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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

To Approach Good Choices or To Avoid Bad Choices?: How Approach and Avoidance “Nudge” Policies Affect Public Trust and Policy Support

“Nudges”–small changes in choice architecture–exert powerful effects on behavior. Governments have taken notice and nudge-related laws and policies have been developed to influence citizens. However, little is known about how people perceive these policies. How do various nudges affect trust in the institutions passing the policies? Who embraces such policies and who rejects them? This project built on a pilot study conducted by Dr. Tess Neal and Lindsey Wylie, J.D., M.A., to isolate the effects of approach vs. avoidance nudges (i.e., toward good or away from bad choices) and transparent vs. non-transparent nudges. Results from this innovative study intended to directly inform public policy.

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