Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fun Theory, an Initiative of Volkswagon

How could one increase the tendency of children to voluntarily buckle their seat belts upon entering a vehicle?  What if you wanted to increase the amount of plastic and glass bottles that people recycle?  How about getting drivers to slow down, thereby decreasing accidents?  What might you do to increase the number of people walking up the stairs instead of taking the escalator?  The answer to all of these questions is to provide reinforcement for performing those behaviors, and the people at Volkswagon have come up with some pretty ingenious methods for doing so.  The "fun theory" works on the premise that behaviors will increase by making those behaviors fun to do.  Click here to watch some videos that demonstrate the fun theory in action.  The results may amaze the case of getting people to use the stairs, these creative people increased foot traffic on one set of stairs by 66%, simply by turning the stairs into a foot-powered piano.  This is a great application of learning and reinforcement principles at work!