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Social proof




There is a national park in the USA famous for its petrified wood. The authorities had a problem: 3% of the visitors were taking wood fossils home as souvenir.


The heritage was vandalized one small piece at a time.


Robert Cialdini, a psychology professor, conducted an experiment to find a solution:


First, he put signs that said: „A lot of people are taking wood from this park. Don’t do that“

The theft soared to a 8%


After that, he changed the signs. The message was: „Very few people are taking wood from this park. Don’t do that“

The theft plummeted to a 1.7%


We have a strong drive to follow the lead of the majority. It’s called social proof. Most of the time it works, but sometimes it has catastrophic consequences.


How can you counteract it? Fixing your values and red lines beforehand.

Remember: Your values will be tested when your tribe misbehaves.

Tells us your experiences in the comments

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