We all have behaviour we want to change, but the question is what gets people to change their behaviour? We usually scare ourselves and others into changing unwanted behaviour. For example, we might try to convince ourself that eating too much will make us gain weight, or we might advice someone by telling them “if you continue smoking, you might get cancer.” However, we know that this ‘fear strategy’ is not effective and humans are usually resistant to warnings. Hence, many of us will continue to eat the chocolate cake and many smokers will continue smoking despite the graphic disease photos they frequently see on cigarette packs.
In this Ted Talk, Tali Sharon, a neuroscientist at University College London reveals three ‘ingredients’ to doing what’s good for yourself and changing unwanted behaviour: They are 1) social incentives 2) immediate rewards and 3) progress monitoring. Many studies proved that these ingredients drive your mind and behaviour and are therefore more effective than the ‘fear strategy’.
Feature Image: Amritanshu Sikdar, on Unsplash, Creative Commons