This blog is the home of all things behavioural science. Here we will be keeping abreast with the latest developments in the fields of Decision Making Psychology, Behavioural Economics and Social Psychology by presenting some of the latest findings by the global thought leaders and researchers in this space.
Look out for a monthly blog from Rory Sutherland himself, coming very soon.
Rory's Blog #1: Nudge Theory and Domestic Harmony
Posted on: 16/04/2013. Author: Rory Sutherland
If my wife notices that the rubbish bag is over-flowing, I am duly asked to take the rubbish to the place downstairs where the bins are stored. She may add an element of rational persuasion, by reminding me that, if you leave rubbish for too long, it starts to smell. She may add a degree of urgency, pointing out that today is Thursday and that tomorrow is the day when the binmen come. Or she might even make recourse to incentives, promising a cup of tea when I have returned from my trip.
There are, however, a few problems with this approach. First of all, the fact that it requires persuasion and reward immediately frames it in my mind as a chore and hence something to be resisted. Moreover this request almost always comes at a wholly inappropriate time. Typically, at the time of asking, I have just removed my shoes, donned my thermal onesie and am comfortably sprawled on the sofa within reach of the Sky remote contentedly waiting for Ice Road Truckers to begin.
Instead, it would be better to learn from R Buckminster Fuller. “I have made up my mind ...", he said, "That I would never try to reform [a] man—that’s much too difficult. What I would do was to try to modify the environment in such a way as to get man moving in preferred directions.”
So what's the nudge approach? What would Mrs Thaler do, I wonder? Well, I have to walk past the bin cupboard in order to get to the car - something I do every day. When I do so, I am usually wearing shoes and am fully dressed. If she simply moves the offending bin bag from the kitchen to a spot beside the front door, I find that I carry the bag downstairs without being asked, and without even being aware that what I am doing is particularly onerous. I can't be sure, but I suspect that quite often I carry the bag downstairs without even being aware that I am doing it at all.
The result is the same, but the cognitive burden is vastly smaller. I don't even need to know why I am carrying the bag downstairs - I just do.
Contrary to what conventional marketing believes, attitudinal change is neither necessary nor sufficient as a precursor for behavioural change. The most effective form of persuasion often doesn't look like persuasion at all.
Rory on Digital Shoreditch
Posted on 04/04/2013
As the excitement and buzz grows for Digital Shoreditch, hear what Rory Sutherland has to say about the upcoming event.
For more info on Digital Shoreditch click here...
An evening with Matt Watkinson and Rory Sutherland
Posted on: 20/03/2013 Author: Jenni Mellor
A lot of brands talk about customer service as a key feature of what they do but most fail to implement it (well) in their day to day running. Matt Watkinson, in the introduction to "The Ten Principles Behind Great Customer Experiences," cites the example of a local cafe and a local pub, the former is thriving in a recession whereas the latter is failing.
But why? They both have the same opportunity to attract the same consumer base - the cafe is hugely customer focused, spending extra effort to increase comfort and enjoyment leading to long term gain and a really fantastic atmosphere, whereas the pub focuses entirely on profit and fails miserably.
In his new book, Watkinson, the self-proclaimed 'King of Duh,' explores in detail the reasons and principles behind the best customer experiences, interrogating situations and challenging the reader to explore all the avenues that could be taken. He shows how straightforward, obvious and simple it is to give customers the best experience possible and how the smallest things (in the example of the cafe, this is a bowl of water outside for dogs and blankets on the chairs) make the biggest difference.
Speaking last month live at Ogilvy alongside Rory Sutherland, Matt was inspiring in his honesty and simplicity of thought, free from jargon and really obvious. Duh indeed…