Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Six Psychological Tricks to Increase Recall #ATD2015 @MindGym

These are my liveblogged notes from a concurrent session at ATD 2015, happening this week in Orlando, Florida. Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Sebastian Bailey from Mind Gym "Six Psychological Tricks to Increase Recall"
1. How do you increase the quit rate of smokers? (let's take a look at habit change).

When you look at all literature on habit change you see these stages:
  • Persisting "I enjoy smoking"
  • Contemplating "Maybe I should give up."
  • Preparing "I'm definitely going to quite..."
  • Acting "I've quite. It's hard but i've quit."
  • Maintaining "I've not smoked for six months."
Positive deviance. Go look at the behaviors of people who have quit -- who are solving the problems?

At the persisting stage -- we perceive the cons of quitting smoking to be too many, while the pros of quitting are fewer. The shift to increase the pros we consider for quitting, we have to change the mindset at the persisting/contemplating stage.

At the persisting stage, the cons outweigh the pros. A key shift happens at the stage where people are contemplating. At the Maintain stage the pros outweigh the cons.

So how do you help? It's how you raise awareness. If we get engagement right, sustain will help.

How to apply this trick:
  • Think habit changes as much as learning and recognize the stages of change
  • Don't rush people from Persisting to Acting and expect much change
  • Encouraging belief in the value of change is key

2. People need to feel compelled to get involved.  

How can we harness positive stress? If we are too aroused, our performance drops; if we're not aroused at all; our performance suffers...(yeah, I know -- we laughed in the session. This is from a model developed in the early 1900s.)

When we send anxiety provoking messages, people's intentions goes up -- they think they will go get the shots that are recommended. But fear alone creates too much stress and people don't actually go to the get those shots. But when you build some fear AND give a map to the clinic, more people go and get their shots.

    How to apply this trick:
    • Schedule learning just before or after a challenging experience - what are you doing so your learners are entering the experience with some sense of anxiety...why they should care?
    • Sell the need
    • Make the call to action really explicit
    3. What are we more likely to recall?

    STORIES. Chip and Dan Heath study.  Stats vs. stories. Stories aid recall. We make emotional connections, more memorable. But do they help us change behavior?

    Save the Children did a study. Shared presentation of stats and charts, shared a personal story of a child who had a difficult life. Then they asked them, "Will you make a donation?" Which condition inspired more donations? Stats people gave on average $1.43 vs. for stories $2.38...Stories do have an impact on behavior.

    Why rhyme is sublime.

    How hard you're making me think has an effect on how much I believe what you're sharing....

    How to apply this trick:
    • Don't just tell, use stories that sell
    • Stats and number will cause slumber
    • while rhymes will inspire devotion...
    4. Where and when matters.

    If you set a goal for yourself "I'll go update my resume" -- 20%of study participants who committed to update their resume did so.

    The second group set a different goal -- from a goal to an implementation intention: "I will update my resume on Wednesday at 10:00" -- 80% of study participants followed through.

    So how do you structure an implementation intention?

    If-then statements are more effective: "I'll do as many math problems as I can on Wednesday at 9:00" is not as effective as ''If it's wednesday at 9 am, I will do as many math puzzles as possible." There's less deviation when we use if-then statements..

    Don't make me think too hard. The if-then statement creates a situational cue. So you have to think less.

    Social support creates accountability.

    How to apply this trick:
      • Use implementation intentions to drive transfer
      • Get people to write it down
      • Get people to tell others about their commitment

      5. How do you get drivers to notice bicyclists?

      It's easy to miss something you're not paying attention to.  People only see what they look out for. Situational attention.

      We need to be prompted and supported to look for the moments when we should apply learning.

      How to apply this trick:
      • Use cues and prompts in the real world to focus attention
      • Set specific missions built into the workflow
      • Develop the participants mindfulness as part of the experience
      6. What makes a psychology professor behave like a soccer hooligan?

      Why do we behave out of character? 

      Primed behavior experiment
      Ask trivial pursuit question -- 
      No prime
      Prime someone to be a professor -- ask them "If you were a professor how would you solve problems? (see a 15% increase in how well people do on the game)
      Prime them to be an assistant (see a 2% increase in how well people do over non-primed)

      Adopting the right mindset can have a huge difference in our performance.

      The way in which we get primed lets us hear something differently.

      How to apply this trick:
      • Use priming to increase the participants view of themselves as great learners
      • Develop tools to support participants in their problem solving
      • Prompt participants to adopt the right thinking frame for the problem at hand.
      1. Build belief in the early stages of change
      2. Create emotional arousal
      3. Use stories over facts/stats
      4. Use written, shared, implementation intentions
      5. Set specific missions built into the workflow
      6. Prime the right mindset by providing tools

      A methodology:
      • Engagement campaign
      • Some type of diagnostic (where you are now - this helps people see value)
      • Create a toolkit and scaffolding to create the right mindset.
      • Create 90 minute workouts  -- the power of social settings
      • Pledge -- this is a specific conversation about WHY transfer is hard. What are you going to do to beat all of your habits?
      • Mission
      • Distributed practice -- distribute your learning
      • Boosters
      • Toolkit

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