Heuristics in “nudge” theory-overview (Thaler & Sunstein, 2009)

1. Anchoring and adjustment

Using known facts and adjusting them to estimate or decide something which is unknown.

2. Familiarity and Status quo bias

The more familiar something is, the more frequently, it is used/communicated. A misplaced sense of trust may be developed. These heuristics are influenced by advertising and mass media, and fear of the unknown.

3. Over-optimism

People tend to under-estimate costs, timescales, and challenges, and to over-estimate rewards and the ease of dealing with unknown things.

4. Loss aversion

The tendency for people to value actual possessions (or gains) more than potential possessions (or gains)-this creates inertia and impedes making changes. People do not like to lose possession of things, irrespective of their actual value/importance.

5. Framing

Framing is an individual’s method of heuristically understanding reality. It can therefore include many ways of distorting the attractiveness/unattractiveness of something.

6. Conforming with the population

People have the need for affirmation, and wish to avoid risk or embarrassment. Cultural factors enhance these effects.