If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads. The sharing of more information or engaging in more rational discourse on its own doesn’t appear to help people to make significant change but an appeal to values, attitudes, and feelings first can motivate people toward making changes.
The two short videos below will clearly demonstrate this point but society still struggles with this notion and as you will see from the next few paragraphs I too will ironically address this first from the cognitive perspective. Why? Well…Isn’t that what good educators do?
Educational psychologist, learning theorists, instructional designers, educators and many more learning professionals refer to Blooms Taxonomy of Learning which looks at learning from three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.
These domains are also commonly presented in the following relationship:
Cognitive = Head/Knowing
Affective = Heart/Feeling
Psychomotor = Hands/Heard
Bloom intended the taxonomy to be holistic and assumed that all three domains would be included when we develop learning environments. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case in our educational systems and most other sectors of our society.
The head, is often over emphasized and rational thinkers are held in high esteem, the heart is relegated to artists, musicians or the irrational and those who work with their hands are necessary but are limited to building and keeping our infrastructure running. It only seems rational that if you want to bring about effective change then you just need to appeal to the head–or at least this is what those oriented toward the rational would argue.
But experience doesn’t always confirm this notion. The science community is beginning to recognize the importance of the affective domain. For example the scientists within the Geoscience program at Carlton University recognize that including the affective domain in their teaching can significantly enhance learning or if ignored can hinder or prevent learning. To promote the use of the affective domain they have developed a useful site called The Affective Domain in the Classroom that points to and annotates a wide assortment useful resources and research.
This illustration of the two domains provide a good visual starting point for considering how the affective domain can be used in a scientific setting.
Enough of the head talk and onto the heart…
How to Change People Who Don’t Want to Change | The Behavioral Science Guys
I trust you will enjoy the irony of this TED talk that argues that TED talks don’t change peoples behavior.
Why TED Talks don’t change people’s behaviors: Tom Asacker at TEDxCambridge 2014