Repost from 2011 Blog
“The thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.” The Fun Theory – An Initiative of Volkswagen
If you run into a staircase like this next to an escalator, would you choose the stairs? (see video below) If walking up the stairs is “fun” would you take the stairs over the escalator or the elevator?
The health club industry is always trying to figure out a way to make exercise “fun” in hopes that more people adopt exercise into their lifestyle. It is not a secret that we all want "fun" in things that we do, albeit sometimes what the industry thinks is “fun” is not necessarily what the general population sees as “fun”… and more often than not, if we had the choice we would take “fun” over “not fun”, especially if you have to get to the top anyways (top of the stairs, fitness goals, fuel our body, live life, grow old, etc.).
But can “fun” be serious enough to change behaviors that have become stubborn habits? If not, then what other ways are there to “change people’s behaviour for the better”?
Undoubtedly, the discussion of motivation in behavioral change is a complex one. Nevertheless, while motivating people to make lasting changes in behavior is not as simple as making a staircase into a piano keyboard, this simple experiment shows that “fun” can at least spur people’s curiosity to do something different.
The question of how long the “fun” lasts is another story… and another challenge…
See http://www.thefuntheory.com/ for more videos and ideas on how fun can change behavior for the better.