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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Do ‘Nudge’ Policies affect Free Will and Public Trust?

“Nudges,” or small changes in the way options are presented to people, exert powerful effects on behavior. Both the U.K. and U.S. governments have taken notice of research documenting these effects and nudge-related policies have been developed to influence citizens’ behaviors. However, no one knows how citizens perceive these policies. Under what conditions are such policies embraced and rejected? By whom? How do nudges affect trust? The research of Dr. Tess Neal and Lindsey Wylie, J.D., M.A., proposed to isolate and study the effects of various kinds of nudges (e.g., transparent vs. non-transparent).

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