Three Myths of Behavior Change – What You Think You Know That You Don’t: Jeni Cross at TEDxCSU



Jeni Cross is a sociology professor at Colorado State University. She has spoken about community development and sustainability to audiences across the country, from business leaders and government officials to community activists. As a professor and consultant she has helped dozens of schools and government agencies implement and evaluate successful programs to improve community well-being. In this talk, she discusses her work around changing behaviors.

This video was originally posted 3/14/2013 and received 481 views. This corrected version was posted on 3/20/2013.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, wher/e x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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45 thoughts on “Three Myths of Behavior Change – What You Think You Know That You Don’t: Jeni Cross at TEDxCSU

  1. How come Architechts don't routinely design Energy EFFIFIENT/SELF-Sufficient" Buildings?!….. They ALWAYS/routinely design building that WASTE Lots of energy, and cost the owners a lot of money over the life of the building, instead of MAKING Money!!! ……."D'oh!"….

  2. So what Cross is actually conveying here, is that attitudes do not predict behavior. We do not need to change attitudes in order for people to participate in fruitful and beneficial behavior. I think that is a very important argument, that if true (as it is backed up by a lot of evidence however there is a lot of evidence showing that changing attitudes leads to a change in behavior also) it is very important in our modern soceity.

  3. Jeni Cross is an SJW fascist bitch! First of all, her explanations of her slides are atrocious, as evidenced by her glossing over the posters about drinking. Dopes like her too often forget their audience is comprised of people who, for the most part, are unfamiliar with the material they are presenting. As the camera scanned that audience there were many expressions indicating they were unsure of her point. Having said that, the message it self is just the kind of big brother, totalitarian garbage that we must stay vigilant about fighting.

  4. what she's basically describing here is psychological warfare! that you can affect someone through emotional and societal lack of norm !make anyone feel like they don't belong or that they're The Outsider, that could be blamed or harmed for an action, and they will stop doing it !but that is causing shame and fear not really creating change ! it's manipulation to one person's opinion of what should be like she said you can make them do what we want that's not really making them think that's controlling their thoughts and that's why it's psychological warfare! it's the same tactics used in World War II and World War 1 to control the mindset of another that everyone so upset about! it's basically mental slavery to create Mass Consciousness and a mob mentality at the same time when they really aren't the same thing! but none of this creates positive change because no one's thinking on their own therefore no one's creating their own opinion of what they should or shouldn't be doing they're just following the strongest and most forceful leader last time that happened it was Hitler and Castro so this really what you guys want to do..it clearly works but is it the best option not in my opinion

  5. "oh, you have a hole in your house the size of a baseball"… hmmm, problem with that logic is that it's alarmist which is also a turn off. You just start thinking "bloody chicken little!, sky is falling, sky is falling"". It just makes you dig in deeper.

  6. what I don't understand about her starting and ending with the litter example is that it contradicts what she says in between. Modeling and showing other people do it is the most effective, yet wouldn't that make celebrity endorsement from an Olympian ineffective? Whereas the bus shelter showing the amount of litter that accumulates just in that one area is similar to her example of weather taping and how all the little holes and cracks amount to an entire basketball-sized hole in the house

  7. Right from the first minute, Jeni Cross demonstrated that she is not believable. She wore clothes that don't fit. Her jacket was way too short and way too tight, emphasizing something that professional women are careful not to emphasize.

  8. Environmental Sociologists!!!! WTF….FIRST OF ALL GLOBAL WARMING IS JUNK SCIENCE , A FARCE , THE GREATEST FRAUD BEING PERPETRATED BY POLOTICIANS WHO USE GOVERMENT PAID SCIENTISTS TO PUSH THIS CRAP. ITS THE RELIGION OF THE LEFT…. WE CANT CONTROL THE WEATHER, WE CANT PREDICT LONG TERM WEATHER AND WE SURE AS HELL CANT CHANGE IT BY USING TUPPERWARE RATHER THAN PLASTIC ….AND YOU PIECES OF FECES THINK CHRISTIANS ARE SIMPLE MINDED AND NAIVE….OH YEA THE FRICKING EARTH ISNT ALIVE AND WE CANT DAMAGE IT IF WE WANTED TO…EINSTEIN SAID MATTER AND ENERGY CANT BE DETROYED… YOU TED A HOLES ARE A BUNCH OF COMMIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. we live in a society were more and more people are being excluded, and I partly blame shit like this in galvanising a mind set so jammed up it's corporate asshole only a few can fit and no fucker can breath.

  10. I respectfully disagree.

    I always adhere to the laws because I think it's best to act as if the whole world acts like you. "If I liter, and the whole world liters, we'd be buried in garbage" As simple as that. When I see a sign, I follow it, and it bothers me that some "choose not to" it's not really because the message wasn't appealing enough, it's simply because they decide that their action isn't important, that it wouldn't make a difference.

    A little here, and a little there. Aren't mountains made from little rocks. Don't belittle your part. Not a single act is little, nor a word, a gaze, or even a smile.

  11. There is only 1 way to change yourself, 1 way to change your behaviour permantly. Your behaviour is a manifestation of your mind, you need to get rid of the bad states and negative parts of your mind. You need to know the nature of your mind, learn to overcome your inner demons. I have the key. Google TruthContest read the Present, it explains for the first time in history the ultimate Truth of life, ( the most accurate explanation of the big picture of life) It will explains how life works, and as a result your mind will gradually change towards the direction of the Truth. It is the way to change your mind.

  12. Stupid comparison between the 71% of drinkers who drink once a week and 77% of student body drinks. Saying "6% difference" is a big difference is stupid and shows a complete confusion about the data Jeni Cross herself described, apples and oranges comparison essentially.

  13. Our actions are guided by a combination of reason and emotion. Suggesting that our barrier to changing behavior is lack of proper information is the furthest thing from insightful that I have heard so far on TEDx

  14. Watching some TEDx talks is like being required to sit through those presentations at work by overpaid "facilitators" droning on, offering nothing but useless, wrong, and/or worn-out platitudes packaged as brilliant and effective outside-the-box thinking.

  15. Anyone who parents has, I hope, discovered that modeling social norms is the most effective way to change behavior. If you want to get a child to clean up their mess, start cleaning the mess and have them help. Kids follow the examples they are given, and adults are simply grown up kids. Makes sense!

  16. Education doesn't change behavior…. unless that education is 1. tangible 2, personalized 3. socialized, 4. points out what their are losing 5. appeals to the particular audience. TRANSLATION: Education — when persuasive — DOES change behavior.

  17. Education does change behavior. The number of people who smoke has been drastically reduces once people were educated about the real dangers of smoking. Currently only about 22-23 % of people in the United States smoke and this has changed the laws regarding where you can smoke and where you cannot, mostly you cannot smoke anywhere where people who don't smoke might be.

  18. the talk focusing on how to influence other to change.

    2:00 myth#1:education, link information to tangible image, 5:00 how to present information
    8:09 myth#2: change attitude, attitude follow behavior,setting behavioral expectations 10:12 connect to values
    13:11 myth#3: motivation, identify source– social norm,

  19. at the 9th minute i became disinterested. coz although she might be plausible and coherent..i felt that using pychology to change behavior feels unethical to me..present information honestly and let people decide.. manipulation even for a good cause does not seem right to me..people have to be persuaded about any issue.. even climate change..or the existence of god..i say speak your truth and live it and those wo like it can work it.. the ones that dont will learn when they want to..i think..

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