Nudgespotting: Everyday Life in NYC


It’s impossible to live in New York City without experiencing the push and pull of influence. After all, one of NYC’s most famous destinations plants you in the center of an arena of advertisements. While some of these influences are merely annoyances or eyesores, others are more impactful. In this edition of Nudgespotting, I share four behavioral science insights in action from a typical day in the Big Apple.

Nudgespotting: An Investigation of Traffic Nudges

Nudgespotting: An Investigation of Traffic Nudges

By DJ Neri (ideas42)

Welcome back to Nudgespotting! Today we’ll take a look at several attempts to make you a better driver and discover how creating a “simple” nudge can be a not-so-simple task. 


Recently, on a trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, I was running late for a meeting. My taxi driver came to an abrupt halt at a red light and my eyes anxiously darted to the clock on my phone: how long would I be forced to wait? As if my mind had been read, I looked up to see that next to the red light was a timer displaying the seconds remaining until the light would turn green. I was immediately pleased to have my uncertainty alleviated, but later on I started wondering: are these timers nudging us to become better drivers? Or are they causing us to misbehave? Let’s investigate.