Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Why keeping eyes on litter promotes better behaviour

Interesting BBC news article(25 May 2012) on how the image of eyes in anti litter signs prompt “do gooders” to spend additional time clearing an area at a bus stop.

The article goes on to tie this altruistic behavior in with the common good.   When people overfishing ocean stocks or irresponsibly produce  greenhouse gases they are  eroding the public good.  However, this  “tragedy of the commons” can be overcome beginning with the actions of a few.  Often a few people will contribute to the common good even though they see no immediate reward. If these folks are  seen by others as being cooperative and principled, their actions will be copied.  On a broader scale a number of public health behavior changes are partly based on this idea.  The past ten years or so have seen folks overall driving less when drunk, eating less red meat, reporting child abuse more, and reducing tobacco use.

So, what motivates you to do something for the common or public good?

What actions by others have inspired you to change your behavior for the betterment of all?

May 26, 2012 - Posted by | Public Health | , , ,

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