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Five words every parent (and marketer) should learn | Nudge Newsletter 🧠

Published about 1 month ago • 1 min read

"Could you be a helper?"

In 2014 researchers at Bing school ran an experiment with the kids.

Half were asked "can you help tidy?".

The other half were asked "can you be a helper?".

When children were asked to "be a helper" rather than just to "help," assistance increased by nearly a third.

This was tested in situations where kids were particularly uninterested, like tidying up while engaged in another activity.

Why does this happen?

Well this request forces us to think about our identity, rather than our actions.

Children want to be helpers, so framing the question in this way boosts compliance.

And... it works on adults, here are some real-world examples:

  • Don't be a litterbug (USA anti-littering campaign)
  • Don't be a tosser (Aus NSW anti-littering campaign)
  • Be a litter hero (UK anti-littering campaign)

No prizes for guessing which campaign I think is most effective!



P.S. Dozens of you contacted me to say you loved the recent episode with Rory. So, I thought I'd let you know that:

  1. He'll be back on Nudge on July 1st.
  2. He's taking intakes for his fantastic Mad Masters course (learn behavioural science over 10 weeks with Rory). Enquire (for free) here.

Nudge Newsletter

Phill Agnew

I spend 18 hours each week turning marketing psychology into readable newsletters.

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