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Nudging and educating: bounded axiological rationality in behavioral insights

  • ALEJANDRO HORTAL (a1)

Abstract

While it is broadly accepted that individuals are boundedly rational, the meaning of these boundaries and what to do about them has generated a debate between two different views: one that defends nudging as the best possible way to improve the outcome of people's decision and one that criticizes their use. This debate occurs at an instrumental level, conceiving decisions under a goal-oriented perspective. I propose that adding the role of values (axiological rationality) to the discussion can shed new light, not only on this debate, but also on nudges themselves, clarifying and enriching some arguments in the discussion about autonomy and efficiency. This approach will not only be more comprehensive, but it will also increase the effectiveness of nudges by tackling the different components of our rationality. Nudges should not only be goal-oriented; they should also be educational. Non-educational nudges should be used in conjunction with educational interventions. I will illustrate my position with two examples: vaccination policies and nudges in the use of seatbelts.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence to: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, College of Arts and Sciences – Lang. Lit. and Cultures, 1111 Spring Garden St, 2321 MHRA Building, NC 27402-6170, USA. Email: a_hortal@uncg.edu

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Nudging and educating: bounded axiological rationality in behavioral insights

  • ALEJANDRO HORTAL (a1)

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