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Commitment and Consistency

What is Commitment/Consistency?

This principle states that people are highly driven to be and look consistent - we desire to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we’ve already done or decided. Psychologists have viewed the desire for consistency as the most important driver of our behavior.

Commitment/Consistency in the Real World

Consider this famous study conducted by researcher Thomas Moriarty. Moriarty and his team staged thefts on a New York City beach. One team member would lay on a blanket and listen to a radio, then walk off. Another researcher would pretend to be a thief and steal the radio. In this situation, most study participants did not intervene in the theft.

But when participants were asked to “watch my things” by the person listening to the radio, and the thief tried to rob them, almost every participant intervened to stop him - some times forcefully.


How to apply Commitment/Consistency

To use behavioral consistency in customer experience, get your users to make an easy, low-stakes commitment to the activity you want them to try. 

Types of Commitment

Example Vault: Commitment/Consistency

Commitment/Consistency: Meraki
Commitment/Consistency: REI
Commitment/Consistency: Guess
Commitment/Consistency: Bonobos