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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562492
Title Which forms of nudging food decisions are ethically acceptable?
Author(s) Korthals, M.
Source In: Know Your Food. - Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862641 - p. 179 - 184.
Event EurSafe 2015, Cluj-Napoca, 2015-05-28/2015-05-30
Department(s) WASS
Publication type Contribution in proceedings
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Buying food items - Choice contexts - Decision making - Ethical deliberation - Normative and descriptive nudges - Not really willed choices

Thaler and Sunstein's Nudge (TSN) (2008) introduced the concept of nudge as' any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people's behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be cheap and easy to avoid'. All contexts in which food preferences are transformed in decisions to buy food are prestructured more often than not in the interest of sellers; nudges claim to structure the context in the self-enlightened interests of buyers. The aim of this paper is to analyse the phenomenon of nudging and to assess its ethical acceptability. First, several definitions of nudging will be discussed and one will be proposed that takes into account that choice contexts in supermarkets or canteens let many people buy their food items quite routine like on the basis of easy accessible things like tasteful looking wrappings. Choice contexts are always already framed, and it is then ethically relevant that restructured choice contexts indeed express norms generally seen as desirable that respect certain conditions, like no restrictions on choice and respecting the consumer. Secondly, ways will be discussed in which non-willed choices inhibit individuals to buy the things they really want. Thirdly, a distinction is made between several types of nudges that can stimulate alternative willed choices instead of unwilled choices. Finally, an assessment is made of ethical criteria in evaluating seven aspects of nudging.

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