Wednesday, 22 July 2015

A wee theory

I heard something this morning which I'd not heard before, meaning I must share it with you.

It relates to a philosophy known as "nudge" or "nudge theory" which, for someone with my tiny mind, demands a very simple explanation.

This is opposed to the less simple Wikipedia description of nudge as "a concept in behavioural science, political theory and economics which argues that positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to try to achieve non-forced compliance can influence the motives, incentives and decision making of groups and individuals, at least as effectively – if not more effectively – than direct instruction, legislation, or enforcement."  

Got that?  Thought not.

Right, let's go with the BBC website which explains nudge theory as "using psychology to change our behaviour for the better."

Any clearer?  Don't worry, an illustrative example will help.  And for that, again I turn to the BBC where I first heard this story this morning whilst chewing a bacon sandwich.

"Perhaps the most famous example of a nudge is at Schiphol Airport in Holland. Managers were fed up with the state of the gents. Men were none too accurate in their aim. Warnings and signs did no good so designers tried a nudge."

Here comes the good bit.

"A black fly was etched into the porcelain of each urinal - something to aim at. Spillages were reduced by 80%."

Isn't that fun?!

But not as fun as this.

I love being a boy.