Thursday, November 5, 2009

Changing behaviour by changing yourself? Not the easiest way of doing a great job!

Change "outside" to change "inside".

Why do some people eat all the day long? In America some time ago people had 3 meals a day, now they snack anytime. Is it because of hunger? Not very likely, although it does not seem to be. Just as Peter Beger suggests, "read a little bit of Brian Wansink's book Mindless Eating to realize just how much our actions are determined by our environment." Let's return to the question of eating habit, Brian found that:

"...the reasons we eat have little to do with hunger and a tremendous amount
to do with the subtle cues that drive us. For example, if you use a big spoon,
you'll eat more. If you serve yourself on a big plate, you'll eat more. If you
move the small bowl of chocolates on your desk six feet away you'll eat half as
much. If you eat chicken wings and remove the bones from the table, you'll
forget how much you ate and you'll eat more. If you have a bowl of soup that
never gets less than half full, you'll eat more. And the more people you eat
with, the more you'll eat."

How many habits of yours, some of which you might be obsessed with and want to get rid of, are shaped by your choices and decisions, and not by the environment around? Not many! (You can debate a lot against this paradigm which however doesnot seek to reduce human ability to change, rather addresses it, as in the coming lines.) So let's not just pity ourselves, and be receptive about the condition we are living in, of course this calls for 'being proactive' and creating a change - this time in the "outside". This has great implications not only for us as normal human beings but as well for marketers, spiritual teachers, and a lot of other people.

Just to quote a small example Berger gives on the 'efficiency' of marketers, consider this:

"Marketers already know this. It's why you get so many catalogs over the
year. Of course you could go to their website to shop. Or just use the catalog
you already have on the counter. But no, they'll send you another one two weeks
before Valentine's Day. Or Halloween. Or Christmas. They know when you're
thinking about buying something and they'll make sure that, just as you have
that thought, hey look, a catalog."

Image source


Syed Ahmad Hashmi said...

Once again innovative. good work Toor.