Does making a public commitment work as an incentive to lose weight?
Subjects in the long-term group that tested as having low SNI—in other words, low susceptibility to social pressure—achieved an average of 90% of their weight loss goals. In contrast, individuals who tested as having high SNI exceeded their weight loss goals by a significant margin: an average of nearly 105%.
What this study tells us is that in general the public commitment principle produces results, especially if the commitment is long-term. But, in the mix of people who make the commitment, those who genuinely fear social disapproval—not a personality trait usually given very high marks–will likely succeed the most. Those who couldn’t care less what others think are, ironically, more likely to come up short.
Join over 320,000 readers. Get a free weekly update via email here.