Nudges Across Cultures

Camila Montes Hinsch

Student thesis: Master thesis


The subject of this thesis is the world spreading phenomenon “to nudge” in a cultural context. A nudge is essentially a little push in the right direction, so to speak. The concept of nudge has been powering its way through the crowd since the introduction of the term in 2008 in the book “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. Today the idea of nudging is basically used in countries all over the world as a new approach in the matter of influencing behavior and choice without changing incentives or forbidding any actions in the means of people’s freedom of choice. The overall principles of nudging are to improve the individual’s decisions based on health, wealth and happiness.
The fact that nudging is spreading all over the world, can raise the issue on one level or the other regarding culture and cultural barriers. Culture is something that has existed for thousands of years, and will most definitely continue existing for thousands years to come. Since we live in a world dominated by high diversity culturally speaking, then it can be assumed that there is a somewhat high diversity in behavior amongst the different cultures as well. This is what the world famous social psychologist Geert Hofstede has observed and researched over a long period of time in many countries in the world. Our cultural behavior can be similar to another, but never exactly the same.
A tendency shows that there are many different nudges being designed all over the world for a specific group of people, which leads to the discussion of nudges being made for changing one particular behavior in one particular situation. Situations and people are different, but in the end several nudges are out to change the same behavior in some way or the other, nonetheless the nudges differ from each other because they are designed under different kinds of circumstances.
Therefore, the motivation behind of this thesis is to compare three selected countries: Denmark, Chile and Russia. This thesis will investigate the possibility of using the same nudge in three very different cultures, with the purpose of looking into the functionality and effect some nudges could or would have in these respective cultures. In this thesis I argue that one specific nudge will have its challenges when being used in different countries and cultures due to the circumstances of cultural barriers.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages66
SupervisorsCarlos Salas Lind