Shocking images won’t change behaviour

Are you a government agency and want to change people’s behaviour? Do you want to show shocking accident photos to scare people from drinking and driving or driving fast? Unfortunately this isn’t going to work. There are two strategies that people can follow when facing a negative event. The first is to reappraise the situation and the second is to disengage. A paper in the November, 2011 issue of Psychological Science by Gal Sheppes, Susanne Scheibe, Gaurav Suri, and James Gross explored the question: Which strategy do people use for a slightly negative vs.  a highly negative situation. What they have found: Continue reading