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.

Monday, April 30, 2018


By Annabelle Warwick, Megan Parnell and Natalie Steer

The Issue: Why is phone use a problem?

Next time you’re in a public place, look around at how many people are on their phone, you may find the result quite shocking. High phone use has lead to the development of a new phobia -  nomophobia, which is the irrational fear of being without your phone (Yildirim & Correia, 2015). Social media is partly at fault for our addiction. This is because outlets such as Facebook exploit our vulnerability of dopamine through ‘likes’ and ‘friend requests’, giving us rewards and forming an addiction, much like a drug.

This is explained in the video below:

Mobile phone use now makes up around 5 hours of your day (see Figure 1) which equates to around ⅓ of your total waking hours! (Niemz, Griffiths & Banyard, 2005). This becomes an even bigger problem as it is associated with some pretty negative impacts:

  1. It can lead to sleep disturbance due to the blue light from the screen interfering with circadian rhythms resulting in desynchronization from the sleep-wake circadian rhythm (Thomée et al, 2011; Toutou et al, 2016)
  2. It can decrease real social interaction, prompting mental health problems such as depression and loneliness (Kraut et al, 1998)
  3. It can have a negative impact on academic performance by interfering with determination and attention (Lepp, Barkley & Karpinski, 2014).

These facts shocked us. Clearly, phone addiction is a real problem which needs to be addressed. Therefore, we wanted to create a project that educated adolescents on the negative effects of being on their phones and encourage them to spend less time on their phones, and more time with their family.

Why target adolescents in schools?
One study found time spent with family decreased from 35% to 14% from the age of 10-18 (Larson, Richards, Moneta, Holmbeck & Duckett, 1996). This decline in family interaction was found to be mediated by factors such as increased phone use. The adolescents in this study that spent more time having conversations with their family and talking about interpersonal issues had higher positive affect. Some parents try to restrict their children's time spent on phones but research shows extrinsic motivation does not work long term (Benabou & Tirole, 2003).

Thus, we wanted to target adolescents themselves, to increase their own intrinsic motivation as this will instigate a more powerful behaviour change. Addictive behaviours are more likely to begin in adolescence and harder to change in adulthood (Weirs et al, 2007). This was another reason we targeted the young, to empower them to be agents of change as research has found youth-led interventions are one of the most effective forms of creating social change (Ginwright & James, 2002).

Benefits of family interaction
The Stress Buffering Model states social interactions and interpersonal relationships offer social support which buffers against stress (Cohen & Wills, 1985). This highlights the significance of the family unit and how it can protect its members against mental health issues. Parents can act as role models to children, where they learn to focus on family time each evening (Fulkerson et al, 2006). Thus, family time like meals are beneficial for parents and children and create a stronger sense of ‘family togetherness’.

Figure 3- Top activities to reduce stress obtained from:


Our idea targeted adolescents to put their phone down for one hour a night to spend quality time with their family. One hour was believed to be a realistic goal as we acknowledged that trying to ban phone use altogether in this age group was not achievable.

How we did it

We got in contact with a local secondary school in Royal Leamington Spa and a sixth form in Newcastle upon Tyne to introduce our concept of the ‘Golden Hour’. Originally, the aim was to put posters up in their school, however, we used the ‘Just Ask’ method to go beyond that and got permission to present our idea in morning tutor groups in the local school in Leamington Spa and a sixth form assembly in Newcastle.

In the local secondary school this consisted of 3 tutor groups ranging from year 7 to year 9 for 3 mornings totalling 270 students reached. The sixth form in Newcastle consisted of 200 year 12 and 13s. Overall we reached around 470 teenagers. Each 10 minute tutor session and assembly meant we gave a 5 minute powerpoint presentation on the psychological impacts of phone use and the importance of family, as well as suggesting ways they can take on ‘The Golden Hour’. The presentation then ended with a 4 min youtube video:

Poster above highlighted the issues regarding phone use and ways in which to limit it

Compilation of presentation above shown to students

Clip shown to students at the end of the presentation 

The poster (as seen above) contained the QR code to the YouTube Video, were handed to tutors and the head of sixth form to put up in form rooms to carry on the message after we left the school. We can see the number of students using this QR code go up every day!

