Ethical Guidelines for the Construction of Digital Nudges

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Meske, Christian
Amojo, Ireti
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Abstract
Under certain circumstances, humans tend to behave in irrational ways, leading to situations in which they make undesirable choices. The concept of digital nudging addresses these limitations of bounded rationality by establishing a libertarian paternalist alternative to nudge users in virtual environments towards their own preferential choices. Thereby, choice architectures are designed to address biases and heuristics involved in cognitive thinking. As research on digital nudging has become increasingly popular in the Information Systems community, an increasing necessity for ethical guidelines has emerged around this concept to safeguard its legitimization in distinction to e.g. persuasion or manipulation. However, reflecting on ethical debates regarding digital nudging in academia, we find that current conceptualizations are scare. This is where on the basis of existing literature, we provide a conceptualization of ethical guidelines for the design of digital nudges, and thereby aim to ensure the applicability of nudging mechanisms in virtual environments.
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Behavioral Economics in the Digital Economy: Digital Nudging and Interface Design, digital nudging, ethics, guidelines, manipulation
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