If nudge sponsored a cafeteria…

…it would be like this one in the Netherlands. Run by scientists at the Wageningen University and Research Center (with willing and fully informed diners), the recently opened cafeteria has already generated some preliminary findings:

Put the same coffee in four mugs of different colors and ask people which is stronger. Men likely will point to the brown mug. Women are less likely to be fooled.

For months, he said, customers bought milk from a vending machine. One day, the label was changed to indicate the milk was organic — prompting some people to comment that it tasted funny.

People eat more when food is served on a big plate, less on a small one.

Attitudes change when freshly cut flowers are on the table.

One of the first academic papers to emerge out of the cafeteria is in the new issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. Researchers studying willpower found a considerable level of self-control among people who said they wanted to eat healthy snacks. Only a quarter of them actually chose unhealthy snacks. Of course, half the diners said they wanted to eat unhealthy – which they did! That still leaves plenty of room for a few good nudges. (Gated copy here)

Hat tip: Philip Frankenfeld.


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