Can small changes lead to big ones? - A blog by Nathan Schock

Can small changes lead to big ones? - A blog by Nathan Schock

Nathan Schock's personal blog, Greenway Communique, is the primary hub for communicating sustainability and bringing people together who do the same.
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The 3BL Media blog roll is a select list of the most influential, respected, and authoritative voices in corporate social responsibility. Compiled from the 3BL Media staff’s extensive contacts with longtime CSR commentators, these bloggers offer relevant news, opinions, and ideas about all things CSR in one convenient place.

Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 8:39am


How can people be convinced to significantly green their lives? To make the big changes needed to conserve natural resources and decrease energy use?

Robert B. Cialdini may have something to suggest. Cialdini' is the author of Influence and I’ve been reading his follow-up book Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. Each of the 50 ways is given its own chapter in the easy to read book and number 14 is titled: “How can one small step help your influence take a giant leap?”

This chapter tells the story of two social science researchers posing as the Road Traffic Safety Committee and their quest to get homeowners to place “a large, unsightly sign measuring six feet by three feet and stating DRIVE CAREFULLY on [their] front lawn.” Unsurprisingly, only 17 percent in the “posh neighborhood” agreed to place the sign in their yard. But what was astonishing was that the researchers were able to increase that rate to 76 percent among a similar group “simply by making one seemingly insignificant addition to their request.” From page 65 of the book:

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