The most powerful decision hack is ease. Make something easy to choose (ex. social proof), make it easy to execute (ex. now), make it easy to justify (ex. let the person tell a good story) and so on. Economist John List joined Tim Ferriss (Overcast) and talked about how we do that with childhood vaccinations.
“You’re going to be in the delivery room. Your kid is going to come out. Everyone is going to be happy. The doctors and nurses will make sure you wife is happy and the baby is healthy. Then the doctor is going to give you a playbook that says: We are going to give these vaccinations today and when you bring your baby back in six months it’s going to get a checkup and some new vaccinations. In twelve months, same thing. In eighteen months, same thing. The polio vaccination occurs in that time period. Any parent is going to do well by their kid and bring them to the doctor checkups, so it’s not an extra cost and you automatically get it.”John List
Ease, make it easy. Inverted it’s the same plan: make undesirable behaviors more difficult. A few others:
- Weight Watchers makes it easy to follow because it’s easy to understand. Like eating bananas.
- Peloton makes the entire purchase process easy.
- “I’ve got a busy day” is an easy way to avoid the social pressures of drinking.
- Hotels with free breakfast get more bookings.
- Charities with “the overhead is covered” get more donations.
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