07 July, 2012
The Fly In The Urinal Manipulation
Manipulation is all around us but sometimes it can be put to good use. Take for instance urinals for men!
At Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands they were having a problem. They were always having to clean the men's toilets, restrooms, bathrooms or whatever you call them in your country. To put it delicately men in general weren't being too good with their aiming at the porcelain.
The airport came up with a solution. They placed a model of a fly in the urinal basin or bowl. This gave men something to aim at or, as they explained, 'Men often feel a compulsion to aim their urine stream at the fly, and thus the fly target helps prevent men from urinating outside the basin or bowl.'
After adding a fly to each urinal bowl the cleaning costs of the men's toilets, restrooms or whatever were greatly reduced.
The men had been manipulated!
Moving on to something more tasteful - food.
An experiment was done offering free food at a busy shopping centre. On offer were either cakes and pastries or fruit. The same number of each each were placed on tables.
It was found that twice as many cakes and pastries were taken than items of fruit.
Now comes the manipulation.
They carried out exactly the same experiment but with one difference. They placed large mirrors behind the tables. This meant people taking cakes/pastries or fruit would see themselves as they reached for their choice of freebie.
This time twice as much fruit was taken as cakes and pastries.
The shoppers has been manipulated into taking the healthier options without a word being spoken.
Perhaps such examples are basically considered for the good, but what if all hidden manipulation is not for the good. Are we making the free choices we think we are?
There are hidden persuaders everywhere.
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