Probably most of you have already heard about it or have seen it on YouTube: The staircase that looks like a piano and makes different sounds depending on the step you stand on. The goal of the nudge is simple: make people use the stairs instead of the escalator. The result shows how nudges can lead to greater fitness in the society, as 66% of the people, who would have normally used the escalator, used the stairs just because of the nudge.
This example is one of the most successful and most popular nudges one can find on the internet. As our topic is “Nudging sustainable consumption” we started looking for different nudges and their results, as well as the rules that must be followed in order to create a nudge.
A nudge is meant to gently push people into the right direction. In our case, that means to nudge people to a more responsible, sustainable consumer behaviour.
The most important rule when creating a nudge is that people are not controlled or forced to behave a certain way. It should simply make people reconsider their consumption or decisions they are making in their daily life.
There are different forms of nudges: the first one is based on an already existing trust. A precise preselection will be offered to the society instead of an indefinite number of options.
The principle: less is more.
The second option of nudging is to set certain standards. Standards are hardly ever questioned by the society, as standards are considered set and will only reluctantly be changed. What everyone does will probably be the best solution, instead of refusing to do what the rest of the society does. Humans are gregarious animals and will try to avoid insecurity and rather follow others. The key principle is to make the consumer feel as if he/she is doing exactly what the majority of the society would do.
We hope that our research will help us to find the right nudge for our idea and our final solution.
¡Buenos Nudging! We say: „Oui“!
Pictures: (c) YES! Team Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium Hamburg