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Adverse Effects of Common Sense

Jeni Cross Shares her Myths of Behavior Change Speech

— October 29, 2013 — Keynote Trends
Jeni Cross's myths of behavior speech illuminates the ways in which common sense can work to your disadvantage. The first common sense myth that she identifies is that education will prompt behavioral change. Simply offering people information is not an effective catalyst towards change. Instead, information must be personalized, interactive and tangible as well as tailored towards specific audiences in order to appeal and resonate with them. Lastly, people respond more positively when they hear what they are losing as opposed to what they are gaining.

Myth number two assumes that you have to change peoples' attitudes in order to change behavior. However, Cross notes that attitudes are not predictors of behavior; rather, attitudes follow behavior. The most effective way to induce change is to set behavioral expectations that are connected to values.

Myth number three considers the fact that people underestimate the effect of social norms on their behavior. People are most likely to do something if they witness others doing it. However, most people would rank the impact of social norms on their behavior as relatively low.

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