Will you remember to pose motivational questions today?

20 Aug

The question-behavior effect results in changing a person’s behavior merely by asking a question about their intentions. Researchers found that if they ask people who belong to health clubs if they intend to go to the club today, a large number did this compared to those not asked the question. It is interesting that one need not answer the question to be motivated by it. The question “flies in under the radar” of arguments.

Another example by Morwitz et al. showed a more than 35% increase in automobile purchasing after asking 40,000 adults their intentions to buy automobiles. The staggering sizes of the effect are usual. 

What does this mean for public health?

I have started a list of motivational questions. Please feel free to add to the list.

  1. Will you eat breakfast this morning?
  2. Will you eat an apple this afternoon?
  3. Will you sleep at least 7 hours tonight?
  4. Will you go on a walk for 30 minutes today?
  5. Will you take the stairs instead of an elevator each time today?
  6. Will you floss your teeth this evening before going to bed?
  7. Will you spend an hour today on your favorite hobby?
  8. Will you sit down for dinner this evening with all your family members?
  9. Will you drink 6 full glasses of water today?

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