Social proof, or why we follow the crowd

This is a heuristic (a mental shortcut) that could also be called ‘herd mentality’: we’re more likely to do what we think everyone else is doing.

How do you use it?  

It’s a really handy nudge to add to your comms to encourage a certain behaviour: ‘most of our team get their staff survey in on time.’

Where can you learn more about it?  

The Behavioural Insights Team have used it lots: by adding ‘nine out of ten people in your area pay their tax on time’ to one letter, they were able to increase the number of people doing just that by 6%. It might not sound like much, but it’s millions of pounds in UK-wide tax terms.  

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