How behavioral decision research can enhance consumer welfare: From freedom of choice to paternalistic intervention


Conference Paper

Decision-making researchers have largely focused on showing errors and biases in consumers' decision-making processes without paying much attention to the social welfare and policy implications of these systematic behaviors. In this paper, we explore how findings and methods in behavioral decision research can be used to help consumers improve their decision making and enhance their well-being. We first review select findings in behavioral decision research to explain why consumers need help in decisions, and based on these findings, suggest various interventions that could be effective within the scope of libertarian paternalism. Ethics and effectiveness of the interventions are also discussed. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ratner, RK; Soman, D; Zauberman, G; Ariely, D; Carmon, Z; Keller, PA; Kim, BK; Lin, F; Malkoc, S; Small, DA; Wertenbroch, K

Published Date

  • December 1, 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 3-4

Start / End Page

  • 383 - 397

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0923-0645

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11002-008-9044-3

Citation Source

  • Scopus