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如何说服人们改变他们的行为

  Government and public health organizations have been tasked with the challenge of changing behavior—getting people to not only practice social distancing and shelter in place but do it for weeks and potentially months.Not surprisingly,almost everyone is relying on the standard approach to drive change:Tell people what to do.Issue demands like:“Don’t go out,”“Stay six feet apart,”Wash your hands,”and“Wear face masks.”

  政府和公共卫生组织面临着改变公众行为的挑战,使人们不仅要实行社会隔离和安置,而且要进行数周甚至数月的时间。不足为奇的是,几乎所有人都依赖于标准方法来推动变革即告诉人们该做什么。问题要求如:“不要外出”,“相隔六英尺”,“洗手”和“戴口罩”。

  While a lot of us are following recommendations so far,making sure everyone sticks with them for the long haul is a tougher ask.Some people are still or have resumed congregating in groups.Some churches,with support from their local leaders,are flouting stay-at-home orders.And protesters have begun to demand that businesses reopen sooner than experts suggest.

  到目前为止,虽然我们很多人都在遵循建议,但要确保每个人都长期坚持下去,但这仍是一个比较棘手的问题。有些人仍然或重新开始成群结队。一些教会在当地领导人的支持下,无视“宅在家”的命令。抗议者已经开始要求企业更早恢复营业(比专家建议的还早)。

  Directives aren’t particularly effective in driving sustained behavior change because we all like to feel as if we are in control of our choices.Why did I buy that product,use that service,or take that action?Because I wanted to.So when others try to influence our decisions,we don’t just go along,we push back against the persuasive attempt.We get together with a friend,shop more than once a week,don’t wear a mask.We avoid doing what they suggested because we don’t want to feel like someone else is controlling us.

  指令在推动持续的行为改变方面并不是特别有效,因为我们都喜欢感觉自己可以控制自己的选择。为什么我要买那个产品,使用那个服务,或者采取那个行动?因为我想。因此,当别人试图影响我们的决定时,我们不会随波逐流,我们会抵制他们说服我们的企图。我们和朋友聚会,一周购物不止一次,不戴口罩。我们避免做他们建议的事情,因为我们不想感觉别人在控制我们。

  Our innate anti-persuasion radar raises our defenses,so we avoid or ignore the message or,even worse,counter-argue,conjuring up all the reasons why what someone else suggested is a bad idea.Sure,the governor said to stay home but they’re overreacting.Maybe the virus is bad in some part of the country,but I don’t know a single person whose gotten it.And besides,many people who get it are fine anyway,so what’s the big deal?Like an overzealous high school debater,they poke and prod and raise objections until the persuasive power of the message crumbles.

  我们天生的“反说服思想”会提高我们的防御能力,所以我们会忽视别人的信息,或者更糟的是,“反辩论”,想出所有的理由来说明为什么别人的建议是一个坏主意。当然,州长说要呆在家里,但是他们反应过度了。也许病毒在这个国家的某些地方是有害的,但我不知道谁感染了它。而且,很多人感染它,但身体也很好,所以有什么大不了的?就像一个过分热心的高中辩手,他们不停地辩论,提出反对意见,直到自己的说服力消散为止。

  So if telling people to do doesn’t work,what does?Rather than trying to persuade people,getting them to persuade themselves is often more effective.Here are three ways to do that.

  所以,如果告诉人们做什么没用,那什么又有用?与其试图说服别人,不如让他们说服自己往往更有效。这里有三种方法。

  1.Highlight a gap.

  1.突出差距。


  You can increase people’s sense of freedom and control by pointing out a disconnect between their thoughts and actions,or between what they might recommend for others versus do themselves.

  你可以通过指出他们的思想和行动之间的脱节,或者他们为别人推荐的和自己做的之间的脱节,来增加人们的自由感和控制感。
纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com/

  Take staying at home.For young people who might resist,ask what they would suggest an elderly grandparent or a younger brother or sister do.Would they want them out,interacting with possibly infected people?If not,why do they think it’s safe for them to do so?

  以呆在家里为例。对于可能会有抵触情绪的年轻人,问问他们会建议年长的祖父母或弟弟妹妹做什么。他们想让他们出来,和可能感染的人交流吗?如果不是,为什么他们认为这样做是安全的?

  People strive for internal consistency.They want their attitudes and actions to line up.Highlighting misalignment encourages them to resolve the disconnect.

  人们追求内在的一致性。他们希望自己的态度和行动一致。强调不一致可以鼓励他们解决脱节。

  Health officials in Thailand used this approach in anti-smoking campaign.Rather than telling smokers their habit was bad,they had little kids come up to smokers on the street and ask them for a light.Not surprisingly,the smokers told the kids no.Many even lectured the little boys and girls about the dangers of smoking.But before turning to walk away,the kids handed the smokers a note that said,“You worry about me…But why not about yourself?”At the bottom was a toll-free number smokers could call to get help.Calls to that line jumped more than 60%during the campaign.

  泰国卫生官员在反吸烟运动中使用了这种方法。他们没有告诉吸烟者他们的习惯是不好的,而是让小孩子们在街上走向吸烟者,请他们给自己点烟。毫无疑问,吸烟者会对孩子们说不。许多人甚至向孩子们宣讲吸烟的危害。但在转身离开之前,孩子们递给吸烟者一张纸条,上面写着:“你担心我,但为什么不担心你自己?”在最后会有一个免费电话号码,吸烟者可以打电话求助。在这项活动期间,这条热线的电话跃升了60%以上。

  2.Pose questions.

