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Under What Conditions, If at All, Can (Psychological) Strategic Behavioural Influences Be Justifiably Used to Shape People's Choices?
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The publication and mass appeal of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness (Nudge), in 2008, illuminated behavioural economics, in the public and political domain. Nudging, a technique derived from behavioural economics, offers a fresh element to the long-time debate between paternalism and freedom, since proponents believe it can simultaneously preserve freedom of choice and serve as a means to influence behaviour. Unsurprisingly, in the decade or so since Nudge, private corporations and governments alike have shown great interest in the behavioural steering techniques derived from behavioural economics. This thesis explores the ethical implications and the various means by which governments and the private sector influence behaviour, specifically individual decision making. Since many of the methods overlap in purpose and practice, I make distinct three techniques: nudging, boosting and market advertising. These steering techniques range from transparent and educative to sub-conscious and manipulative methods; as such ethical justification for their employment varies. This thesis concludes by stating transparency as a condition for ethical behavioural influencing since non-transparent or covert methods do not uphold true freedom of choice, Furthermore, the implementation of non-transparent influences carries the potential for further violations of individual autonomy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 34
Keywords [en]
Nudging, Boosting, Advertising, Transparency, Autonomy, Influences, Decision Making, Choice Architecture
National Category
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157746ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--19/04--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157746DiVA, id: diva2:1327805
Subject / course
Master in Applied Ethics
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Available from: 2019-06-24 Created: 2019-06-20 Last updated: 2019-06-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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