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Why Nudging is not enough.
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The  Value / Cost Exchange Matrix

The  Value / Cost Exchange Matrix is a conceptual device to represent four different forms of exchange that can be designed to promote change in individuals and groups.  The assumption is that whilst ‘Nudges’ can be effective in promoting some behaviours in some situations they do not represent a full toolbox of possible forms of intervention .

As well as Nudges, governments and other organisations can also use: Shoves, Hugs and Smacks.



Most successful social interventions will use a combination of these four forms of intervention. It should also be noted that the four forms of intervention are not absolutely distinct.

The matrix is constructed using two axes, the first: active and passive choosing, and the second: positive and negative enforcement. 

The selection of which form of intervention or combination of intervention types should always be driven by evidence and target audience insight  An on-going focus on the social marketing  ‘bottom-line’ of behaviour change will provide not only insight into effectiveness but also value for money  information about which form of intervention mix works best. This should, over time, provide the information necessary to ensure that the most efficient and effective combination of approaches can be put in place and that ineffective and more costly forms of intervention are weeded out.


See free toolbox section for more details about this model and others used by SSM staff.



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