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Can Fun Inspire Good Habits? (with Cool Video)

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By Lisa Spector, Canine Music Expert, Juilliard Graduate, and co-creator of Through a Dog’s Ear.

Because I am a concert pianist, the delightful video below has arrived in my inbox dozens of times. No matter how many times I watch it, it always brings a smile to my face. It is part of the  Volkswagen “Fun Theory,” based on the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. When I read those words and watched a few more of the winning videos in their contest, I realized that’s what I wrote about in my blogs last month about dog training.

January was National Dog Training Month, and my Care2 blogs attempted to educate readers on the benefits of reward-based, positive reinforcement dog training. In summary, instead of correcting dogs for the behavior you don’t want, you reward them for behavior you do want. What naturally happens when you reward the behaviors you want? You get more behaviors you want, from the dog’s own free will, and consequently it’s a lot more fun for both canine and their human counterpart.

But, how does that relate to Volkswagen and their Fun Theory? Well, it’s exactly the same thing, but applied to people. Before the stairs were turned into a musical keyboard, a hidden camera revealed that almost everyone took the escalator. But, when the musical keyboard was installed, people were curious and it became so much more fun to take the stairs than the escalator. They were benefiting from the exercise without even realizing it, because they were just having fun making music while climbing stairs. Most adults are aware that it’s better for their health to take the stairs instead of the elevator, but previously the reward for taking the stairs just wasn’t very enticing without a fun factor. With the musical addition, they are rewarded with music making and fun!

Next: The first place winner of the Fun Theory contest

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dogs, Guidance, Health, Humor & Inspiration, Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Pets, Spirit, Videos, Videos, , , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.

416 comments

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5:46AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:28PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

noted

2:52PM PDT on May 17, 2011

That is cool! And Fun!
Just like in the movie "Big"!
It's a good theory.
Thank you Lisa for posting this!

1:18PM PDT on May 10, 2011

interesting, thanks.

5:28AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Interesting!

1:14AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

noted

12:37AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

what a great idea

3:13PM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

Great ideas.

11:56AM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

Well done VW. My grand-daughter is happy enough with her star chart reward system!

9:12PM PDT on Apr 7, 2011

If you really think about this, there are so many ways to stop looking at the limiting and sad situations of life and apply the fun. HOWEVER there are too many hungry people, radiated people, displaced people who cannot do this.We must have happiness in order to spread it, but we must also spread it in ways that are beneficial to all.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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