Digital nudges offer a promising avenue to promote individual welfare by supporting individuals in their daily decision-making. However, most existing applications merely adapt analog nudges to the digital world, rather than leveraging the unique possibilities that digital environments offer. At the same time, recent discussions raise ethical objections to nudges and suggest disclosing transparent information about nudges as a measure to overcome these. Based on salience theory, we develop a digital salience nudge to increase the healthiness of online food product choices by reducing the visual salience of unhealthy food products. In an online experiment with 399 participants, we evaluate the effectiveness of this nudge and investigate the effect of disclosing transparent information on the nudge. The results suggest that the digital salience nudge reduces the share of unhealthy food product choices by 44% (from 27 to 15%). Disclosing transparent information on the nudge, however, does not change its effectiveness.
Michels, Leonard; Schmitt, Kathrin; Ochmann, Jessica; Laumer, Sven; and Tiefenbeck, Verena, "Is It All About Transparency? The Effectiveness and Ethics of a Digital Salience Nudge" (2021). ECIS 2021 Research Papers. 25.
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