Carrot or Stick Health Behaviour Change Discussion

Category: Business & Finance


Read Helen O’Connor’s article Carrot or Stick? Message Framing to Motivate Health Behaviour Change (Links to an external site.)

Techniques used to persuade and influence people can take many forms. Advertisers for instance are trying to persuade customers to come to their store, click on their website, buy their new product, etc. Other business communications may be trying to gain support for an initiative or motivate employees to increase production. One well-known motivational strategy is referred to as the carrot and/or the stick. The carrot represents a reward or benefit from doing the desired behavior whereas the stick represents a punishment or negative consequence of failing to do the desired behavior. 

Discuss whether you think a “carrot” or “stick” approach is more effective for you personally (or for a business you are involved with), or whether neither is truly the best way to motivate. Be sure to give your reasons and experiences as to why. Have you seen effective and ineffective uses of either technique in advertising, persuasive emails, marketing campaigns, etc.?

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