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.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Rise of Deliveroo

Everywhere you turn in Leamington there seems to be a Deliveroo rider in their bright turquoise coat off to deliver a pizza. Initially, I was kind of indifferent towards them but as I saw more and more of the riders, I thought to myself what’s all the fuss about? I’ve got to try this out! Then I realised I was being influenced by the mere exposure effect and the bandwagon effect.

The mere exposure effect occurs when people develop a preference for something merely because they become familiar with them. In a study by Moreland & Beach (1992), four women attended lectures for different amounts of time. One did not attend any of the lectures, one attended 5 lectures, another attended 10 times and the last woman attended 15 times. When the rest of the students were asked to rate the four women on various scales such as physical attractiveness, they rated the woman they had seen the most much more positively than the woman they had not seen at all. As I was increasingly exposed to Deliveroo, I became more familiar with them and seemed to develop a preference for them.

My interest in Deliveroo was also probably due to the bandwagon effect, which states that people do something simply because other people are doing it. The perceived popularity of something is often used as an indicator of quality, leading to greater interest and increased likelihood of purchase. For instance, Salganik & Watts (2008) found that when songs were perceived as popular, they were more likely to be downloaded. Due to the amount of people I saw getting a Deliveroo takeaway, I assumed they must be a good service so one night when we were looking through the takeaway flyers for yet another Domino’s, I suggested giving Deliveroo a try. Who knows if they're actually delivering that many takeaways or just cycling around giving the impression that they are. Either way, it worked!

Moreland, R. L., & Beach, S. R. (1992). Exposure effects in the classroom: The development of
       affinity among students. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 28, 255-276.

Salganik, M. J., & Watts, D. J. (2008). Leading the herd astray: An experimental study of self-
      fulfilling prophecies in an artificial cultural market. Social Psychology Quarterly, 71, 338–355.

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