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Nudging Health: Making 'One More Round' Work for People on Ground


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1 Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
     

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The very interface of economics and psychological science is to amend the neoclassical economic theorizing and to demonstrate the ways individuals make real-life choices. The agenda of behavioral economics, thus, oftentimes goes beyond mere normative standards of economic man to include descriptive and prescriptive canons as well while explaining and predicting human conduct. Nudging people and helping them to make optimal choices has been one of the promising lines of inquiry in recent times. Nudging has been fruitfully employed to make individuals engage in desirable behaviors, physical exercise being one of them, which is otherwise not possible or difficult. Walking, if not physical exercise, proves to be an economically accessible solution for everyone to an array of health issues like cardiovascular diseases or obesity. Building on the previous body of research, the present study aims at examining the effect of nudge on people going for a morning walk in the garden. More precisely, we predicted that nudging would increase the number of rounds an individual takes in the ground. A field experiment with a repeated-measures design is conducted on people living in Mumbai city (N = 38) to test this prediction. Results indicate a significant effect of nudging on the number of rounds taken by people. A discussion of theoretical and practical implications of the study is followed by suggestions for future research.
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  • Nudging Health: Making 'One More Round' Work for People on Ground

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Authors

Umesh L. Bharte
Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Jinal Shah
Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Abstract


The very interface of economics and psychological science is to amend the neoclassical economic theorizing and to demonstrate the ways individuals make real-life choices. The agenda of behavioral economics, thus, oftentimes goes beyond mere normative standards of economic man to include descriptive and prescriptive canons as well while explaining and predicting human conduct. Nudging people and helping them to make optimal choices has been one of the promising lines of inquiry in recent times. Nudging has been fruitfully employed to make individuals engage in desirable behaviors, physical exercise being one of them, which is otherwise not possible or difficult. Walking, if not physical exercise, proves to be an economically accessible solution for everyone to an array of health issues like cardiovascular diseases or obesity. Building on the previous body of research, the present study aims at examining the effect of nudge on people going for a morning walk in the garden. More precisely, we predicted that nudging would increase the number of rounds an individual takes in the ground. A field experiment with a repeated-measures design is conducted on people living in Mumbai city (N = 38) to test this prediction. Results indicate a significant effect of nudging on the number of rounds taken by people. A discussion of theoretical and practical implications of the study is followed by suggestions for future research.