Habit Change a wishful thinking?

Hi,

during his 2012 introduction to a panel discussion at Stanford VLAB Gary Wolf presented a slide with a question, which I still feel to be quite important and, probably, unanswered: “what if ‘behaviour change’ is mainly marketing propaganda and managerial wishful thinking?”

I think it is provocative but nevertheless necessary to be carefully investigated.

What are your thoughts about this?

You’ll find the slide at 10:23 on this video.

Best regards,

Michael

Clearly heart surgery, trauma, divorce, loss, age, and a other life events cause behavioral change. Hard but still possible is cognitive restructuring and just plain will power. From a marketing point of view watch “Century of Self” on Youtube. Yes it is possible.

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Thanks for your reply. I’ve started watching that video.

Best regards,

Michael

Today I wouldn’t pose this as a question; but posit it as the basis for some more detailed analysis of what’s gone wrong. Attempts to influence human actions that are grounded in behaviorist psychology depend on some conditions for success:

  1. The context is highly specified and offers limited options. For instance: a casino, a psych lab, a highway, a web interface.
  2. The interventions are applied to large numbers of people, so that small effects matter: a population of patients; employees of a firm; voters.
  3. The actions under influence are small and inconsequential to each individual in the short term: flossing one tooth; clicking a share button.

Many of the topics addressed by Quantified Self projects meet none of these conditions.

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I am watching the documentary right now. Thanks for posting it.