As humane educators and citizen activists, if we want to inspire and motivate positive change, then it's important that we understand what motivates and drives people and what inspires or prevents them from forming new habits and/or making certain choices. It's also important that we look to sources of information and ideas outside our educational paradigm. We can find all sorts of helpful strategies in a variety of arenas, including business and marketing. There have been an overwhelming number of books published recently on topics such as behavioral economics, social psychology, and motivation that have useful ideas to apply to humane education and changemaking. Here are 3 we've found especially useful:
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath & Dan Heath (2010)
Explores the psychology of change, why some "simple" changes are so hard, and offers strategies for individuals, companies, organizations and changemakers in easing the way to positive change. (We've previously mentioned Switch here and here.)
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (2010)
Many of us pride ourselves on our logic and analytical skills in making decisions. Economist Ariely offers a societal mirror to show us how (and how often) we make decisions based on emotions, social norms, expectations, and other "irrational" forces.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink (2009)
Using scientific studies and anecdotes, Pink offers an argument for rethinking what we've assumed about motivation and highlights the power of intrinsic motivation.
What other books about behavioral economics, social psychology, motivation, and similar topics have you found applicable to humane education and citizen activism?
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