Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Group Project: 10 Commandments of Humanity

Link to website
[Best viewed in Google Chrome!]

Wallet-friendly Commandment Cards



Emily Gee
Meltem Kartal
Riana Mahtani

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spread the Smile Campaign

For our positive change in the world, we wanted to spread the smile throughout campus, so we came up with the Spread the Smile campaign. We asked people to write a letter of gratitude on a smiley face, for someone and either give it to them in person, or pin it to our wall and tag them on Facebook.

Here is an example of blank Smiley notes which people pinned to our Smiley wall:

This is our Smiley wall, with all the notes of gratitude pinned up:

We used a facebook page where people could tag their friends who they had given smiley faces to:

We used a count down to tell people how long they had left to write a letter of gratitude:

We also had signs with findings from past research which show why writing a letter of gratitude would not only help spread the smile to the person being thanked, but also be beneficial to the person being thankful:

Finally, we handed people leaflets about ways in which they can continue to spread the smile:

By Raqeeb Mahmood, Carlien Djang and Sarina Afzalishamsabad

Group Project: Food Wastage on Warwick University Campus


Persuasive Email Template

RAWKUS Collection Food Waste

Facebook Photo Posting Page

Page Beginning To Generate Interest

Hanaan Ullah, Georgia Kelly, and Yana Efimova. 



On Wednesday’s, as all Warwick students know, is POP!! At approximately 11pm, our friend was not allowed in, due to having her ticket on another person’s card. The easy option would be to say “ok”, and walk away but instead we decided to ask! We asked the manager, “please can you let our friend in,” and after about 10 minutes he was convinced and she was let in. This means, we used, slightly intoxicated, the Just Ask principle and it worked!

Evidence for the Just Ask principle comes from Flynn & Lake (2008). They conducted 3 experiments. The first experiment asked 42 university students to ask a stranger (in person) for a favour, to complete a quick questionnaire.  Half of the participants were also asked to estimate the likelihood of those they approached would comply. The second experiment, replicated the first experiment but also used 2 alternative requests, such as borrowing a cell phone and asking for an escort to a specific destination. Experiment 3, tested a sample of volunteers to solicit donations on behalf of a charity and also predict how many people would comply. The researchers hypothesise that people underestimate the likelihood of compliance after directly asking.

This was exactly what they found. In experiment 1, participants overestimated the amount of people they would need to approach to complete the task, of getting 5 strangers to complete the questionnaire. In experiment 2, participants predicted they would need to ask on average 7.2 people to walk them to the gym before 1 person agreed, but in reality they only needed to ask 2.3 people. Participants in the cell phone group predicted they would need ask 10.1 people to complete the task of getting 3 people to agree to their request, but actually they only needed to ask 6.2 people. This was also replicated in study 3. The results are presented in the graph.

Therefore, this shows that people overestimate the amount of people they will need to ask, in order to fulfil their task and underestimate the amount of compliance. This can explain why the bouncer allowed our friend in to POP, because we just asked! Asking does work if you need help!

Flynn, F. J. F. & Lake, V. K. B. (2008). Just ask: Underestimating compliance with direct requests for help. Journal of personality and social psychology, 95, 128-143.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Group Project: Educate. Communicate. Join the Conversation.

Help Debunk Myths about Homosexuality

Reference List:

American Psychological Association. (2015). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from

Bullying Statistics. (2015). Retrieved May 3, 2015, from

Cory, D. (1951). The homosexual in America: A subjective approach. New York: Greenberg.

Gartrell, N., & Bos, H. (2010). National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents. Pediatrics, 126, 1, 28-36.

Gibbon, E. (1776). The History of the Decline and fall of the Roman Empire. London:

Hooker, E. (1957).  The adjustment of the male overt homosexual. Journal of projective techniques, 21, pp. 18–31.

Spitzer, R. (1981). The diagnostic status of homosexuality in DSM-III: a reformulation of the issues. American Journal of Psychiatry, 138, 2, 210–215.

Pawelski, J., Perrin E., Foy, J., Allen, C., Crawford, J., Del Monte, M., Kaufman, M., Klein, J., Smith, K., Springer, S., Tanner, J.L., & Vickers, D. (2006). The effects of marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership laws on the health and well-being of children. Pediatrics, 118, 1, 349–364.


Constance Wu
Norah Cotterall-Debay
Maya Zwang
Dinas Lipinskas

Friday, April 10, 2015

Group Project: Stop Slut Shaming Radio Show

To listen to the show simply follow the link below and click download. You may have to close a box that appears asking you to join dropbox but if you simply close this the radio show will begin to download.

