Trialing a New Methodology for The Analysis of Public Opinion Regarding Nudge Theory (A Case Study Analysis)

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Nudge Theory 

Since its publication in 2008 Nudge theory has rapidly gained popularity (Dolan et al., 2012; Vlaev et al., 2016), leading to what could be considered overuse, sparking concerns surrounding its ethical application.

Purpose / Scope

The purpose of this research is twofold: to shed light on how media coverage effects attitude formation in regards to nudge theory and to explore the effectiveness of a different data collection methodology when considering general feelings towards nudges.

To accomplish this, previous applications of the theory will be acknowledged, along with a literature review of persuasion psychology. This is to be followed by a case study analysis pertaining to how the public responded online to news publications making them aware of Sainsbury’s and Oxfords intentions to conduct a nudge experiment in the near future. Along with how they may have been subject to unwitting participation in the experiment had it not been for this disclosure.


The literature Review

  • A Brief History of Nudge Theory
  • Nudge Ethics and Acceptability
  • How People Feel About Being Persuaded
  • Current Research
  • Gaps in Research.


  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Case Studies
  • The Selected Case Study
  • Direct Observation
  • What Is Non-Reactive/Unobtrusive: Internet-Mediated Research (IMR)
  • Thematic Analysis, Framing Analysis
  • Research Limitations
  • Ethics


  • Thematic Analysis
  • Framing analysis



Qualitative Research Methods

Part 1: “why do young people become founders of ethical companies and what difficulties they experience along the road to success?”
(An interview analysis)
-starts on page 2 

Part 2: “How the use of different news writers could alter the way in which readers opinions are shaped on the same topic”.
(A text-based framing analysis)
-starts on page 25click here to read:
Qualitative essay

Online grocery shopping website food-label analysis by Charlotte Lincoln 2015.

Online grocery shopping website food-label analysis. by (me) Charlotte lincoln


The following essay will analyse past research into encouraging ethical and health oriented spending, in regards to food products purchased from grocery store outlets.

The research involved a mixed method study looking into how online platforms dealt with the transfer of labels (Fairtrade, Organic, Origin, gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan) and nutritional information from physical food packaging. It also identified which types of food items were given priority real estate on the homepages, with the aim of discovering how online grocery stores were affecting purchasing behaviour and whether the digital platform could be a viable option when addressing the desire for a uniform labelling system.

It was discovered that on average sites were insufficient at transferring the necessary labelling information from food packaging. In regards to companies, brand labels gave too much priority to ‘own brand’ and subsequently ‘no label’ unmarked produce. Specifically, sites did not adequately display what icons and labels meant, especially when it comes to icons created exclusively for their site.
Moreover, webpages are cluttered with consumer reviews, which are believed to add little to no benefit to the consumers shopping experience and potentially are taking up valuable mental resources. Finally, food such as ‘Alcohol’ and ‘Sweets’ appear on the homepage more than they should, in comparison to an idealised model developed according to the “Eatwell plate” diagram.

Due to shortcomings listed above, grocery sites currently do not fulfil the expressed desire for a simple uniform labelling system, due to the removal of known brand logos. In spite of this result the research has underlined how the following alternations (removal of the consumer reviews, adoption of logo based informational pages & ensuring known brand logos carry over) could encourage more ethical spending.

Statement of ownership:

“I declare that no part of this dissertation has been taken from existing published or unpublished material without due acknowledgement and that all secondary material used herein has been fully referenced.”