‘Nudge psychology to boost trainees’ engagement with research evidence: a workplace toolkit’

Project: Research

Project Details


In Scotland, there is an emphasis on the use of critical thinking by practitioners in multiple fields, in order to build a skilled workforce for the future. Along these lines, the professional trainers, training teachers, nurses, engineers, economists etc, are often advised by their training providers and Higher Education institutes to engage with evidence-based practices (D'Andrea & Gosling, 2003). However, new professionals may feel that research evidence is irrelevant, time consuming and additional responsibility, and prefer to work on the basis of intuition. Therefore, the broad aim of our project is to encourage critical thinking and self-reflection among trainees via engagement with evidence. To do so, we aim to introduce ‘nudge psychology’ - which suggests that a ‘nudge’ – i.e. a simple and subtle encouragement – can be more effective in modifying behaviour than a reward or punishment. Just as some products, such as mobile phones, are intuitive to use, so nudges aim to ensure that people are not put off from working towards their goals, and are instead motivated to persist (Sunstein, 2014). In essence, a nudge is a small change to facilitate a behaviour, for example, by making it easier, more attractive, more desirable, or more memorable. Workers can be nudged towards particular choices and behaviour if they are accessible, attractive and memorable, or they could be nudged away from such choices and behaviour. This study will focus on these processes by identifying relevant nudges using the research literature, and by interviewing those who work training teachers, engineers, careers advisors, and other professionals, in order to find out which nudges would be most relevant to their trainees. We then intend to develop a nudge psychology toolkit for use in a range of workplace settings.
Short titleNudge psychology to boost trainees’ engagement with research evidence
Effective start/end date10/06/1910/06/20


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