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The three common misconceptions on behavior change

Behavior change enthusiast, environmentalist, baker, traveler, writer Apr 25 April Fools! Here are the six most common myths and how we tame them. There are a whole host of factors that go into why a decision gets made. We also rely on adaptive heuristics, or mental shortcuts, to help us make decisions quickly, and with just the right amount of effort.

While this myth has largely been debunked, there are remnants of it today that still drive behavioral interventions. For a while, addressing an information deficit through the three common misconceptions on behavior change or awareness-raising was considered the gold standard in the field.

A number of campaigns and communications still rely heavily on transmitting knowledge, even though we know that this approach rarely leads to quick or durable change on its own.

Nudging is the current trendy strategy in the behavior change world that works through designing certain kinds of choice architecture. At Rare, we believe that people have multiple reasons for doing a behavior and therefore our multi-pronged approach reflects that. Some people believe that each intervention must be specifically tailored and customized to an audience for the three common misconceptions on behavior change to be effective.

This is a false dichotomy. While we agree that designing for individual, social, and cultural contexts is essential, all humans possess some biologically-ingrained ways of processing information about the world around us. We all share a need to understand, explore, and participate meaningfully in our environments.

April Fools! Six Behavior Change Myths Debunked

We also have a number of core values and require cognitively and emotionally supportive environments. These initiatives are successful around the world because they are about what makes us similar, not different, as people. In response, at Rare we believe that behavior change should always involve a choice. Sly interventions can make people upset or act in an undesired way, which can end up being counterproductive to desired goals.

The environmental challenges we face are indeed serious, but it is important for practitioners and researchers to be transparent and trust people as much as possible to make their own decisions. When we share our stories and tools with communities, we want to build relationships in the process and help people better understand what makes others the three common misconceptions on behavior change. Research has shown time and time again that these approaches have limited effectiveness in the long term and can sometimes cause people to withdraw from the problem.

Instead, at Rare we choose to use positive emotions, such as pride, joy, and curiosity, to underpin our behavioral interventions. For these moments, we recommend pairing a feeling of concern or worry with tangible action strategies, so people the three common misconceptions on behavior change more willing and able to do something.

At Rare, we instead try to play a supporting role and believe in providing people with the tools to lead their own campaigns. We also are firm believers that behavior change is not so complex that it requires a PhD to understand. Every person is an expert on something, and we all share a common knowledge on being human.

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Across all of these myths, there is a common thread of the benefits that come when we trust people and their motivations. Rare is committed to forging a path for behavior change based on what we know works through both science and practice. Debunking these myths is one step towards helping us all be more successful in seeing the change we want for the behaviors that matter most.