Default options are pre-set courses of action that take effect if nothing is specified by the decision maker (Thaler & Sunstein, 2008), and setting defaults is an effective tool in choice architecture when there is inertia or uncertainty in decision making (Samson, 2014). Requiring people to opt-out if they do not wish to donate their organs, for example, has been associated with higher donation rates (Johnson & Goldstein, 2003).


Johnson, E. J., & Goldstein, D. G. (2003). Do defaults save lives? Science, 302, 1338-1339.

Samson, A. (2014, February 25). A simple change that could help everyone drink less. Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


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