WICKED DEFAULTS: HOW TO OVERCOME THE DARK SIDE OF CHOICE ARCHITECTURE

Grant number: DP190103475 | Funding period: 2019 - 2022

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Abstract

This project aims to investigate how defaults and product complexity might be used to exploit consumers in environments like private insurance where consumers are prone to making systematic errors. Defaults are used to nudge individuals into socially beneficial actions such as increasing their retirement savings and joining organ donor lists. However, in the hands of firms, defaults can also be used to exploit consumers by encouraging choices that help the firm but disadvantage consumers. The project intends to study experimentally whether exploitation can be reduced via competition and reputation building systems based on consumer feedback.

Researchers