A primer on the power of defaults

With the Behavioral Research in Decision Making conference in town, now would be a good time for a lesson about defaults (which have long been a topic of study in the field). A default choice is an option that is selected automatically unless the decision maker specifies some alternative option. To learn everything you need to know about defaults (and their power to influence behavior), check out Eric Johnson‘s excellent talk:

The famous paper that Eric published with Dan Goldstein (who is staying at my house this week): Johnson, E. J. & Goldstein, D. G. (2003). Do defaults save lives? Science, 302, 1338-1339.

The famous figure from the famous paper:

If you more on defaults and other low effort interventions that have big effects on behavior, check out Nudge, by Dick Thaler and Cass Sunstein.