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Nudge is a book about how to influence people's choices.  This is especially important in a situation where there is a plethora of choices, and the application to game is obvious.  Especially in texting, a situation where tons of choices and information is offered before her and she must choose.  This book follows a theory / application format, where the base theory is layed out early on in the book and applied to lots of specific situations.  The author's intent in writing the book is actually from the point of social activism; the author believes that institutions should use the power of nudging to influence people's choices in a postive way that is beneficial for society.  In this review, I will skip the author's applications and focus more on the theory and see how it could apply to game.  The theory is sort of a grab-bag of various phenomena, so I'll just list them out, as it is sort of hard to summerize succinctly.  After summerizing the basic theories, I will skip the second half of the book which I sort of skimmed, which talks about all of the societal applications for nudging and focus on how these can be applied to game.

Corrections and opinions are welcome.

Basic Theory

3 basic congnitive shortcuts

First, the authors talk about two systems in the human mind: the automatic system and the reflective system.  The automatic system is that which makes "rules of thumb" type snap decisions, and the reflective system oversees these snap decisions if necessary to check for validity.  The automatic system has three basic ways or "rules of thumb" to think about information: anchoring, availability, and representativeness. 

 Anchoring is basically how the thing relates to you in a relative way.  The author's example is: estimate the size of a city.  Those in a bigger city would guesstimate the size of the city based on what they know about it, for example, if asked to guess the size of Milwaukee, if you knew the size of Chicago, you might guess that Milwaukee is a major city, but not as big as Chicago, so you would put the population at 1/4 of Chicago.  However, if you asked someone from Green Bay (a smaller city), they would know that Milwaukee is bigger than Green Bay, so they would put the population is 3 times Green Bay.  Availability is basically salience; how quickly you can think of a thing, how available it is in your mind.  Representativeness is whatever you know about the category that that thing belongs to, or rather, the tendency of humans to infer that the property correlated with a set of people is actually inherent within the item of the set itself.  For example, the thought that a tall black guy is likely to be a good basketball player.

Loss Aversion

As most of you probably know, humans are loss averse, with an approximate ratio of 2:1 gains vs losses.  Put another way, a gain of 200USD is enough to offset a loss of 100USD.  Thus emphasizing the losses will nudge people.

Hot and Cold

Decisions made while in a "hot" state can be regretted later on when you are out of that state and in a "cold" state.  Various strategies in the book talked about how to protect yourself while in a cold state against hot state decisions.

Herd Thinking

Humans are herd thinkers, and generally follow what others are doing.  If you emphasize that everyone else is doing this thing, then you are more likely to want to do it.  Also, people tend to think that others are constantly monitoring their behavior.  These two things are related.


People can be "primed" to make decisions.  Priming is essentially having someone do something that leads up to a decision that makes the decision easier or more likely to happen.  For example, if you ask students to plan out when and where they will get a tetanus shot, they are more likely to get the shot.  If you ask people if they will vote, they are more likely to vote.  The mere act of making someone jump through a small compliance hoop primes a larger compliance hoop.

A corrolary of this is the "default" choice.  You are more likely to do something you have already done in the past.  This is essentially a form of priming.  All of these are actually examples of cognitive self-consistancy.  

"Baskin robbins effect"

The more choices people get, the more of a load it is on their reflective system and the more they will rely on the automatic system.  A classic example of this is, the more flavors that people are offered in an ice-cream store, the more likely they are to stick with one flavor.

Application to Game

As an advanced seduction system based on years of field testing and theories in sales, psychology, marketing, etc, RPQ and the people at this site already incorperate the various cognitive biases listed here in their methods.  They are built in to the system.  Below are some examples I thought of to illustrate how these principles apply in game.  


Availability show why pictures are so important in texting.  Showing a pic increases the salience of the food you are discussing, thus increasing and altering that memory in her "mindspace".  Marketers know this already.  Nowadays, lots of restaurants have TV screens showing pics of their food repeated over and over.  They know that humans are lazy and will essentially stare at any TV screen, no matter what is on the screen.  While they do this, the picture of the food increases the salience of the food in their mind.  Thus, the next time the think about the restaurant or that experience, they will think about the picture of the food they saw and the restaurant's mindspace will be increased and the memory of the experience altered.

Showing pics to a girl can do exactly this.  Before you see the girl or when you are seeding, showing pics will increase salience, allowing you to occupy greater mindspace.  After the date, showing her pics of the experience will increase salience of the date, as well as alter the memory of the date (looking at a pic of you two smiling and having fun will alter the memory, making it more enjoyable and larger in her mind).

Texting a girl constantly, which is feasible in Asia, increases salience.  Simple as that.  It is an online version of the proquintity effect (a corrolary of salience).


