Public Lecture by IOS Stream Institutions and Behavior

Better Together: On the Power of Social Nudges - with Sander van der Linden, Cambridge University

Sander van der Linden. Source: Twitter / @Sander_vdLinden

In this talk Sander van der Linden will make the case for a singular but important observation: nudge theory often fundamentally neglects the social dimension of the problem it is trying to address. This is surprising as many of the most successful nudges have in fact been social in nature.

What makes social nudges successful is their comparative advantage: they make friends along the way, can transform an individual into a crowd and ultimately have the potential to change societal norms. The future of behavioral insights will depend on its ability to address many of the world’s biggest social challenges, from extremism and fake news to public health and climate change. Yet doing so will necessitate the design of more social nudges. Van der Linden will present a preliminary framework and several examples of snudge: the socially minded nudge.

About Sander van der Linden

Sander van der Linden is University Lecturer in Social Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab. His research interests include social influence, attitudes, persuasion, human judgment and decision-making and the psychology of risk and social communication. In 2017, Sander van der Linden was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. In 2019, he received the Sage Early Career Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.


Sander van der Linden’s talk will be followed by reflections from four disciplinary perspectives, including sociology (professor Vincent Buskens), philosophy (dr. Joel Anderson), political science (professor Barbara Vis), and psychology (dr. Marieke Adriaanse). The session will close with a panel discussion with all speakers and contributions from dr. Will Tiemeijer (The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy) and dr. Thomas Dirkmaat (Behavioral Insights Network NL) on the issues associated with the employment of prosocial nudges in the wider context of public policy making.

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Academiegebouw, Belle van Zuylen room

If you want to attend this event, please register before November 15 by sending an email to Ms. Amal Ng (