Slut Shaming Radio Show

Ellena Abery
Beth Quiligotti
Shareen Kaur

Monday, April 6, 2015

It can't be a lie, right?

Last summer, my friend and I have been walking through London, searching for a beauty salon. Soon we encountered something resembling a beauty store with some makeup counters. We were pleased because in this kind of stores, the makeup application is usually a part of product demonstration and hence it is free or inexpensive. Little did we know that we would be walking out of this very store with £200 worth of skincare products, proving the store's persuasive techniques to be effective.

We walked in, and in a brief moment, a man approached us introducing himself as a manager of the store that has decided to take us under his expert wing. We explained we were only looking to get some quick makeup done, but he would soon charmingly move the conversation into telling us about this 'miracle cream' that is supposedly the store's bestseller and the stars' favorite; while he would rub scented products on our hands and telling us about how amazing our skin would look in just three weeks. But moreover, throughout the whole hour and a half long demonstration, he would keep bringing up the same statement: 'Our miracle cream is the best on the market', and he'd accompany this speech with giving demonstrations and showing us glowing reviews.

In his article 'Making a Message Memorable and Persuasive', James Maclachlan introduces twelve persuasive techniques shown to be effective in wide varieties of contexts. One of these techniques is the technique of repeating key points. By increasing the number of times material is presented, it is better remembered. Moreover, the repeated ideas are judged to be more true, even when they are false (MacLachlan, p.54).

Goldstein, Hasher and Toppino have conducted a study in which their forty subjects have rated their certainty about the truth or falsity of 60 statements. The subjects were students and the statements were sampled from areas such as politics, government and medicine; plausibly but unlikely known by the students. Some of those statements were either repeated or not repeated on the list. The subjects were to rate each statement's validity on a 7-point scale, with four indicating 'uncertain', five indicating 'possibly true', six indicating 'probably true' and seven 'definitely true'. Twenty of the first sixty statements were selected as critical items and occurred on each of the three presentations. All other items were new. Validity ratings of the 20 repeated assertions were compared with those for nonrepeated statements. Crossed with the repeated and nonrepeated variable and the sessions variable, was a third variable, the actual truth or falsity of the assertion.

This research has demonstrated that the repetition of a plausible statement increases a person's belief in its truth.

The table above shows how the average rating assigned to repeated statements increased across successive sessions, while the rating assigned to nonrepeated statements diminished slightly.
Moreover, validity ratings assigned to repeated items increased across successive tests, while the validity ratings assigned to nonrepeated statements did not change.

MacLachlan, J. 1983. 'Making a Message Memorable and Persuasive'. Journal of Advertising Research. Dec83/Jan84, Vol. 23 Issue 6, p51. 9p.

Goldstein, D., Hasher, L., Toppino, T. 1977. 'Frequency and the Conference of Referential Validity'. Journal of verbal learning and verbal behavior,16, 107-112.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

SocsFed: Why should you join?

For our group project, we created a leaflet which attempts to persuade readers to pay the £19 annual SocsFed fee and purchase individual memberships to the societies they are involved with each year. Pictures of the leaflet can be seen below.

By Emma Darling, Alannah Mortlock & Heidie Ng

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Daisy Chain of Kindness

We created these business cards as part of our group project; the Daisy Chain of Kindness. Every time a good deed was completed, a card would be passed on, asking only for the chain to continue in return. 

Kerri-Ann Weston 
Yuki Yang
Alice Ryding 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Group Project: Let's Talk Mental Health!

By Hannah Diver, Beth Harris & Madihah Aslam

Break Through!

This is our group project, which focusses on the issue of the glass ceiling and how women can break through this.

Made by:

Amber Paterson
Mishaal Tanveer
Feiyi Ouyang

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Group project: We're all equal, right?

Sophie Brinsmead, Paige Balderson and Rhiannon Ball

Are You A Bully? Slava Dantchev, Jessica Strike, Eleanor Woods

Our project targeted bully-victims, with the aim of informing them of the negative consequences of their actions. The hope was that the message would encourage children not to be bully-victims.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Group Project: Give Blood!

The official NHS blood donation Twitter account retweeted our inforgraphic!

Sophie Hardy, Zeta Meheux, Gibran Dar

Monday, March 30, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Group Project - Ring Childline

We aim our video at young children and are wanting them to phone Childline if they are worried that there may be domestic violence in the home, whether this is verbal or physical. The video is available for Public viewing on YouTube:

Amy Isham, Abi Davies & Amy Gaertner

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Group project- Abuse doesn't discriminate

Below are photos of where we have put our poster around campus. Our poster aimed to raise awareness of domestic violence in any type of relationship and with any gender being the victim, and provide information about a charity help-line that men could turn to if they are the victim of domestic abuse.