Anchoring, not to be confused with NLP anchoring (although the two are related), is people making decisions or estimates based off of what they know already or the other choices given to them.  This rule of thumb has a myriad of applications in game, too many to list.  Anything involving decisions based on relative value or association with another action is related to this.  For example, a girl works harder to get you, she assumes that you are more valuable.  A girl is made aware how much she laughed or smiled while on the date, she assumes that she was happier.  You are taller or more handsome than your wing, the girl assumes that you are more handsome than if it were the opposite situation.

Lots of sales tactics are based off of anchoring.  For example, if the minimum choice in a donation is 20 dollars, you will give more if the minimum choice were zero.  Thus, when you are offering choices, you can keep in mind and assume that she is going to do whatever you want her to do, and the question becomes how much does she already want to do what you want her to do?  For example. "so, do you want to meet, or not?" is a lot worse than "so do you want to meet at 1 or 2?".  She is going to use the anchoring principle to think about what option is convenient for her.  If the option of not meeting was there, she might choose that one, since it might very well be the most convenient for her.  But if you didn't give her that option, she will have to choose in whatever options you gave the most convenient for her.


If you are a "foreinger", already you will be packing all the associations that girls have with foreingers in the country you are in, for better or for worse.  Be aware of these and exploit them or counter them.  This is the most blatent use of representativeness in game in Asia, in my opinion.  Also, judicious use of BT spikes and humor, or whatever (just running solid game) will condition the girl to think that that property is inherent in you.  Also, building whatever associations you want people to have in their minds.  Showing a pic of yourself on a yacht having a champaigne party will cause the people viewing it to associate with you whatever else they associate with people who do those things.  This is one of the principles behind DHVs and Lifeads.  Having a successful avatar means being aware of all of these things.  Sometimes I don't even know until a girl tells me; I try to take her account in objectively and not get mad about it. We all do this automatically.


loss aversion

This is built in to pull - push and solid game.  Also framing yourself and gently reminding her of the consequences of not doing what you want can activate this.  

Hot and cold

Also built into solid game.  Girls should be made to make decisions while they are "hot" (after seeing pics, BT spikes, feeling good, etc) but at the same time not led to make decisions that they later regret, which could lead to buyer's remorse, which is basically a negative compliance  because you are conditioning them that making a decision leads to bad results.  Thus it is very important to press for decisions while the girl is in a positive state and then deliver on the promise.  This goes for texting, offline, etc.

The Chinese know this instinctively.  During negotiations, they will draw the negotiation out over days, often inviting the businessman out on trips, KTV parties, etc.  This is a form of priming (described below) and is also state control.  During these parties they will ask him for certain promises and concessions, perhaps after a toast, during revelry in a late night KTV with girls, etc.  They know that they are much more likely to get these concessions at that time then in a stale boardroom.  We must use these same principles that the Chinese have instinctively figured out over thousands of years.


Priming is basically offering mini compliance hoops before you do the main compliance hoop and is built into solid game.  Actually, any compliance increases the probability of further compliance ("could you hold my hat?  Ok, come with me to that table over there")  even if it's not related to the main compliance hoop.  Thus, priming is actually just a more specific corrolary of compliance momentum, which is a more powerful and broad theory, and is discussed at length at this site.

Baskin robbins effect

Hot girls have tons of choices.  The baskin robbins effect is actually just a more specific application of compliance momentum; you are more likely to go along with the default choice.  So...YOU want to become the default choice, right?  This is simple enough.  Becoming the default choice involves using all of the above.  Also, it goes to show why endurance is so important.  If the hot girl has texted you for a long time, she has invested in your relationship, whatever you have defined that to be.



Nudge is an interesting book from a social engineering and marketing standpoint.  The applications to game are numerous, even if those applications have pretty much all been stated elsewhere in other wordings.  Knowing the basic properties of how people make decisions in a crowded market (hot girls have lots of choices, girls are busy and their lives' are chaotic) will help you understand how these principles work and how to make novel use of them on your own.  The last half of the book, while interesting, is just an application of these theories to various things (health insurance, marriage, voting) and can be skimmed over.

While surfing the internet (an arena overflowing with choices), we can notice how websites manipulate the choices given, what wordings are used, how losses are emphasizes, what pics, sounds, videos, which buttons are larger and more colorful, what choices are given, etc and use these same principles in other choice saturated environments, such as texting.


Edited by L.O.G.O.S.
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Great breakdown of what's in Nudge.  Other books in this genre that you can check out:
Predictably Irrational
Thinking Fast and Slow
(not a type-o)

I recommended Nudge because it provides the most obvious, straight forward applications while these other books muddy the waters a lot more and sow the degree of complexity a lot more.


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