Measuring behaviour change
The presentation seemed to have a powerful impact on both the students and the teachers:

  • At the end of each presentation, we asked how many of them were going to give it a go, and nearly all of the 470 students put their hands up.
  • Along with spreading the message, the powerpoint taught students new concepts such as ‘Nomophobia’. This seemed to have a big impact on the students as they could relate to it, on one occasion the teacher repeated the word when the students left the classroom to make the students remember the impact of phone addiction.
  •  One student from year 7 said she wanted to give her phone up for a whole two days!
  • One teacher saved the presentation onto her memory stick and said she was going to develop the idea into her class giving their phones up for lent. Another teacher said she was going to try and encourage her teenage children to do it to increase family time in her own home. Many teachers passed comment on the power of the message in the video we used and asked for the link to the YouTube clips to share with friends and family (one teacher even said they cried when watching it at home!).
  • One very promising result was the head of year 7 took a copy of the presentation and the video and showed it in the whole year 7 assembly the same week we visited, focusing on the importance of human interactions with friends as well as family (See email below).
A similar result was found in the sixth form in Newcastle. The head of sixth form asked for the presentation, video and poster so she could make the assembly annual. We were even invited back next year to present the concept again. After hearing what was presented to the sixth form a year 11 form teacher said she wanted her students to see the presentation. The head girl said that she and other students found the video very moving, compelling and made many of them realise the importance of changing their phone use behaviour.

Thus, our message was further reinforced in the subsequent weeks and annual assemblies after we gave the presentation, by our posters and QR codes around the school, teachers incorporating it in class with lent, head of year’s showing it in assembly, and teachers bringing the message home to their own families.

We are very proud of our project, it has been a huge success! Our message has had a vast impact on both students and teachers, which has been shown in the amount of positive feedback we have received.

Persuasive Techniques

Implementation Intentions

Gollwitzer (1999) suggests by making clear goal-directed plans, automatic responses will occur even when barriers or difficulties are presented which may have previously stopped the given behaviour. 

We gave the students clear, specific and easy to follow suggestions on how they can carry out ‘The Golden Hour’ and when they should e.g. 1 hour during dinner time or watching TV.

  • Turn on airplane mode to avoid distractions
  • Put the phones in a pile and first person to touch their phone has a forfeit
  • Showing celebrities who has successfully limited their phone use
  • Suggesting Apps to download to track phone use and limit access (see below)

Cognitive dissonance
This theory describes how people strive for internal consistency. To achieve this, a person must have consistent attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. Our presentation aimed to make the children believe their phone use is negative, which is out of line with their over phone use behaviour, creating cognitive dissonance. Therefore, to reduce this feeling they should change their behaviour to fit with their beliefs about over phone use. This concept is supported by Aronson and Mills (1959) who invited women to a group discussion and asked them to read text aloud which contained either mild, explicit or no sexually oriented content. They found that cognitive dissonance was formed in the explicit group due to the high embarrassment created. In order to reduce this cognitive dissonance the women in this group rated the session as more beneficial (justifying their embarrassment) than participants in other groups. This related to our project as the children could use the concept from The Golden Hour to align their attitudes to their beliefs.

Use of a celebrity role model
The presentation we showed to students contained details about Ed Sheeran who has given his phone up for two years. Ed Sheeran is a high profile celebrity and role model for many young people. In the concept Social Learning Theory, Bandura (1977) describes that behaviour is more likely to be emulated if a role model performs the behaviour. Therefore, by using Ed Sheeran as an example of desired behaviour, it would be more likely that the students would model their behaviour to comply with the Golden Hour by putting their phones down.

