action, nudging is about altering the choice of an environment so that the public follows their instincts and comes to the desired conclusion (Moseley 1). Besides, nudging has become a tool to be widely used by private organizations and public officials because of its low costs, the possibility to attain prompt results, as well as high effectiveness (Sunstein 127). Thus, the flexible nature of nudges can allow for the use of social and behavioral science when influencing public decision0making.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible to use nudging to help facilitate the decision-making of the public as to the responses to the healthcare challenge. Warnings as a nudging strategy can be used for illustrating the adverse effects of contamination graphically and enable the public to follow the strict rules implemented to prevent the spreading of the virus (Van Bavel et al. 461). Due to the reliance of global society on technology-based communication, nudging can occur in digital environments that discuss health. Such nudging increases the ease and convenience of information dissemination by directly “targeting competencies as external tools or indirectly by enlisting the choice environment” (Lorenz-Spreen et al. 1103). In the digital setting, the nudging can be an effective tool for redesigning the relevant environments for the purpose of forming informed choices regarding health.
Lorenz-Spreen, Philipp, et al. “How Behavioral Sciences Can Promote Truth, Autonomy and Democratic Discourse Online.” Nature Human Behavior, vol. 4, 2020, pp. 1102-1109.
Moseley, Alice. “Nudging in Public Policy.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia, 2020, Web.
Sustein, Cass. “Nudging: A Very Short Guide.” Business Economics, vol. 54, 2019, pp. 127-129.
Van Bavel, Jay, et al. “Using Social and Behavioral Science to Support COVID-19 Pandemic Response.” Nature Human Behavior, vol. 4, 2020, pp. 460-471.