Conscious Stewardship vs. FAPs

Konrad Lorenz demonstrates FAPs

One of the hallmarks of a community that maintains sustainable stewardship practices is that the community is made up of a higher than average number of individuals who make conscious rational decisions. Community stewardship is thus advanced when members of the community become conscious of their innate Fixed Action Patterns, or FAPs. Fixed action patterns are those patterns which cause humans to behave in predictable, less than rational ways. When people make good financial decisions, resources are kept in their community. Today, it is difficult not to fall victim to marketing tactics used to sell us things we can’t use, don’t need, or don’t help our families or communities out in some way. Therefore, I believe it is helpful for us to promote a better understanding of “tricks” used which frequently drain the resources of small towns while providing little return, so as to immunize members of our community against irrational spending and promote optimal spending.

Empirical research has documented that humans unconsciously behave in predictable ways when confronted by an individual promoting a cause or selling an item. Research has identified the following 6 tactics for getting someone to say “yes” to something that circumvents the rational deliberation process. There are o

1. Reciprocation

2. Commitment and consistency

3. Social Proof

4. Liking (people who also like whatever it is you are promoting)

5. Authority

6. Scarcity

Examples of FAPs that we exhibit

1. Reciprocation-if a car salesman gives someone a cup of coffee, buyers will frequently not negotiate the best price for their car. The coffee isn’t even worth a dollar. The buyer might spend $2000 more on the car if he is given a cup of coffee by the nice salesman.

2. Commitment and consistency—if you get someone to start saying yes to things they agree with, you can eventually show that donating to a cause is consistent with what they already believe.

3. Social Proof—if you preface your survey by saying “9 out of 10 people believe X”, do you also believe X, most people will believe X.

4. Liking (people who also like whatever it is you are promoting)—If you show an attractive or likeable person likes X, most people will also like X, even if they know nothing about X.

5. Authority—if you state that the Powers-That-Be like X, most people will also like X.

6. Scarcity—if you say that something will not be available soon, many people will feel compelled to buy that thing right now.

Share

One Reply to “Conscious Stewardship vs. FAPs”

  1. So, the point is that conscious stewardship requires us to be rational stewards, and not fall victim to marketing tricks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *