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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2020

University College Dublin, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy & UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, Dublin 4, Ireland
University College Dublin, School of Economics & UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy Dublin 4, Ireland
*Correspondence to: University College Dublin, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, Dublin 4, Ireland. Email:


Insights from the behavioural sciences are increasingly used by governments and other organizations worldwide to ‘nudge’ people to make better decisions. Furthermore, a large philosophical literature has emerged on the ethical considerations on nudging human behaviour that has presented key challenges for the area, but is regularly omitted from discussion of policy design and administration. We present and discuss FORGOOD, an ethics framework that synthesizes the debate on the ethics of nudging in a memorable mnemonic. It suggests that nudgers should consider seven core ethical dimensions: Fairness, Openness, Respect, Goals, Opinions, Options and Delegation. The framework is designed to capture the key considerations in the philosophical debate about nudging human behaviour, while also being accessible for use in a range of public policy settings, as well as training.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2020

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