Changing Behaviour

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Kilkis
Posts: 9345
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Changing Behaviour

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:25 am

Not directly related to Crete but relevant to everything we do around the world. Behavioural Psychologists have known for a long time that our behaviour depends quite critically on how a problem is framed, i.e. presented. There is a very nice example of this on a BBC News video clip.

In order to try to cut waste Winchester University campus offered a 25 p discount on coffee if people brought their own reusable beakers rather than serving it in the plastic, single-use ones. Very few people took up the offer. They then changed the system reducing the cost of the coffee by 25 p but charging an extra 25 p for a plastic, single-use beaker. The outcome is the same for the customer but under the new system 34,000 fewer single use beakers were used in a year.

For me their are two messages:

    Firstly if you want to influence people's behaviour, for example with regard to recycling, you have to be very careful how you offer incentives.

    Secondly it is another example that debunks the concept of Homo Economicus that is fundamental to Neo Classical economic theory. While the theory accepts that everybody has their own motivations and so will react differently to different situations it stipulates that we all behave rationally when making our decisions. In this case the outcome in terms of the cost of a beaker of coffee is the same in both situations but the behaviour changed radically simply because of how it was presented. That is not rational in economic terms and so shouldn't happen. Yet another example of, "That's all very well in practise but does it work in theory?"

Warwick

Yin&Yang
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: Changing Behaviour

Postby Yin&Yang » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:48 am

I love the psychology. It seems that people rejected the reward of a discount but objected to the thought of beng penalised.
Someday is now : )

Kilkis
Posts: 9345
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Changing Behaviour

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:23 pm

There are lots of experiments carried out by behavioural scientists that show the same sort of behaviour. The outcome is identical but the behaviour changes markedly simply by changing how the problem is presented. It is completely irrational. A famous example:

    You see that your favourite group is playing a concert nearby so you decide to go. You buy a ticket for €50 in advance. When you get to the concert you find you have lost the ticket. Do you buy another ticket on the door, also for €50, and watch the concert or do you go home?

    You see that your favourite group is playing a concert nearby so you decide to go. You don't buy a ticket in advance but decide to buy one at the door. When you get to the concert you find you have lost €50 from your wallet. Do you still buy a ticket on the door for €50 and watch the concert or do you go home?

Obviously I am assuming you still have enough money in your wallet in either case. The outcome is identical. You either see the concert and you are €100 down or you miss the concert and you are €50 down. Obviously individuals will respond differently but rationally you would expect the same proportion to take each option in either case. In fact the majority opt to pay an extra €50 and see the concert if they lose the ticket but the majority opt to miss the concert and go home if they lose €50. The experiment has been repeated many times with large groups of people and the outcome is always the same, although the detailed numbers may vary. What I like about the coffee example is that it is not a psychologist asking people what they would do in a certain circumstance it is people responding in real life to the situation they find themselves in.

Warwick

Yin&Yang
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: Changing Behaviour

Postby Yin&Yang » Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:47 pm

It seems to be how each individual perceives the impact or value of the loss, i.e. If you lose a ticket you are berating the loss of the opportunity to attend the concert. Perhaps the ticket holder believes, having bought the lost ticket, they had given themselves the right to see the concert. However, those who had lost a £50 note, having not created in their minds the 'right' yet to attend the concert, did not want to compound their loss, by spending out on a ticket.

Those people given the opportunity of a discount on their coffee if they brought their own cups had not actually lost anything as perhaps in their minds they didn't have to hand anything phsically over BUT when the customer was charged for a cup and had to hand over the money for one, they felt the loss of handing over their money.
Someday is now : )

Mixos
Posts: 387
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Changing Behaviour

Postby Mixos » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:43 pm

Jeez guys, pour me another raki, eh? :?

Yin&Yang
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:03 pm
Location: Megala Horafia/Aptera

Re: Changing Behaviour

Postby Yin&Yang » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:23 pm

:lol:
Someday is now : )


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