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Hypothesis and Theory ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02418

Models of Cognition and Their Applications in Behavioral Economics: A Conceptual Framework for Nudging Derived from Behavior Analysis and Relational Frame Theory

  • 1OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
  • 2Kore University of Enna, Italy

This study puts forward a rounder conceptual model for interpreting short and long-term effects of choice behavior. Kahneman’s (2011) distinction between cognitive processing System 1 and System 2 reflect the more rigorous distinction between Brief and Immediate and Extended and Elaborated Relational Responding. Specifically, we provide theoretical accounts and applied examples of how nudging, or the manipulation of environmental contingencies, works on the creation and modification of relational frames. The subset denominated educational nudges, or boosts, are particularly useful towards their maintenance. We define and illustrate the fundamental mediating role of verbal behavior towards formulating rules, which inform and guide choice behavior over time. Furthermore, we suggest adopting the Implicit Relations Association Procedure to inform how coherent and immediate responding to new relational frames may be, whenever choices need be made. We provide empirical accounts of consumer behavior, stereotypy and prejudices, eating behavior, and overcoming cognitive biases. The conclusions depict a promising way forward towards an improved model for interpreting and overcoming human errors thanks to changes in the contingencies of choice behavior.

Keywords: choice behaviour, Cognition, Contingencies of reinforcement, IRAP, nudging, Relational frame theory, decision-making

Received: 15 Jul 2019; Accepted: 10 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Tagliabue, Squatrito and Presti. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Marco Tagliabue, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway,