Masking Compliance – What Worked and What Didn’t
An Illinois study of over 2000 residents revealed a clear winner. Anyone familiar with triggers could have predicted the outcome.
Here’s a very contemporary example of the Consistency Trigger at work in public persuasion: The efforts to influence the wearing of masks during the pandemic.
A report from Bloomberg business news covered an Illinois survey designed to reveal which messages would be most effective for persuading people to wear masks.
First, what did not work to persuade: According to the report the worst-performing message highlighted the World Health Organization finding that “masks may reduce Covid-19 spread by up to 85%,” and which began with the phrase, “The science is clear.”
If you are familiar with the 7 Triggers system you already know about this particular kind of messaging, very common, which focuses on facts and data. And which, as is revealed in the study, often does not work to persuade.
So what did work?
With over 2,000 state residents participating the ONLY message that worked to increase people’s likelihood of deciding to wear a mask was one that compared mask wearing to well-known and common safety procedures like seatbelts and helmets.
Anyone familiar with emotional triggers could have predicted this messaging as that which would be most effective. It’s classic Consistency Trigger territory, because it hinges on what people already do – their patterns of behavior – and simply matches the “new offering” (in this case the wearing of a mask) to those established patterns.