Key papers on boosting

Conceptual and review papers

Below we list conceptual and review papers on boosting. Note, however, that we link to many more papers throughout this website, in particular when describing the different types of boosts (e.g., boosting cognitive competences in online environments).

Where can I learn more about boosting?
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General papers

General overview over boosting and how it relates to nudging

Hertwig, R., & Grüne-Yanoff, T. (2017). Nudging and boosting: Steering or empowering good decisions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12, 973–986. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691617702496

Boosting and nudging for behavioral public policy and well-being public policy

Fabian, M., & Pykett, J. (2022). Be happy: Navigating normative issues in behavioral and well-being public policy. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17(1), 169–182. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620984395

See also this article in the APS Observer: “Policy in action: Navigating behavioral and well-being public policy”

When should you consider boosting?

Hertwig, R. (2017). When to consider boosting: Some rules for policy-makers. Behavioural Public Policy, 1, 143–161. https://doi.org/10.1017/bpp.2016.14

See also the following guidelines to assess whether boosting, nudging, or their combination might be more promising.

“Self-nudging”: Combining the best of nudging and boosting

Reijula, S., & Hertwig, R. (2020). Self-nudging and the citizen choice architect. Behavioural Public Policy, 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1017/bpp.2020.5

See also this article on Behavioral Scientist: “Creating citizen choice architects”

A game-theoretic analysis of nudging and boosting

Hertwig, R., & Ryall, Michael D. (2020). Nudge versus boost: Agency dynamics under libertarian paternalism. The Economic Journal, 130, 1384–1415. https://doi.org/10.1093/ej/uez054

Boosting agency, reasoning, and resilience to manipulation in digital environments

  • Kozyreva, A., Lewandowsky, S., & Hertwig, R. (2020). Citizens versus the internet: Confronting digital challenges with cognitive tools. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 21, 103–156. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100620946707

  • Lorenz-Spreen, P., Lewandowsky, S., Sunstein, C. R., & Hertwig, R. (2020). How behavioural sciences can promote truth, autonomy and democratic discourse online. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 1102–1109. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0889-7

See also the digital boosts page.

Boosting statistical literacy

Gigerenzer, G., Gaissmaier, W., Kurz-Milcke, E., Schwartz, L. M., & Woloshin, S. (2007). Helping doctors and patients make sense of health statistics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8, 53–96. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6053.2008.00033.x

See also the risk literacy boosts page.

Boosting healthier choices

Rouyard, T., Engelen, B., Papanikitas, A., & Nakamura, R. (2022). Boosting healthier choices. BMJ, 376, e064225. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2021-064225