Fear Appeal Vs Positive Reinforcement

The Fear of the Unknown

Most people don’t like to try new things. Being comfortable in a known environment is more tolerable than treading into untouched waters. From high-end decisions like buying a new and expensive car, investing in a new business that promises very high returns, deciding whether to pursue higher education after finishing High school, to simple decisions like trying a new kind of perfume, a vigorous exercise regime or a fancy dieting plan, people are usually pessimistic about unknown things.

Curiosity or necessity, usually drives people to try new things. Two ways to motivate people to try new things would be fear appeal and positive reinforcement. Let’s elaborate on fear appeal and positive reinforcement.

Fear Appeal Motivating People

Fear drives a lot of people. For example, fear of drowning in the sea when going to the beach with friends will ensure that the person who cannot swim, would be motivated to hire a swimming instructor to teach him how to swim. Maintaining social status, as well as fear of death and fear of ridicule from friends, would be the driving forces behind that person’s decision. Fear of tooth decay will motivate a person to buy a good brand of toothpaste to brush teeth with. Obesity which decreases almost half of a person’s longevity, would be the driving force behind a person’s decision to shed off the extra pounds to achieve, if not the 5% percent body ratio, a body that is mentally and physically fit. Headturners Health and Fitness provides fitness classes to achieve the body that you want. 

This is how fear appeal motivates people to try new things.

Motivation through Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement on the other hand has an optimistic ring to it. Therefore it would have long-term effects. For example, buying an outdoor swinging chair or building a sandbox for your child in the backyard, would be a fun project that would bring the child hours of good memories. It would bring the child and parent together, as they engage in activities together. Saying that brushing teeth would give a fresher smile would motivate that person to use a good brand toothpaste to brush their teeth with every day.

This is how positive reinforcement appeals to us to try new things.

The More Effective Method

But what method is more effective?

Take the rising health issues of the world today; would it be more effective to say, ‘start running or die early’ or say, ‘start running and attain good health?’

Honestly, it depends on the kind of person you are. If fear appeals to you, you would evaluate your body and start making the necessary changes in your life to attain your perfect body. If positive enforcement drives a person to improve one’s athletic performance, he/she may attend a bootcamp in Blacktown to get the body that will have the stamina or endurance to perform daily activities to the optimum, to look after children which can be a tiring task or even to run in a marathon.

Initially, fear appeal can motivate a person but for long term results positive reinforcement is necessary.

So take a leap, be brave and find the things you would love to do in a world full of opportunities.