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How to Nudge Others to Act “Right”

Unconditional love is a swell idea yet admit it.  Aren’t there times you’d like to change someone’s behavior? Get them to act right, like you.  Or perhaps you’d like to drop a bad habit.  Then learn how to “nudge.”

That’s a situational prompt that sways people to change.

For example, the traditional approach to getting drivers to reduce speed are those portable signs stationed at the side of the street, showing how fast you are driving.  This is a shame or fear-based method. Instead, evoke pride or humor – or make it easier to do the right thing. In places in the UK, those signs don’t just tell drivers their speed. They smile at cars under the limit, and frown at cars over the limit.

Make the Right Option More Pleasurable Than the Other One

To encourage people to get more exercise by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, one inventive group made the stairs sunnier and another made it more fun (piano to walk (evoking piano notes) than stand on the elevator.

Appeal to Our Better Nature

To motivate more people to wash their hands in the restroom two signs were added, one for women (“Wash your hands with soap”) and a more blunt one for men (“Soap it off or eat it later”).

Instead of telling motorists to stop acting bad with “Don’t Litter” signs the state of Texas had much greater success by appealing to Texans’ pride, with signage saying “Don’t mess with Texas.”

Make it Easier to Do the Right Thing

If you worked for an organization that offered automatic payroll deduction for savings you’d be much more likely to save if the system was one where you had to opt-out than how they usually are set up – you must opt in to save.  So discovered the authors of Nudge.

What nudge will you try to improve behavior – yours or others?

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