Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Following the Heard

You’ve most likely heard about people following the lead of other. Experimenters who walk into a park and look up only to see how many people will quickly start looking up to find what they are looking at. But recent research from Northwestern University recently illustrated that humans tend to remember information better if they think their peers will also see the same information. Think about the last time you watched a movie or a sports program and conscientiously thought I need to pay attention because tomorrow at work people are going to be talking about this. We’ll as a woman I have done this a lot with sports. I always think “I better know this to be able to talk to the guys”.  Social norms and expectations influence far beyond just remembering. Cialdini demonstrated throughout hotel chains that social norms can be used to influence behaviors. By changing the language on bathroom cards hotel guests were 50% more likely to reuse their towels if they were told “most Americans”, 70% more likely to reuse if they were told “most guests  in this hotel”, and 98% more likely if they were told ‘ 8 of 9 guests in this room reuse their towel”.  So jump on the bandwagon for a good cause but be aware of why and who you are following.

1 comment:

Marie said...

This made me smile. At home, I NEVER reuse a bath towel. It is a joke among my friends at work. I think it is one of the "joys" of being the youngest of four, the only girl and and only one bathroom growing up. Mom never made me reuse a towel. I think she thought if I did not use a fresh towel I would be using on of the towels that the boys had used. So, when I go to a hotel ... it always makes me smile to know that I am capable of reusing a towel, I just never have to! I am that 8th guest, I leave the towel lay on the floor and ask for a new one every day ! Sorry mother earth, it is a luxury I have grown up,with. I will always treat myself with that joy of a fresh towel after every shower!