Posts Tagged ‘giving green paper’

Sunday Review: the giving green paper

02/01/2011, 10:30:26 AM

by Anthony Painter

Lying a short reach from my keyboard is a Cadbury’s Twirl. I want to eat it, as I like Twirls. Most connoisseurs of corner shop chocolate bars do. It seems a fairly logical response for me to eat it. But wait. Eat too many and all sorts of bad things could happen. I could become obese. My teeth could rot. I could end up with diabetes and heart disease. These are not nice things.

What we have here is a defective choice architecture. All the benefits of eating the Twirl are in the here and now. The costs are deferred. Our decision-making is flawed. Even the knowledge of the harm that too many chocolate bars will have is not strong enough to override the impulse to consume this Twirl. Even if we are consciously aware of the long-term cost, it is very difficult to overcome the overwhelming short term emotional benefit.

Somehow, I need a short term nudge to prevent long term pain. Essentially, this is what the Tory-Lib Dem government’s Giving Green Paper is about. How can we be nudged to do good to make ourselves and those around us more happy? (more…)

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