In my talk, I will discuss a new perspective on employing behavioral insights in public policy by highlighting the concepts of autonomy and empathy for engaging citizens with behavior in service of the common good. Autonomous choice can be achieved by designing a new type of nudges (‘prompts’) that are not driven by the idea of human decision making as inherently flawed, as is posited in models of bounded rationality. Rather, prompts invite people to behave in a certain way which allows them to decide autonomously. Moreover, I will emphasize the need to integrate empathy in public policy arrangements in such a way that people do not only consider the benefits for themselves but also for others. I will illustrate the potential of prompts by discussing several pressing public policy cases – such as vaccination, organ donation, and environmental-friendly behavior.
Over de spreker
Denise de Ridder is professor of psychology at Utrecht University and director of the Self-Regulation Lab that hosts many research projects on self-regulation and nudging. She is one of the co-founders of the Institutions & Behavior network that is part of Utrecht University’s strategic research theme Institutions for Open Societies. She recently launched the multidisciplinary Prompted Rationality network for research on how new designs for public policy arrangements can facilitate autonomous choices that take account of the common good on top of personal benefit for individuals themselves.