Why are we so uncomfortable with the idea of being manipulated when we do it to others all the time? When you smile in a job interview, you’re trying to make the interviewer warm to you. When you go on a date, you think about the location, the ambiance, the food and wine—all in an effort to exert influence. Doctors and shopkeepers alike offer options with the intention of pushing people to make certain choices. You might refer to these behaviors as “nudges”: subtle modifications in the presentation of a set of options that affect a person’s automatic, rather than rational, cognitive processes. In recent years, even governments have seized on the tactic. In 2010, inspired by Nobel Prize-winning economist Richard Thaler, and the book he co-authored, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, the British government set up its Behavioural Insights Team to apply these theories to public policy. Several similar “nudge This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.