ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (4): 395-406.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00395

• “以小拨大:行为决策助推社会发展”专栏 •    下一篇


Gerd Gigerenzer1, 栾胜华2(), 刘永芳3   

  1. 1 Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin 14195, Germany
    2 中国科学院心理研究所, 北京 100101
    3 School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • 收稿日期:2017-11-14 出版日期:2019-04-25 发布日期:2019-02-22
  • 通讯作者: 栾胜华

Are we truly irrational and almost impossible to educate? Analyzing the scientific evidence behind libertine paternalism

Gerd GIGERENZER1, LUAN Shenghua2(), LIU Yongfang3   

  1. 1 Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany
    2 Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3 华东师范大学心理与认知科学学院, 上海 200062
  • Received:2017-11-14 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-02-22
  • Contact: LUAN Shenghua


基于心理学的研究, 自由家长主义者认为人们的思维有个体难以克服的、根深蒂固的系统性缺陷, 并难以通过教育来避免和消除, 因此主张因势利导, 仰仗外部专家的“助推”把人们的行为引导到正确方向。然而, 从生态理性的角度看, 人们依照自由家长主义者所谓的认知偏差做出的选择未必导致糟糕的结果, 而依照自由家长主义者所推崇的理性方法做出的选择也未必导致理想的结果。本文分析了自由家长主义者用来支持助推的证据后发现:(1)它们源于一些研究者对“何为理性”的狭隘定义, 误解了人类理性的本质; (2)它们对研究结果进行了选择性的报告, 忽视了与这些证据相反的证据。通过这些分析, 我们认为“人非理性且难教化”这一自由家长主义者的论断过于武断并有失偏颇。投入教育, 教会人们如何精明老练地处理风险不仅是可行的, 而且是替代助推的一个更为持久有效的解决方案。

关键词: 助推, 生态理性, 风险, 不确定性, 启发式, 框架效应, 概率学习


Based on research in psychology, libertine paternalists argue that our mind is systematically flawed, which leads to many cognitive biases that are too deeply entrenched to eradicate through education. Thus, they suggest that authorities should take lead and nudge people into proper behaviors and good decisions. However, from the perspectives of ecological rationality, the outcomes of the so-called cognitive biases may not be bad, and in many instances, can be even better than those of the so-called rational reasoning as suggested by libertine paternalists. We analyze the evidence libertine paternalists use to justify nudging and find two major problems: (1) some of the supposed evidence is the product of researchers’ narrow interpretations of what qualify as human rationality and rational thinking; and (2) some libertine paternalists selectively reported scientific evidence, neglecting or sparsely reporting research that show findings contradictory to their belief. We conclude that there is lack of evidence to support the assertion that people are irrational and almost impossible to educate. To invest on education and make people risk savvy not only has been shown plausible and applicable, but also should be a more sustainable solution than nudging.

Key words: nudge, ecological rationality, risk, uncertainty, heuristics, framing effect, probability learning