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Choice Architecture (Behavioural Economics)

AS, A-Level, IB
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Last updated 21 Mar 2021

Choice architecture is the framing of a choice in order to manipulate the outcome of someone’s decision.

Behavioural Economics - Choice Architecture

Choice architecture refers to a scenario in which the environment in which someone must make a decision has been carefully designed to try and influence that decision. There is a variety of ways in which the “environment” can be designed. For example:

  • Altering the “default” option – most consumers stick with a “default” option, so producers should think about which option they would most like consumers to use
  • Providing “immediate feedback” on choices that are made in order to make consumers reconsider their decision
  • Altering the number of options available or changing the wording in order to subconsciously manipulate our decisions

This term was developed by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in 2008 in their book ‘Nudge’.

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