Monday, October 10, 2011

Feedback loop changes human behaviour.

On WIRED, July issue:

The signs leverage what's called a feedback loop, a profoundly effective tool for changing behaviour.  The basic premise is simple.  Provide people with information about their actions in real time (or something close to it), then give them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviours.  Action, information, reaction.  It's the operating principle behind a home thermostat, which fires the furnace to maintain a specific temperature, or the consumption display in a Toyota Prius, which tends to turn drivers into so-called hypermilers trying to wring every last mile from the gas tank.  But the simplicity of feedback loops is deceptive.  They are in fact powerful tools that can help people change bad behaviour patterns, even those that seem intractable.  Just as important, they can be used to encourage good habits, turning progress itself into a reward.  In other words, feedback loops change human behaviour.  And thanks to an explosion of new technology, the opportunity to put them into action in nearly every part of our lives is quickly becoming a reality.


Which explains why, people who are keen to improve themselves constantly and consistently look for feedbacks even knowing that sometimes it may come as criticism.


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