Using a celebrity also taps into the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Ajzen (1991) states perceived behavioural control is a factor which is needed to be able for a person to carry out a behaviour. This explains how an individual needs a perception of their own ability to achieve a given behaviour. Therefore, we increased the perceived behavioural control by emphasising the positive benefits reported by Ed Sheeran. As Ed Sheeran is ‘someone like them’ the students' self-efficacy (a person’s perception of their ability to achieve a behaviour) is increased which encourages them to perceive the act of putting their phones down for an hour as achievable. Resulting in the students being more likely to carry out the behaviour.

Availability heuristic
This refers to the mental shortcut where information is easily recalled if it is readily available or the exposure to the information has been recent. Schwarz et al (1991) found that participants were more likely to rate themselves as more assertive if they had to think of 6 instances of themselves being assertive rather than 12. They believed they were more assertive when thinking of fewer cases because it was easier to recall. Use of the availability heuristic was achieved in The Golden Hour as there was a snappy title which was easy to remember, information was made available by presenting the idea to the students in form groups and assemblies. Repeatedly seeing the poster increased the salience of The Golden Hour message due to the mere exposure effect. Zajonc (1968) suggests showing images subliminally makes them more familiar and therefore more memorable. Just seeing information relating to the Golden Hour encourages the behaviour change by making the ideas and methods to achieve it more available.  

Positive punishment
Positive punishment refers to presenting a stimulus that decreases the frequency of a behaviour occurring in the future (Cooper et al, 2007). We encouraged the students to play ‘the pile game’, involving putting their phones in a pile and whoever was the first to touch it would have to do the washing up (the punishment). Shaw and Simms (2009) supports this idea, they found that positive punishment in the form of a verbal warning was successful in decreasing unwanted target behaviours in poorly behaved children. Therefore, suggesting how adding a punishment will reduce the chances of the children picking up the phone again during The Golden Hour, while adding a bit of friendly competition! 

Time for YOU to get on board
The Golden Hour doesn’t only have to be done within the household. For those who are living away from home or find yourself with a group of friends, take up the Golden Hour idea! 
Focus on your real friends not your Facebook friends, don’t let technology ruin true human interaction.

Just like we told the students, phone obsession is a habit that can be broken! If you adopt the Golden Hour every night, that hour of quality family time will get easier and easier and you will reap the benefits!

Put your phone down and look up!


Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 50(2), 179-211.Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 50, 179-211.

Bandura, A., & Walters, R. H. (1977). Social learning theory. (Vol. 1). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-hall.

Benabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2003). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The review of economic studies, 70, 489-520.

Cohen, S., & Wills, T. A. (1985). Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis. Psychological bulletin, 98, 310.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis.

Fulkerson, J. A., Neumark-Sztainer, D., & Story, M. (2006). Adolescent and parent views of family meals. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106, 526-532.

Ginwright, S., & James, T. (2002). From assets to agents of change: Social justice, organizing, and youth development. New directions for student leadership, 2002, 27-46.

Gollwitzer, P. M. (1999). Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans. American psychologist, 54, 493.

Kraut, R., Patterson, M., Lundmark, V., Kiesler, S., Mukophadhyay, T., & Scherlis, W. (1998). Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being?. American psychologist, 53, 1017.

Larson, R. W., Richards, M. H., Moneta, G., Holmbeck, G., & Duckett, E. (1996). Changes in adolescents' daily interactions with their families from ages 10 to 18: Disengagement and transformation. Developmental Psychology, 32, 744.

Lepp, A., Barkley, J. E., & Karpinski, A. C. (2014). The relationship between cell phone use, academic performance, anxiety, and satisfaction with life in college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 31, 343-350.

Niemz, K., Griffiths, M., & Banyard, P. (2005). Prevalence of pathological Internet use among university students and correlations with self-esteem, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and disinhibition. Cyberpsychology & behavior, 8, 562-570.

Schwarz, N., Bless, H., Strack, F., Klumpp, G., Rittenauer-Schatka, H., & Simons, A. (1991). Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and Social psychology, 61, 195.

Shaw, R. & Simms, T. (2009). Reducing attention-maintained behaviour through the use of positive punishment, differential reinforcement of low rates and response marking. Behavioural interventions, 24, 249-263.

