Behavioural economics among hot topics in 2009

30 December 2009

Insights about behavioural economics, shopper psychology and pricing featured strongly in the most downloaded list of Warc's Short Reads series of book summaries this year.

Nudge, Buyology and Free occupied first, third and fifth places on this measure.

Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness by Richard S. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein elaborates the theory that seemingly insignificant details can have a major impact on consumers' lives.

The authors are sympathetic to an idea of liberal paternalism, in which individuals are free to make their own choices, but public and private bodies are also encouraged to help people make life-improving decisions.

Martin Lindstrom's popular Buyology – Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and Chris Anderson's book Free – The Future of a Radical Price both take a more direct look at the drivers of consumption.

Elsewhere, summaries of Allen P Adamson's BrandDigital and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers also proved popular.

Other oft-downloaded summaries featured works by Mark Earls, Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff, Dan Ariely and Henry Jenkins among others.

We will be expanding this series in the New Year. If you would like to propose a title for the Short Reads series, you can always email us at

Data sourced from Warc