Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Getting someone to decide

Giving your users a direction...

"While Kathy’s away having way too much fun in one of the lands down-under, I thought I’d drop in and tell a quick story about a bit of research that should make a difference to you…

Decades ago people used to do deep and interesting social psych research. They’d set up strange and complex situations, then watch how people reacted. Some of these were scary-scary, but some were actually insightful in the day-to-day world as well.

What does this have to do with Creating Passionate Users? Let me tell you…

In 1965, back when the Beatles were singing “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” a few social psych folks did a compelling study about what makes people decide to do something.

First they showed a bunch of college students a film about the horrors of tetanus (Lockjaw! Seizures! Death!) that ended with the strong recommendation that everyone get a booster shot. They even told them where the student health center was. Careful testing showed that the students actually learned something AND that their long term attitudes about tetanus and the need to get a booster shot had really changed. This was great!

Then they watched to see how many went to the college health service to get the booster.

It was a total flop. Less than 3% actually went for the booster."   continued ...   (Via Creating Passionate Users)


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