Could telling yourself to do more of something be the worst thing you can do?
New research suggests so.
We live in a world of more — of ‘shoulds’, particularly when it comes to wellbeing.
I should exercise more, save more, eat more healthily.
But maybe that pressure is backfiring on our ability to achieve our goals?
Researchers Tuk, Prokopec and Van den Bergh (2020) set out to see whether it would be more motivating to tell yourself “I’ll...
What do you think of this?
It’s the product order page for a pet supplies website.
More specifically, what do you think about the auto delivery being defaulted?
Well, from personal experience I can tell you it is difficult to recognise you are committing yourself to auto-delivery and this inadvertent decision only occurs to you when boxes of Chicken Breast keep appearing on your doorstep.
So, is this business manipulating its customers?
It’s an important...
Text messages are a big part of how organisations communicate with customers.
So you do you get them right?
Not only are text messages a cost-effective tool, but there’s a significant amount of behavioural science available that proves how effective these messages can be.
In one study, the UK Behavioural Science Team were able to reduce missed medical appointments, or no-shows, by 25%.
The best performing message pointed out how much the...
Want an inexpensive way to bolster customer satisfaction and sell more? Use concrete language.
That was the finding from “How Concrete Language Shapes Customer Satisfaction” (2020) by Grant Packard and Jonah Berger.
In the study, Packard and Berger tested whether referring to items using abstract (e.g. “pants”) vs. concrete (e.g. “blue jeans”) descriptors impacted satisfaction, willingness to buy and purchase behaviour.
Abstract language is the realm of the...
In a recent article I wrote about research into self-justification which found consumers are much more likely to avoid unpleasant or confronting information (like calories on a menu) if they are given “cover”.
In other words, they’ll skip the café with calories on the menu if they can hang their decision on an unrelated reason, like the reviews that café received for its service.
We’re masters at finding reasons to justify to ourselves what we want to do....
People avoid information more when they are given a reason to let themselves off the hook.
That’s the key takeaway from some fresh research from Woolley and Risen (2021) called “Hiding from the truth: When and How Cover Enables Information Avoidance”.
There are key implications from both a business and personal perspective resulting from this finding.
Let’s talk business first.
How you talk to a customer about product features is either going to help them justify their...
Every business I've worked in or worked with has struggled with too many priorities. So in this clip I run through four behaviourally nuanced questions to shift and sort what's really most important.
By asking the four questions you'll be able to slot each project into one of the following categories:
Must Do = a clear priority for the business. Life would be significantly worse if you don't proceed.
Nice to do = some upside but could disperse focus if included.
Could do = outcomes are too...
Two simple rules for influencing action – on friction to make the old behaviour unappealing and the new behaviour appealing.
Let’s talk behavioural models – (video) on what makes a good behavioural model and what are some of the best to use.
Nanette-ing your approach to influence – The comedian’s role, Hannah Gadsby shared, is to deliberately create tension so they can then relieve us of it. The same approach goes for pitches, presentations and...
When it comes to changing your own behaviour or someone else’s, two simple rules are:
To reduce the likelihood an existing behaviour will continue, just add friction. For example:
Public awareness campaigns crop up now and again to remind us how much one standard alcoholic drink is. In Australia, for instance, that means approximately 285 mL of full strength beer, 100 mL of wine or champagne and 30 mL of spirits.
The problem is most of us judge by the container not the contents, making a perceptual rather than intellectual judgment — much it looks, not how much it actually is, so these awareness campaigns are largely ineffective.
This is in part due to...