Touitou, Y., Touitou, D., & Reinberg, A. (2016). Disruption of adolescents’ circadian clock: The vicious circle of media use, exposure to light at night, sleep loss and risk behaviors. Journal of Physiology-Paris, 110, 467-479.

Thomée, S., Härenstam, A., & Hagberg, M. (2011). Mobile phone use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults-a prospective cohort study. BMC public health, 11, 66.

Wiers, R. W., Bartholow, B. D., van den Wildenberg, E., Thush, C., Engels, R. C., Sher, K. J., & Stacy, A. W. (2007). Automatic and controlled processes and the development of addictive behaviors in adolescents: a review and a model. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 86, 263-283.

Yildirim, C., & Correia, A. P. (2015). Exploring the dimensions of nomophobia: Development and validation of a self-reported questionnaire. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 130-137.

Can I have a Bite, Sandra?

Those of you familiar with the behaviour change literature and pretty much everyone else would be aware of the phenomenon of just asking. It probably remains the most productive way of getting what you want from people and the research of Clark and Hatfield (1990) has shown the benefits to males seeking romance. However this famous KFC commercial gave its own take on what happens when you ask for a Mini Fillet Burger.

Flying Scared

This EasyJet Advert plays down aerophobia by challenging individuals’ fear of flying and the relative irrationality We all know at least one person that’s scared to step foot on an aeroplane and we may have even encountered individuals who actually allow this to prevent them from flying. On first reflection this fear doesn’t seem irrational after all plane crash mortality rates are very high. However what the fear fails to take into account is the rarity of the event in itself. Aerophobia (the fear of flying) as we know it is a prime example of the availability heuristic which refers to how individuals equate the probability or frequency of an event with how easily thoughts of the event come to mind. Statistically road travel is 100 times more dangerous than air travel however nobody seems to fair road travel in the same way. This is probably mainly down to how aeroplane disasters are reported in the media as in the rare instances that they do occur. The research of Schwarz, Bless, Strack, Klump, Rittenauer-Schatke and Simons (1991) found that the ease of events retrieval contributed heavily to participants’ notions of the implications of the event. This highlights the impact that the media can have on individuals’ perception of air disaster because in this rare event the coverage surrounding the disaster can last for extended periods therefore making the examples more prevalent in the memory.
Schwarz, N., Bless, H., Strack, F., Klumpp, G., Rittenauer-Schatka, H., & Simons, A. (1991). Ease of retrieval as information: Another look at the availability heuristic. Journal of Personality and Social psychology61(2), 195.

