Riccardo Viale

Riccardo Viale is Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Cognitive Economics in the Department of Economics at the University of Milano-Bicocca, where he is President of BIB-Behavioral Insights Bicocca. He is also Professor of Behavioral Economics at the School of Government and the School of European Public Economics at LUISS, Rome, and Founder and Secretary General of the Herbert Simon Society. He is the author of Economics, Bounded Rationality and the Cognitive Revolution (with Herbert Simon, Massimo Egidi, and Robin Marris) and other books.

  • Nudging


    Riccardo Viale

    How “nudges” by government can empower citizens without manipulating their preferences or exploiting their biases.

    We're all familiar with the idea of “nudging”—using behavioral mechanisms to encourage people to make certain choices—popularized by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in their bestselling 2008 book Nudge. This approach, also known as “libertarian paternalism,” goes beyond typical programs that simply provide information and incentives; nudges can range from automatic enrollment in a pension plan to flu-shot scheduling. In Nudging, Riccardo Viale explores the evolution of nudging and proposes new approaches that would empower citizens without manipulating them paternalistically. He shows that we can use the tools of the behavioral sciences without abandoning the principle of conscious decision-making.

    Viale discusses the work of Herbert Simon, Gerd Gigerenzer, Daniel Kahneman, and Amos Tversky that laid the foundation of behavioral economics, describes how policy makers have sought to help people avoid bad decisions, offers examples of effective nudging, and considers how to nudge the nudgers. How can we tell good nudges from bad nudges? Viale explains that good nudges help us avoid bias and encourage deliberate decision making; bad nudges, on the other hand, use bias to nudge people unconsciously into unintentional behaviors. Bad nudges attempt to compel decisions based on economic rationality. Good nudges encourage decisions based on a pragmatic, adaptive, ecological kind of rationality. Policy makers should take note.

    • Hardcover $27.95
  • Cognitive Unconscious and Human Rationality

    Cognitive Unconscious and Human Rationality

    Laura Macchi, Maria Bagassi, and Riccardo Viale

    Examining the role of implicit, unconscious thinking on reasoning, decision making, problem solving, creativity, and its neurocognitive basis, for a genuinely psychological conception of rationality.

    This volume contributes to a current debate within the psychology of thought that has wide implications for our ideas about creativity, decision making, and economic behavior. The essays focus on the role of implicit, unconscious thinking in creativity and problem solving, the interaction of intuition and analytic thinking, and the relationship between communicative heuristics and thought. The analyses move beyond the conventional conception of mind informed by extra-psychological theoretical models toward a genuinely psychological conception of rationality—a rationality no longer limited to conscious, explicit thought, but able to exploit the intentional implicit level.

    The contributors consider a new conception of human rationality that must cope with the uncertainty of the real world; the implications of abandoning the normative model of classic logic and adopting a probabilistic approach instead; the argumentative and linguistic aspects of reasoning; and the role of implicit thought in reasoning, creativity, and its neurological base.

    ContributorsMaria Bagassi, Linden J. Ball, Jean Baratgin, Aron K. Barbey, Tilmann Betsch, Eric Billaut, Jean-François Bonnefon, Pierre Bonnier, Shira Elqayam, Keith Frankish, Gerd Gigerenzer, Ken Gilhooly, Denis Hilton, Anna Lang, Stefanie Lindow, Laura Macchi, Hugo Mercier, Giuseppe Mosconi, Ian R. Newman, Mike Oaksford, David Over, Guy Politzer, Johannes Ritter, Steven A. Sloman, Edward J. N. Stupple, Ron Sun, Nicole H. Therriault, Valerie A. Thompson, Emmanuel Trouche-Raymond, Riccardo Viale

    • Hardcover $55.00