Shock Executive Order: Obama Authorizes Behavioral Experiments On U.S. Citizens: “To Advance Government Initiatives”



by Mac Slavo,


President Obama has signed a new executive order authorizing Federal agencies to perform behavioral studies on American citizens. The studies, which will be performed without express permission from participants, are designed to advance government initiatives by “nudging” citizens toward certain behaviors and choices.

“A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights — research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them — can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people,” reads the executive order, released on Tuesday.

The new program is the end result of a policy proposal the White House floated in 2013 entitled “Strengthening Federal Capacity for Behavioral Insights.”

The initiative draws on research from University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler and Harvard law school professor Cass Sunstein, who was also dubbed Obama’s regulatory czar. The two behavioral scientists argued in their 2008 book “Nudge” that government policies can be designed in a way that “nudges” citizens towards certain behaviors and choices.

The desired choices almost always advance the goals of the federal government…

In its 2013 memo, which was reported by Fox News at the time, the White House openly admitted that the initiative involved behavioral experimentation.

“The federal government is currently creating a new team that will help build federal capacity to experiment with these approaches, and to scale behavioral interventions that have been rigorously evaluated, using, where possible, randomized controlled trials,” the memo read.

Source: The Daily Caller

Other recent Executive Orders authorize the President and Federal Government to, among other things, shut down the internet in the event of a cyber attack, as well as to seize personal stockpiles of food and other supplies during a nationally declared emergency.

Thus, it makes complete sense that the Federal government has now given itself authorization to perform experiments on the American people.

Such ideas used to be restricted to the realm of fringe conspiracy theory.

Now they’re official policy.



2 Responses to “Shock Executive Order: Obama Authorizes Behavioral Experiments On U.S. Citizens: “To Advance Government Initiatives””

  1. ian says:

    dramatic though it sounds, I’m afraid this is not new. My lack of journalistic skills show as I don’t have links, though the material is available online.
    Back in the 1950’s for example, jobs were created artificially to carry out experiments on employees. The promised the employees raises in wages and conditions if production went up, which it did. They then told them that things hadn’t worked out as planned, however production stayed up and cutting a long story short, This is where the idea of team briefs and appraisals sprang from as it showed that employees who felt valued, were more productive.
    Many more experiments eg conformity experiments and behaviour generally, without the participants really being aware of what was happening.
    Not new but still disturbing. I don’t half get a feeling that something big is brewing, and I know it’s being selfish, but I do hope it stays on the other side of the Atlantic.

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