‘Positive Social Pressure’ Can Help People Adopt Healthy Behaviors
New York Times: Peer Pressure Can Be a Lifesaver
Helen Coster, journalist and editor
“When we hear that someone succumbed to peer pressure or conformed to group expectations, we are inclined to think about it in negative terms. … We know that these social forces can cause people to act in ways that are harmful to themselves and others; but every day we are discovering more ways that they can be harnessed to solve problems in health, education and other areas. This is crucial. … Positive social pressure can be applied in countless other ways — to increase rates of vaccination, get people to shift to clean cook stoves or to encourage them to educate daughters…” (5/14).