White House Creating ‘Nudge Squad’ To Shape Citizens’ Behavior

White House Creating 'Nudge Squad' To Shape Citizens' BehaviorThe federal government is hiring what it calls a “Behavioral Insights Team” that will look for ways to subtly influence people’s behavior, according to a document describing the program obtained by FoxNews.com.

‘Tweaking behavior’

While the program is still in its early stages, the document shows the White House is already working on such projects with almost a dozen federal departments and agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would “experiment” with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.


‘Extraordinarily succesfful’

Such policies — which encourage behavior subtly rather than outright require it — have come to be known as “nudges,” after an influential 2008 book titled “Nudge” by former Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein and Chicago Booth School of Business professor Richard Thaler popularized the term.

The term “nudge” has already been associated with the new program, as one professor who received Shankar’s email forwarded it to others with the note:

“Anyone interested in working for the White House in a ‘nudge’ squad? The UK has one and it’s been extraordinarily successful.”

Do you think this “nudge” program is a good thing or a bad one? Feel free to discuss your thoughts with us regarding this issue!

Source: Fox News

Image: Weasel Zippers

Court Grants Dying Child A Chance At Adult Lung Transplant

Court Grants Dying Child A Chance At Adult Lung TransplantA federal court judge has granted a temporary order that will allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who is dying from cystic fibrosis and desperately needs new lungs, to join an adult organ transplant list.

‘Under 12 Rule’

Judge Michael Baylson made his ruling after hearing oral arguments Wednesday afternoon on a federal lawsuit filed by Sarah’s parents, challenging the “Under 12 Rule” that was keeping the 10-year-old off the adult transplant list.

Baylson’s order tells Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to direct the group that manages the organ transplant list to cease application of it in Sarah’s case. And if there is another child in the judicial district in Sarah’s situation, the judge would consider and probably grant a temporary restraining order for them, too, if the case is presented in court.


‘Hope’

In a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon, the family said, “We are experiencing many emotions: relief, happiness, gratitude and, for the first time in months: hope.”

Experts, though, questioned Baylson’s decision on both medical and ethical grounds. Lung transplants are the most difficult of organ transplants, and children fare worse than adults, which is one reason for the existing policy, said Dr. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University Langone Medical Center.

Did Judge Michael Baylson make the right decision when he made Sarah Murnaghan eligible for the adult lung transplant list? Do you think she will have a successful operation?

Source: Fox News

Image: 13 News