Learning and the Emerging Science of Behavior Change, aka ‘Nudging’
Can the nudges of soft paternalism be felt in the networks of digital media and learning? The implications of soft paternalism for thinking about digital media and behaviour influence are acute. Increasingly, it is being recognized that persuasive technologies have become part of our everyday experience, as shown by kinetic gaming devices which persuade us to move our bodies and by social networking sites which persuade us to divulge our personal lives online. There is growing emphasis on designing persuasion, influence and nudging into computing devices based on diagnostic techniques which, behavioral experts claim, can perform a “mind x-ray” on our behaviors. Through networked devices, we are being nudged from a distance. This makes it important to ask questions like: What are the choice architectures built in to digital media? What forms of persuasion are put into software code? What behavioural defaults are programmed into new digital pedagogies? And what psychological and behavioral theories are scripted into the latest designs for human-computer interaction?