The Big Baller Brand’s $1billion Plan

Here in the UK you would probably be forgiven for not recognising the name “Big Baller Brand”- but in the US the company has taken on a cult-type status amongst fans. The company is headed by Lavar Ball, a 50 year old failed NFL player who just happens to be the father of three basketball playing sons (Lonzo, Liangelo and Lamelo) and he has vowed to take on the big players in sportswear manufacturing. This comes after Ball’s initial willingness to ‘co-brand’ with the big sports brands such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour however this came with the stipulation of a $1 billion deal. Predictably the big brands have laughed off Lavar Ball’s off however with the Big Baller Brand garnering an unprecedented amount of media attention for a sports company in its infancy it could be the case Nike and others rue this decision. Lavar Ball certainly intends to make this happen and has adopted a range of behaviour change theories and techniques to make his $1 billion dream a reality.
Theory of Planned Behaviour
Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour is not one that would instinctively be aligned with Lavar Ball but there are clear parallels between his actions and the theory. Lavar Ball’s accusatory narrative about the relationship of sports brands and their athlete endorsers has won sympathisers in the African-American community. Lavar Ball alleges that major sports brands take advantage of their famous athletes by making billions of Dollars while the athletes only earn a fraction of this from their endorsement contracts. In making these accusations Ball is challenging (attitude to behaviour) what he believes to be a flawed subjective norm that what athletes are earning from endorsement deals is fair. Ajzen (1991) highlights that when an individual believes they have an extent of actual control over outcomes they become more likely to carry out their intentions and Ball has shown this to be the case by starting his own family brand where his sons earn all the profits. In taking this approach Ball is hoping to change the way all basketballers are endorsed and be at the forefront of this behaviour change.
Rojek (2001) aptly describes the status of celebrity as the “accumulation of attention capital” and it has already been mentioned that the Big Baller Brand has gained a cult status amongst some sections in the US. Much of this is down to the new found celebrity status of the Ball family and the patriarch Lavar Ball in particular. Lavar Ball garnered a lot of media attention due to his bold claims about his oldest son Lonzo who he claimed would become the greatest basketball player of all time. Lavar’s presence in the media has not gone unnoticed in the public and has culminated in him being one of the top 10 most Googled people in America over a year span per Google Trends. In addition to this Lonzo Ball who was only selected from college 10 months ago as the 2nd pick in the NBA Draft was the second most Googled basketballer in the world behind Gordon Hayward due to his horrific injury. In addition to the Ball family’s celebrity status more established celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z have publicly expressed their intention to purchase the shoes.
The Mere Exposure Effect
The incredible amounts of publicity that Lavar Ball has attracted has enable the Big Baller Brand merchandise to become more visible in the public eye. The Big Baller Brand’s ZO2 sneakers in particular have garnered an incredible amount of publicity due to their high $495 price point. This has led to various media outlets dedicating segments ranging from talking about the shoes to deconstructing the shoe to explore its design. This has been undoubtedly positive for the brand as more individuals have become familiar with the products the company has manufactured. The family have also become the stars of their own reality series “Ball in the Family” which has allowed even more publicity for the Big Baller Brand merchandise. The research of Tom, Nelson, Szrentic and King (2007) found that repeated exposure to consumer products contributed to increased preference which supports the idea that the Big Baller Brand’s increased exposure would likely have a major impact on increased sales.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behaviour. Organizational behaviour and human decision processes50(2), 179-211.
Rojek, C. (2001). Celebrity. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Tom, G., Nelson, C., Srzentic, T., & King, R. (2007). Mere exposure and the endowment effect on consumer decision making. The Journal of psychology141(2), 117-125.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

What have you touched today?

By Elisabeth Stepan-Rivard, Ines Sousa and Victoria Blanchard

The Issue

High prevalence of illnesses among university is an important issue, which can result in absenteeism and deadline extensions. With a total of roughly 25 000 students at the University of Warwick, there is no doubt that the spread of illnesses, such as the infamous ‘fresher’s flu’ can occur at a rapid pace. Accordingly, previous research demonstrated that 91% of university students had upper-respiratory tract illnesses (URIs) such as colds and influenza-like illnesses (ILI), within the 6-month period. URIs have been previously associated with morbidity in university students (Nichol, Heilly & Ehlinger, 2005). As a result, within the 6 month period, URIs caused around 45 219 days of illness among the 4919 university students (Nichol, Heilly & Ehlinger, 2005). Reductions in general health have been associated with URIs, emphasising the effects of illnesses on overall well-being (Nichol, Heilly & Ehlinger, 2005), therefore, neccessary  measures should be introduced to reduce URIs.

Additionally, White and colleagues (2005) showed that, based on weekly data regarding washing behaviour, sanitizer use and illness, the experimental group - who were exposed to a health campaign and given free hand gels - had significantly better hand hygiene than the control group. This reflects a difference in both hand-washing behaviour and hand sanitizer use. Compared to the control group, the experimental group also reported 26% less illnesses. Based on pre/post reports of knowledge, attitudes and perceived behaviour, results also show that knowledge about hand hygiene as well as positive attitudes towards gel sanitizers increased in the experimental group but not in the control group.

