Articoli taggati con ‘Public Policy’

Tafterjournal n. 83 - LUGLIO AGOSTO 2015

Nudging, Gamification and Paternalism

di Manfred J. Holler

Paternalism assumes an authority that tries to influence the behavior of people under its guidance in order to improve the wellbeing of the latter. This can be implemented by more or less strict regulations limiting the set of alternatives to choose from and thus reducing the freedom of choice. Alternatively, “libertarian paternalism” does not constrain the freedom of choice but takes advantage of the imperfections in decision-making abilities to push people to make choices that are good for themselves. This kind of pushing people is called “nudging” and a means of pushing people this way is called a “nudge.” Those who get nudged are sometimes called “nudgees,” and “nudgers” are those who “nudge.” When it comes to paternalism then the nudger is an authority, the State, the parents, etc. While, in principle, paternalism proper is coercive, nudging leaves the nudgee’s set of alternatives unchanged. Thus, nudging is a means to achieve the authority’s ends without, in principle, restricting the freedom of choice of decision makers, but make the decision makers decide what the authority is in fact aiming for. Paternalism based on nudging is also referred to as “soft paternalism.” Whitman and Rizzo (2007) elaborate on the warning of a “slippery slope” that leads from soft paternalism to “hard paternalism,” a non-libertarian paternalism implying regulations, legal constraints, and a reduction of freedom of choice, and thus represents a threat to their libertarian worldview. They write “soft paternalism – even if initially modest and non-intrusive – has the potential to pave the way for harder paternalism, including some policies of which the new paternalists themselves would disapprove. We conclude that policymaking based on new paternalist reasoning ought to be considered with much greater trepidation than its advocates suggest” (Whitman and Rizzo 2007: 413).

Leggi tutto