Table 1

MINDSPACE approach to pragmatic tactics in choice architecture*

Tactic†DefinitionStrategy for designerSentiment for user
MessengerMessages need a credible messenger.Identify a trusted person to endorse recommendation.‘This source seems smart and believable.’
Incentives‡Perceived gains and losses drive behaviour.Assess direct consequences from user’s viewpoint.‘The idea helps me and lessens my problems.’
Norms§Social norms influence mundane choices.Selectively appeal to general popularity.‘My peers accept it so I will do the same.’
Defaults¶Inaction leads to accepting standard options.Design positive responses for those who are passive.‘This seems reasonable and I will just agree.’
Salience**Personal relevance helps motivate people.Consider the distinct perspective of the user.‘This sensible suggestion matters to me.’
Priming††Changing behaviour is a gradual process.Start in advance giving people time to adjust‘I heard this earlier and am prepared to act.’
Attractive‡‡Aesthetics are a compelling first impression.Craft the recommendation with simple elegance.‘This seems pleasant rather than annoying.’
Consistency§§Past precedents help resolve new tasks.Show concordance with prior choices.‘My past actions imply an obvious choice now.’
EgoSelf-identity needs comfortingAllow people to gain more self-esteem.‘I now feel better about myself.’
  • *Adapted from the Institute for Government in the UK available at

  • †Tactic denotes practice rather than theory of choice architecture.

  • ‡Includes framing effect listed by Hart et al.

  • §Called social norms listed by Hart et al.

  • ¶Connected to default effect and multiple alternatives bias listed by Hart et al.

  • **Includes relative risk bias listed by Hart et al.

  • ††Similar to anchoring bias listed by Hart et al.

  • ‡‡Includes compromise effect listed by Hart et al.

  • §§Similar to habit formation listed by Hart et al.