Nudging, shaping, or another form of gentle methods influencing behavior without restricting the choice. Or let me borrow from Thaler:
“A nudge, as we will use the term, is an aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not.” (Thaler & Sunstein 2008, p. 6)
Some of the behavior is influenced by gentle steering or choice architecture aimed to make desirable choices more likely. The nudging doesn’t judge the desired effect by defining specific methods to achieve such goals more likely. These techniques are not universally successful since heterogeneity of response exists due to the inter-individual and situational sources. Consequently, my favorite is this definition
“A nudge is a function of (condition I) any attempt at influencing people’s judgment, choice or behavior in a predictable way (condition a) that is motivated because of cognitive boundaries, biases, routines, and habits in individual and social decision-making posing barriers for people to perform rationally in their own self-declared interests, and which (condition b) works by making use of those boundaries, biases, routines, and habits as integral parts of such attempts”
Nudges rely heavily on cognitive and decision-making psychology and economy. In particular, a dual theory of decision making can be recalled here. Fast/reflexive for type I thinking type is particularly nudged. More explanation of these ideas and insight of decision making can be found in my review in Anesthesia & Analgesia
Nudging is the base for Behavioral Intervention Teams. The first one was established in the UK, and more information can be found here.