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 28 On Judging Others How to ﬁnd the beneﬁt of doubt. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Close Knit Meet the weavers keeping traditional Egyptian tapestrymaking alive. Arts & Culture Issue 50 The Old Gays Inside a Californian TikTok “content house” of a very different stripe. Arts & Culture Issue 50 New Roots The Palestinian art and agriculture collective sowing seeds of community. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Angela Trimbur An all-out tour de force. Arts & Culture Issue 50 Peace & Quiet In the UK, a centuries-old Quaker meeting house encourages quiet reflection.