Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Social psychology done wrong

The work of ASU emeritus professor of psychology Robert Cialdini, author of the classic book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, has shown that if a sign or card suggesting that somebody do something also indicates that most other people are likely to do that, it increases compliance with the request.  The wording of this sign, put up in ASU bathrooms all over campus by the Health and Counseling Student Action Committee, may well have the opposite of its intended effect.  Somebody should have read their Cialdini before making these signs!


Einzige said...

Someone should do a study on this particular bathroom's hand-washing stats and see what the deviation from "normal" is--if any.

The Big Blue Frog said...

Best part of this is that 1/3 don't know how to wash their hands. Schweet.