Fighting Germs with Fun

2009-12-15 18:44 - 0 Comments

One of the most common ways that illnesses such as flu are spread is through the germs on our hands. Hand sanitization is therefore a simple way to help prevent transmission of illness. Universities and restaurants in our area have installed hand sanitizers to help encourage hand cleaning, but few people actually use them. As a result, illnesses can rapidly spread across university campuses. We decided to apply the Fun Theory to this problem by testing whether we could get more people to sanitize their hands by making it fun. We modified a hand sanitizer so it would make an amusing sound effect each time it was used. We ran two tests in a university dining hall using the regular sanitizer on the first night, and the sanitizer modified with sound effects on the second. The results were astounding: when the sound effects were used, seven times as many students used the sanitizer to clean their hands as compared to the previous test! Clearly, making something fun can modify people’s behavior for the better and, in this case, keep us healthy as well!
Submitted by Steven Blumenfeld

2.738055

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