Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Three Myths of Behavior Change With Jenny Cross

What leads people to change? Ir's not what you think. And it isn't commonsense or education.

Learn how to influence change to get outcomes that are beneficial.

Social interaction helps with changing attitudes. 

How you present the information triples the effectiveness. 

Human beings are loss averse. We hate to lose anything. If you tell them what they are losing they will pay attention, over telling them what they will gain. Framing loss can make a difference. 

Different audiences have different social norms they care about. It must resonate with the audience and apply to their cohort.  Key to your message being credible to that group. 

We think generally if you want to change behaviour, you need to change attitude. Nope. 

Forget changing the attitude, attitudes follow behaviour they do not predict it. Before that - set expectations first. Set behavioural expectations.

Look for underlying values that people really care about. 

Group 1   Save money, save the planet, save the children   
Group 2   Frugality a value in and of itself. 

Both groups share this value. Both groups will buy in to the change. 

Social scientists know - we do not know what influences us. And what we think it is isn't. 

Social norms are powerful and invisible to us but they work. 

A person acting as an example is more effective than a sign saying to do something.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hunter Storm April 2015

Monday Night. 

Severe storms hit our local region this week and suddenly whole towns are without electricity, without phone service, are without internet and mobile service.

The problem hits home the next day when the power outage continues. For the next day and night, and another, and another.

As I write this in the wee hours of the morning in a dark house by the light of a torch, without even the radio for company it is a truth that can't be denied - we take our connected world so for granted that it is at such times that we realise how dependent - and how helpless we have become, without our technology.

For those with land lines for the telephone still connected (many homes don't have them now), this is a tenuous line to the rest of the world. Mine was out - drowned in the torrential downpour that continues with rain belting down with seemingly no end. Storm and tempest indeed it is. And so dark. Not a star in sight as clouds blanket the sky.

I Knew That Once

Our phone numbers we once remembered for everyone we knew now reside outside of our conscious recall. They live in our computers and cell phones and without power to make them go, once the charge ebbed from the draining batteries, are locked away from us when we need them most.

The radio, the single source for news in times of emergency weather events like this one is silent too. Weather the storm for days when there is electricity it is inconvenient but is like a forced convalescence. Alas for me, with no power and no battery radio it is like a sensory deprivation chamber. Nothing to see. Nothing to hear. Nothing to do. But write this note while I can see by this torchlight.

Come daylight, an emergency run to the shopping centre reveals roads closed to traffic and under flood water. Luckily there is another grocery store that is open and being powered by generator, with the checkouts manned by managers who would normally not be seen dead near a customer transaction.   What to buy? That's the burning question. What is there that is available to buy that is any use at all in a situation like this? What have the earlier customers left that will add some amenity to life during this blackout that has no end date so far. It's enlightening as an experience to survey shelves groaning with preposterous products that have no utility at all in a world without electricity.

Shopping Old Style

No refrigerator means no perishables will be in my shopping basket today. Where are the candles kept? The normal ritual of the grocery store to move everything regularly to force customers to look at different things as they hunt for what they want, isn't helping. It may not be hurting either. There are no candles to be had. Matches. I need matches. Must stock up on those and hope the candles I have at home hold out. Batteries. I really want an LED lantern but of course no luck today with that. They do have a small LED powered 'headlight' that's priced at what seems an extortionate $45 dollars - but is the closest thing I am going to find as a light source to rely on, so in the basket that goes.

Bread. Small cans of tuna... they should come in handy if this goes on much longer and the cold food in the freezer is used up or past saving. Long life milk. Small packs mean lest waste so they go in the basket. At least coffee is still possible to make, if not exactly easy. There is always the Weber! Plenty of gas in the bottle.

Priorities change when you have no electricity.

A Century Of ANZAC

Which reminds me, this year that commemorates the anniversary of 100 years since the Gallipoli landing and just a few days out from ANZAC day, all the things that are still useful to me in my blackout period, are the kinds of products that our forebears one hundred years before might have bought.  While we have all kinds of gadgets that suddenly are not working;  in their day, what they had no iPads or smartphones or computers but what they did have was geared to help them survive.

How silly our gadgets seem when they have nothing to make them go.

Our forebears who watched their young sons go off to fight a desperate war where privation would be their constant companion, facing unknowable horrors. On this week our own community gets a fresh lesson on what life was like before modern conveniences, cold storage, instant heat and endless access to produce in or out of season.   Without the virtual world and gadgets, and without the 24 hour news cycle.

They who lived a hundred years ago knew all about early nights and straining eyes to see in a weak light.

They also have more conversation, more stories to share and more time to relate one to one. We might call that quality time.

And I have finally found a battery operated radio to buy - and snaffled the last set of batteries from the last store to have them.

Friday morning. 

The power is on again. Yippee! Plug in the gadgets and get them powered up, pack away the candles and assorted paraphernalia. Refrigerator can wait to be cleaned out. I'll get to it later...

This has been a significant weather event - and it has no name.

In 2007 we endured something similar that was accompanied by the Pasha Bulker coal ship being beached in Newcastle.

Thereafter the storm event of 2007 has been referred to as the Pasha Bulker storm.

This time we have no defining name. It needs a name to mark its passing.

After four nights I got my electricity back on. I got my internet connection and mobile phone service.


Anzac Day celebrations have refashioned our lost lives of the young men who perished into a blockbuster story that somehow tells us of the glory of it all. I wonder how that happened.

I've never seen an ANZAC digger talk about it that way. Well they can't set the record straight now.

Lest we forget.

Sunday night. 

Some homes are still without electricity.

I learned more about what happened during these days. This is what had been going on beyond my street. Take a look.

 Flooding near Raymond Terrace in the northern part of New South Wales. More than 20 people have been rescued from floodwaters and more than 200,000 homes and businesses are without power as storms continue to lash parts of the state. Photograph: Nikki Short/AAP Image

This is a lovely gazebo by the Williams River at Raymond Terrace - when it is not flooded! 

This street in Hamilton South had eight massive uprooted trees. Amazing sight. #newystorm

Darkest days in history 🌚🌚 #fromwerewoulduratherbe #newcastle #Darkest days in history 🌚🌚🌚 #fromwerewoulduratherbe #newcastle #newystorm #rglivenews #travelnewystorm #rglivenews #travel

The chicken that didn't cross the road! Severe storms in the Newcastle area caused havoc for the Red Rooster on Main Rd, Edgeworth today... Photo by @simonedepeak Simone De Peak #everydayaustralia #newcastle 

Massive gumtree down in Brown Massive gumtree down in Brown street #newystorm #newcastlestormtreet #newystorm #newcastlestorm

Wild weather continues to batter the coast at Clovelly in Sydney this afternoon

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How Mindset Affects Our Ability In Life

Mindset matters.

The placebo effect is a powerful robust and consistent example of how expectation affects the mind's ability to assist with healing.

Should you tell your kids they are smart or talented? Professor Carol Dweck answers this question and more, as she talks about her groundbreaking work on developing mindsets.
Carol Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology and, by courtesy, at the Graduate School of Education. A leading expert in the field of motivation, her research has demonstrated the role of mindsets in students’ achievement and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning.