In a literal sense, the term “nudge” refers to a gentle push or a subtle prod.
In essence, a nudge is a tool designed to alter one’s perception of a situation. Based on this shift in perception, the individual is free to decide whether or not to change his or her behaviour. It entails modifying the choice framework presented to an individual in a given situation. By introducing new options for decision-making, a company, a public policymaker, or even an individual can encourage decisions that align with desirable outcomes. A good nudge should preserve an individual’s freedom of choice and avoid using manipulative tactics. A famous real-world example is the urban ashtray designed as a ballot box. Initially developed in England, it invited smokers to cast their vote for Messi or Ronaldo when disposing of their cigarette butts. This device captures individuals’ attention by reshaping their perception of the situation, motivating them to engage in environmentally friendly behaviour.