I recently attended a project management class with Dr. Lewis. He has a very unique background – engineer and PhD in psychology. I often learn a number of things in his classes that can be tied to social marketing and behavior change.
The following are some premises of human behavior from Dr. Lewis. Don’t you think they are similar ideas to social marketing and recycling behavior change?
- All behavior is an attempt to satisfy the needs of an individual.
- Because the individual may have learned only one behavior that has worked in the past, he/she can be said to be making the best or only choice available for satisfying the given need.
- The individual is not his/her behavior.
- All behavior makes sense from the perspective of the actor.
- People have beliefs about what the world is like, which are called models of reality.
- People preserve their models through three perceptual processes – deletion, distortion and generalization.
-Deletion is the failure to notice evidence which would challenge the person’s beliefs.
-Distortion is the failure to interpret evidence in such a way that the belief would be challenged.
-Generalization is the process in which a single instance of something happening is taken as evidence that the entire world is like the single example.
We all know we need to change people’s beliefs to change their behavior.