The nudge theory and beyond: how people can play with your mind

A couple of decades ago, a class of psychology undergraduates played a mean trick on their lecturer. The students on the right side of the room gently nodded, smiled, and looked thoughtful, while those on the left seemed bored and glum. Before long, the unsuspecting lecturer was addressing the “right” students with enthusiasm, with only the odd uncomfortable glance to the rest. On some secret sign, the students changed roles – and the lecturer duly switched to addressing students to the left. Memories are vague on how often the hapless lecturer was pushed to and fro.

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Nick Chater
Professor of Behavioural Science