When designing interventions for behavior change, the first things that usually come to mind are how to remove the barriers to action, how to increase self-efficacy, or even if the external conditions are favorable for the adoption of the desired behavior. Not often do we consider that involvement in causes can actually trigger individual behavior changes.
However, new findings from the Dynamics of Cause Engagement study revealed that more than half of Americans say they have changed their behavior because of their involvement in a cause.
Voting is the number one behavior change triggered by cause involvement across all ages, ethnicities and genders. Environmentally conscious actions (e.g., changing recycling habits, becoming more energy efficient) are also near the top of the list, while health-related behaviors (e.g., visiting a medical professional, requesting a specific medical test) fall lower.
Our study also found interesting differences by ethnicity and gender when it comes to cause-driven behavior change. While Caucasians are more likely to report changes in environmentally conscious behavior, African Americans are more likely to have visited a doctor or medical professional as a result of their involvement in a cause. Women are significantly more likely than men to say they have changed their behavior due to cause involvement (55% vs. 48%), including environmentally conscious actions and health-related behaviors.
These results were presented for the first time at the 21st Annual Social Marketing in Public Health Conference.
During the presentation, we suggested some strategies to motive behavior change through cause involvement. We also shared some real-life examples of how practitioners are applying these strategies.
Here is a sneak preview of the strategies:
1. Provide multiple touch points for support expression
2. Motivate story sharing
3. Reinforce a sense of community
4. Empower supporters
5. Foster an emotional connection
To download the full presentation click here.
Surprised by the findings? Please share your thoughts.
For more information on the study, click here and stay tuned for the upcoming release of the final report.