We’re excited about any new research findings that support Change Anything’s already strong foundation of research. Recently, a study helped demonstrate that overwhelming problems need to be tackled from all angles, and sometimes the unconventional and unintuitive strategies are the most successful.
In the study, Boston researchers tested their powers of persuasion in a cafeteria, as customers chose a beverage to go with their meal. Basically, the researchers wanted to know how many people would splurge on soda pop, and how many people would choose water as a healthier (and less expensive) option. The researchers tried to convince customers to choose water. First, the researchers attempted to educate consumers about the high calorie levels of soft drinks. Next, with another set of customers, researchers raised the price of the soft drinks. While informative persuasion failed—consumers continued to purchase soft drinks at the same rate as always—the economic persuasion succeeded, and soft drink sales decreased by 26%. When both methods of persuasion were combined, soft drink sales decreased by an additional 18%. (The article can be found here: http://tiny.cc/jmdtp.)
The study serves as a great reminder that change plans must be tackled from all angles. If personal motivation isn’t enough, maybe a negative consequence (or positive reward) will tip the scales in favor of change. And even if one strategy already works well by itself, a combination of two or three effective strategies can help maximize the success of a plan.