Changing behaviour using Fun Theory

Can you change people’s behaviour for the better by making tasks more enjoyable? Car manufacturer Volkswagen seems to think so – they’ve been running a competition looking for new designs or inventions which prove the ‘Fun Theory‘, i.e. that having fun is the easiest way to get people to do the right thing. Examples include  the bottle bank arcade machine,  the world’s deepest dustbin, and the piano staircase, which is my favourite.

I don’t know what the positive psychology theory is behind behaviour change and having fun (perhaps linked to Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions?) but on the basis it’s worked with the majority of kids since time began, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work with the majority of adults too.

The competition closes on 15th December, so if you want to enter your idea, and have the chance of winning 2500 euros, you need to get your skates on.

Thanks to Neil Ashley for the link

3 Responses

  1. Charlie Markwick Says:

    This is great idea. The video is very convincing and the others at http://www.thefuntheory.com equally so. I guess there is novelty and fun going on here. The really interesting question is that once the novelty passes to what extent will the fun element still promote positive behaviour? I’m guessing it will still be quite high. Is there any research to tell us this?

  2. Charlie Markwick Says:

    It seems rather late but the winner is announced, the “Speed Camera Lottery”:-

    http://www.thefuntheory.com/speed-camera-lottery-0

    They tried it out and during the test 24857 cars passed the camera and their average speed dropped from 19.88MPH to 15.53MPH that a 22% reduction!!

  3. Bridget Says:

    Hi Charlie, thanks for the update on this competition. I watched the video clip. It’s amazing how easy it is to change behaviour by making things fun. If only other organisations facing problems had the insight and the gumption to try!

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