Several studies have also  indicated a connection between hand sanitization and infection control in numerous settings such as extended care facilities, schools, and hospitals. Hand-hygiene practices were improved with increased frequency of hand washing through increasing awareness of the importance of hand hygiene, and the use of alcohol gel hand sanitizer in university dormitories. This caused a reduction in URIs, illness rates and absenteeism (White et al., 2003). Specific figures included a total average improvement  of 20% in upper respiratory-illness symptoms (White et al., 2003). Additionally, those with better hand hygiene had 43% less missed school/work days (White et al., 2003).

What we’ve done - The solution

We began by brainstorming our ideas about the topic. We asked ourselves key questions such as ‘Does the university successfully promote hygiene?’ ‘Are there hand sanitizer dispensers around campus?’. It quickly became apparent that there was room for significant improvement. Being university students ourselves, we are familiar with the inconveniences of being ill e.g. extending deadlines, missing lectures etc. As a group, we were eager to promote the issue of hygiene via leaflets/posters, but also to incentivise students to actually clean their hands more e.g. by receiving free hand sanitizers. Free samples are usually very popular amongst consumers - especially students - leading to increased interest towards the product. We knew funding would be a vital component of our campaign, and so we decided to contact the SU for financial aid.

The SU Education Policy Manager was our first point of contact. It was with him where the initial proposal of ideas were presented. He then instructed us to fill out the SU Funding Application form, which we completed and sent off on the 10th February. On the 16th February we received an invitation to formally present our proposal at the SU in front of a panel of 7 staff members. Important details of the proposed project were discussed, such as the driving motives, pricing, location etc. This presentation was vital for our project in justifying why the SU should support us. On the 21st February we were delighted to receive a confirmation of the motion, stating the SU’s willingness to fully fund the purchasing of 216 hand gels, costing a total of £153!

To further extend our project, we applied the foot-in-the-door technique - making a small request and following it up with a bigger request (Cialdini, 2007) - in order to try and  make hand hygiene a permanent Policy at the University on the 22nd February. Suggestions such as permanent hand sanitizer dispensers across campus were proposed. We will find out the outcome at the end of term 3 and hope the University will start acknowledging the importance of hygiene on campus.

Promptly after this request, we ordered the hand gels online via Amazon. We also individually designed informative hand hygiene leaflets, which would also be distributed alongside the gels. We had 7 different designs, each with differing persuasive approaches. Upon arrival of the hand gels, we were ready to start handing them out to the students. We chose to distribute the hand gels next to the entrance of the library, during lunch time. This was an appropriate location, as many many students walk through there, and the peak lunch hour meant students were more likely to use the product right before eating their meals. Each hand gel was given together with one informative leaflet. Questions regarding hygiene were also personally asked to every student. This gave us an indication of how students felt towards our campaign and hand hygiene in general. During the distribution of gels, we all posted on social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, to spread awareness of our event. Indeed, many students purposely came to the library just to receive the hand gels, due to seeing the event on social media.

Techniques used

1.  Priming                              
Priming is a well-known phenomenon. It is the process by which exposure to certain cues (e.g. words, smells, images, etc.) alters behavior without the person being aware of its influence (Bargh, 1992). For example, on television, snack commercials tend to prime eating behaviours (Harris, Bargh & Brownell 2009) and smaller plates lead to reduced food intake (Wansink & Cheney 2005). Other priming studies show that individuals are more likely to keep their surroundings clean when primed with certain olfactory scents (Holland, Hendriks, & Aarts, 2005) and with cues of being watched - also shown to encourage prosocial behaviors (Nettle, Nott, & Bateson, 2012). Priming can be used to change behaviors relevant to public health (King et al, 2016) and so, in line with research, our aim is to prime students to improve their hygiene through hand gels and leaflets around campus.

2.  Commitment

According to the commitment and consistency rule, people strive to behave consistently with choices they’ve already made (Cialdini, 2007). Using the foot-in-the door technique, which proposes that making a small request that people will say yes to will increase the likelihood of them committing to a bigger request in the future, we firstly asked individuals for a small favour - to use the obtained hand sanitizer product, and then asked them to commit to a larger action - rethink and improve their hygiene behaviour.

