Archive for April, 2010

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

This phrase, from the original in French “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” is very pertinent in our quest to change behaviours.

In a WWF report, Crompton (2008: 5) states: “The results of experiments examining the ‘foot-in-the-door’ approach (the hope that individuals can be led up a virtuous ladder of ever more far-reaching behavioural changes) are fraught with contradictions”.

What does this mean in terms of evaluation? Well, for one, self-reporting of changes may lead to socially-desirable answers that overestimate the amount of actual change.

So how do we undertake better evaluations? Well, hopefully this will all be revealed in the conversations that take place at Show me the Change. Which leads me to the following…………

The Abbotsford Declaration on Behaviour Change Evaluation

A recent post on Rick Davies Evaluation News Site on the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness made me think about what we can collectively achieve from Show me the Change.

Based on the diversity of people attending I am sure that the conversations will be passionate and inspiring and the amount of knowledge exchange based on practical experiences will lead to better practices…. So how about working towards an Abbotsford Declaration on Behaviour Change Evaluation as a marker for this event, and as a building block for future behaviour change programs and their evaluation!

How expectations shape behaviour

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

In this interesting study on how other people’s expectations shape us, the researchers found that other people’s expectations about us directly affect how we behave.

Understanding that other people’s expectations about us directly and immediately affect our behaviour is a vital component in understanding how we can come to be quite different people across various social situations.

I leave you with one final thought: in the real world two people are influencing each other continuously, trying to live up (or down) to each other’s expectations. Of course we only have direct control over our own expectations of others, so one implication of this study is that by changing our expectations of others we can actually change their behaviour for worse or, should we choose, for the better.

The effect may be subtle, but it’s a powerful realisation that other people’s behaviour is partly derived from how we view them, just as our behaviour is partly derived from how others view us.

I wonder what role our expectations of people involved in behaviour change programs affects the outcomes?