Human Behaviour Change Based on Nudge Theory: An Empirical Test at an Expressway Rest Area in Japan

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Takuji Takemoto
Hidenao Kumazawa
Kento Iwai
Kenta Sasaki
Katsunobu Okamoto
Kohei Nakanishi
Sachiyo Kamimura


 Nudge theory is an approach that uses behavioural science findings and theories to ‘gently push’ people into acting. This paper focuses on the possibility of using nudges to improve the satisfaction of highway rest area users. We set up a mechanism for users of highway parking rest areas to engage not only in functional behaviour but also free behaviour and to conduct a demonstration experiment based on nudge theory.

 Previous studies have focused on whether or not the nudge theory approach is effective or not and have come to fairly uniform conclusions. In this study, we measured whether the effectiveness of the nudges varied according to ‘subject demographics’ and ‘location’. The data were examined using the two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) method. Results of the experiment, we were able to detect significant differences between attributes (adults and parents with children) due to the nudge mechanism.

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