It is often reasonable to believe that education is the best way to encourage behavioural change. Make nutritional information available on food so that consumers can make informed choices. Warn people of the dangers of being inactive so that they will walk to work. Even better, explain the benefits of sweating three times a week so that the local gym will fill up. But often people need more than information to make a change and a good ol' carrot from the Carrot and Stick approach really does wonders.
Check out this subway ticketing machine that accepts 30 squats as payment for a ticket to ride the subway in Moscow.
Is anyone going to do 30 squats in a subway station after the booth is gone? Heck no. So why the installation? Do you think it's more of a gimmick than an effective communication tactic?
However, we think that there are at least a couple of reasons why the incentive to do 30 squats just once might result in behavioural change beyond the ride to work that day.
1. Some people have never done 30 squats ever, and they might leave feeling empowered with a feeling of "that wasn't so bad" or "I could do that every day, no problem." This little gimmick might just break through the barrier to trying something for the first time.
2. The squatters also might experience the release of endorphins that come with exercise later that day. They might feel energized and link the feeling back to the squats—experiencing directly the benefits of healthy daily habits.
Can you think of any other reasons?