|Trying to catch busy students may decrease persuasion|
These findings have several implications for advocacy on behalf of other animals. First, it speaks to the innate tendency for humans to want to help, a tendency that is independent of priming though priming does usually help) (Beaman et al. 1978) and religious affiliation (though religious people tend to be more involved in community programs) (Myers 2013). I spoke about this human tendency in my article on the norm of social responsibility. We often help because it's expected of us--even when no one is watching or if that help is anonymous.
Secondly, we should tailor our vegan outreach to account for levels of audience busyness. How often have you passed by a leafletter or information table that might otherwise be of interest were you not late for the bus or rushing off to class or work? For example, while advocating on college campuses is useful in that it targets a large number of more receptive individuals, maybe stationing in zones where students are more likely to be milling around with free time would be useful.
For the Vegan Toolkit
- Avoid targeting busy people
- Seek out audiences with the time to pay attention
Beaman, A., P. Barnes, B. Klentz, B. McQuirk. 1978. "Increasing Helping Rates Through Information Dissemination: Teaching Pays." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 4: 406-411.
Darley, J. and C. Batson. 1973. "From Jerusalem to Jericho: A Study of Situational and Dispositional Variables in Helping Behavior." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 27: 100-108.
Myers, D. 2013. Social Psychology, 11th ed. McGraw Hill.