A mnemonic to spell-out the psychological elements of the UK Government nudge approach:


M – Messenger: we are heavily influenced by who communicates information

I – Incentive: our responses to incentives are shaped by predictable mental shortcuts such as strongly avoiding losses

N – Norms: we are strongly influenced by what others do

D – Defaults: we “go with the flow” of pre-set options

S – Salience: our attention is drawn to what is novel and seems relevant to us

P – Priming: our acts are often influenced by sub-conscious cues

A – Affect: our emotional associations can powerfully shape our actions

C – Commitment: we seek to be consistent with our public promises, and reciprocate acts

E – Ego: we act in ways that make us feel better about ourselves




Dolan, P., Hallsworth, M., Halpern, D., King, D., Vlaev, I., 2010. MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy. Institute for Government & the Cabinet Office. (pdf)



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