  2.提出问题。


  Another way to allow for agency is to ask questions rather than make statements.Public health messaging tries to be direct:“Junk food makes you fat.”“Drunk driving is murder.”“Keep sheltering in place.”But being so forceful can make people feel threatened.The same content can be phrased in terms of a question:“Do you think junk food is good for you?”If someone’s answer is no,they’re now in a tough spot.By encouraging them to articulate their opinion,they’ve had to put a stake in the ground—to admit that those things aren’t good for them.And once they’ve done that,it becomes harder to keep justify the bad behaviors.

  另一种方法是提出问题而不是发表声明。公共卫生信息尽量直接:“垃圾食品让你变胖。”“酒后驾车是谋杀。”“保持掩体就位。”但是太强势会让人感到威胁。同样的内容可以用问题的形式来表达:“你认为垃圾食品对你有好处吗?”如果有人的回答是“不”,那他们现在的处境就不妙了。通过鼓励他们表达自己的观点,他们不得不冒着风险承认这些事情对他们不利。一旦他们这样做了,就很难为他们的不良行为辩护了。

  Questions shift the listener’s role.Rather than counter-arguing or thinking about all the reasons they disagree,they’re sorting through their answer to your query and their feelings or opinions on the matter.And this shift increases buy-in.It encourages people to commit to the conclusion,because while people might not want to follow someone else’s lead,they’re more than happy to follow their own.The answer to the question isn’t just any answer;it’s their answer,reflecting their own personal thoughts,beliefs,and preferences.That makes it more likely to drive action.

纽约时报中英文网 http://www.qqenglish.com



  问题改变了听者的角色。他们不是反驳或思考所有他们不同意的原因,而是整理他们对你的问题的回答以及他们对这件事的感受或意见。这种转变增加了效果。它鼓励人们遵循结论,因为虽然人们可能不想跟随别人的领导,但他们更乐意跟随自己的领导。这个问题的答案不是随便一个答案;这是他们的回答,反映了他们自己的思想、信仰和偏好。这使得它更有可能推动行动。

  In the case of this crisis,questions like“How bad would it be if your loved ones got sick?”could prove more effective than directives in driving commitment to long-term or intermittent social distancing and vigilant hygiene practices.

  在这场危机中,像这样的问题:如果你的亲人生病了,情况会有多糟?在推动长期或间歇性的社会隔离和警惕的卫生实践方面,可能比指示更有效。

  3.Ask for less.

  3.要求更少。


  The third approach is to reduce the size of the ask.

  第三种方法是减少请求的大小。

  A doctor was dealing with an obese trucker who was drinking three liters of Mountain Dew a day.She wanted to ask him to quit cold turkey,but knew that would probably fail,so she tried something else.She asked him to go from three liters a day to two.He grumbled,but after a few weeks,was able to make the switch.Then,on the next visit,she asked him to cut down to one liter a day.Finally,after he was able to do that,only then did she suggest cutting the soda out entirely.The trucker still drinks a can of Mountain Dew once in a while,but he’s lost more than 25 pounds.

  一个医生正在治疗一个肥胖的卡车司机,他每天喝三公升的激浪。她想让他戒掉这个习惯,但她知道那可能会失败,所以她尝试了别的办法。她要求他把每天的饮用量从三升减少到两升。他嘟囔着,但几周后,他终于做出了改变。然后,在下次访问时,她要求他减少一公升。最终,在他能够做到之后,她才建议将苏打水完全切掉。卡车司机仍然偶尔会喝一罐激浪,但他的体重减轻了25磅以上。

  Especially in times of crisis,health organizations want big change right away.Everyone should continue to stay at home,by themselves,for two more months.But asks this big often get rejected.They’re so different from what people are doing currently that they fall into what scientists call“the region of rejection”and get ignored.

  尤其是在危机时期,卫生组织希望立即做出重大改变。每个人都应该继续独自呆在家里两个多月。但要求这么大的经常被拒绝。它们与人们目前正在做的事情是如此不同,以至于它们落入了科学家所说的“排斥区域”而被忽视。

  A better approach is to dial down the initial request.Ask for less initially,and then ask for more.Take a big ask and break it down into smaller,more manageable chunks.Government officials responding to the pandemic are already doing this to some extent by setting initial end dates for social distancing measures,then extending them.But there might be more opportunities,for example when experts allow for some restrictions to be lifted—say,on small gatherings—but insist that others,such as concerts or sporting events,continue to be banned.

  一个更好的方法是减少最初的请求。一开始要求少一点,然后要求多一点。接受一个大的请求,把它分成更小、更容易处理的几个部分。应对流感大流行的政府官员在一定程度上已经在这样做了,他们为社会疏远措施设定了最初的结束日期,然后再延长。但可能会有更多的机会,例如,当专家允许取消一些限制(比如小型集会),但坚持其他的(如音乐会或体育赛事)继续被禁止。

  Whether we’re encouraging people to socially distance,shop only once a week,thoroughly wash hands and wear face masks,or change behavior more broadly,too often we default to a particular approach:Pushing.We assume that if we just remind people again or give them more facts,figures,or reasons,they’ll come around.But,as recent backlash against the Covid-19-related restrictions suggests,this doesn’t always work over the long term,especially when your demands have no fixed end date.

  无论我们是在鼓励人们保持社交隔离、每周只购物一次、彻底洗手、戴口罩,还是更广泛地改变行为,我们通常都会默认一种特定的方式:推动。我们假设,如果我们只是再次提醒人们或给他们更多的事实、数据或理由,他们就会回心转意。但是,正如最近对Covid-19相关限制的强烈反对所表明的那样,这并不总是长期有效,特别是当你的要求没有固定的截止日期时。

  If we instead understand the key barriers preventing change,such as reactance,and employ tactics designed to overcome them,we can change anything.

  相反,如果我们理解了阻碍改变的关键障碍,比如抗拒,并采用旨在克服这些障碍的策略,我们就可以改变任何事情。
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