Nudging Towards Inclusivity: The Ethicality of Policies for the Promotion of Inclusion

Think You?! The Proceedings of the Bay Honors Research Symposium (2023)
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Abstract

There can sometimes be weariness surrounding coordinated efforts to induce inclusion. Detractors of certain such efforts may cite coercion or a loss of autonomy as a concern. In their book Nudge, Thaler and Sunstein presented the idea of the “nudge.” Nudges change the context in which a decision is made to increase the likelihood that a certain choice is made by the decision maker. However, nudges are designed to be easy to avoid. Thaler and Sunstein laid out criteria such that nudges can remain ethical. In this paper, I show that certain nudges that greatly increased inclusion in their respective communities do follow these criteria. In fact, subjected even to the relatively tighter constraints imposed by a prominent critic of Thaler and Sunstein’s philosophy, Wilkinson, these nudges remain unscathed. Thus, inclusion-promoting nudges are not necessarily unethical from the standpoint of manipulation or autonomy.

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Manuj Kant
Las Positas Community College

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