Additionally, making a public commitment has been shown to contribute to a more lasting change (Cialdini, 2007). Individuals were asked to make a public verbal commitment to using the hand sanitizer gel. For instance, individuals would be asked: “When are you going to start using this hand sanitizer?” According to the principle of consistency individuals will be encouraged to develop a new image of themselves as a hygiene conscious individual as well as come up with reasons as to why they should wash their hands in order to remain consistent with their new self-image.

3.Fundamental templates

Following research suggesting how to effectively persuade, we used the following templates in our project. Many of the techniques were instrumental in the design of our leaflets that were handed out on campus.

A) Pictorial Analogy
Pictorial analogy works by producing a striking image, taking a familiar item and giving it a twist to show a product benefit or consumer need (Goldenberg, Mazursky, & Solomon, 1999). Through the image of angelic clean hands, we aimed to promote the positive effect of hand gel on overall hygiene.

B) Consequences template
Consequence template describes a strategy for motivating people to take a particular action, follow a certain policy, or purchase a particular product, by arousing fear and presenting individuals with the consequences if the change is not made. Research has consistently identified fear to be effective at changing people’s attitudes and behaviours (Tannenbaum et al., 2015). In the leaflets that individuals were given together with the hand sanitizer individuals were presented with a fear arousal image on a women with and without spots, they were then given information about the consequences of touching their face with dirty hands.

C) Interactive experiment template
An interactive experiment template involves providing individuals with an activity in order for them to engage and interact with the product (Goldenberg, Mazursky, & Solomon, 1999). It is used to encourage exposure and realisation of the benefits of the product. In our case we handed hand sanitizer gels to students, raising the problem of hygiene that can be resolved by using this product. Figure 1. provides an example of one of the leaflets that was handed out around campus. 
Figure 1. An example leaflet.

A study by Lammers (1991) shows the powerful effect free samples can have on behaviour. Figure 2 shows that the free samples given in the study had a significant and positive effect on the instant purchase of the product. More specifically, of those who received a free sample, 84% subsequently purchased something. This is in stark contrast and significantly different to the group who did not get a free sample where only 59% purchased something. A further examination shows that the effect of free samples was stronger in products of small prices (up to five dollars). These findings are of particular relevance to our project, given that the price of individual hand sanitizers only cost around £1. This low price makes the purchase of hand sanitizers more likely.

Figure 2. The effect free samples have on immediate purchases of chocolate

4. Reciprocity

According to the rule of reciprocation, all individuals feel obliged to repay debts of all kinds (Cialdini, 2007). Therefore, in social psychology, receiving a favour, even when not asked for, is associated with an increased likelihood for the person to commit to a request in the future. In our study we used free samples of hand sanitizer gels and asked participants to commit to a request to start using the product as soon as possible. We gave individuals something that is obviously and exclusively for their benefit, naturally activating the process of reciprocity. According to the rule of reciprocation, as a result of receiving a free product, individuals will feel obliged to repay the favour and are likely to do so by complying with the requests  to improve their hygiene.

Behaviour Change Measured

During the campaign, students were asked a number of questions regarding their plans on future hygiene behaviour. Of those students who received a free hand sanitizer sample and an information booklet, only 7% of students reported using hand sanitizer already, whilst others only reporting hearing about hand sanitizer for the first time. However, 86% said they wanted hand sanitizer machines to be installed in the library and toilets around the campus. Similarly, the majority of the students complied to trying the hand sanitizer gel.

Additionally, throughout campaign we received 538 views on social media platforms like Instagram, facebook and snapchat. Uploading information about the campaign online attracted people instantly, with a number of people asking questions about it and leaving positive reviews.

A week after the distribution of the hand sanitizer gels, we interviewed some of the students who participated in the campaign. Of those asked, all reported continuing the use of hand sanitizer and increase in hand washing. We therefore concluded that the priming effect seemed to have worked in this short time frame and hope that the future continuous distribution of gel by the University will keep on priming students to take more care of their hygiene.


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