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Decision aids

Research projects in this area aim to shape the decision-making environment in such a way that people make decisions that benefit themselves and society. As an additional objective, the findings should contribute towards development of a theory of nudging.

Research projects

Ongoing research projects

  • Electricity Products (Defaults)
    Switzerland, like the EU, has made it an objective to increase the percentage of electricity obtained from renewable sources. Although energy suppliers offer electricity products from renewable sources (green electricity), only a small part of the population uses these electricity products. This is in contradiction with the public’s expressed wish to buy green electricity and pay the extra cost. One possible way to move the public to buy green electricity is to make green electricity the default (standard setting). Initial studies and implementation in the world of practice have provided evidence of the effect of defaults in other contexts. In line with the latest findings in cognitive psychology basic research, the Applied Cognitive Psychology section is investigating the possibility of the default effect in the energy context.

Completed research projects

Design of Restaurant Menu Cards (3 projects)
Overweight and obesity and resulting health problems incur enormous costs in Switzerland. This can be remedied through a healthy and balanced diet. The aim is to study what factors influence food choices and can support people in making healthy food choices.

  1. Effect of Position on the Menu:
    Through the design of different restaurant menu cards, we examined whether the position of a dish on the menu card in dependency on preference for certain types of cooking (for example, Italian food, French food) has an effect on what people order.
  2. Verbal Descriptions on Menus:
    We analysed whether the visual design of restaurant menu cards and the verbal descriptions of the meal selections influence what people order. In addition, we examined whether the two factors mentioned have an effect on willingness to pay, anticipation, and other things.
  3. Effect of Position in Kiosks:
    At a kiosk at a retirement home for the elderly, we examined whether the positioning of healthy and unhealthy products in the kiosk display influenced people’s choices.