726 ways to achieve good exam results! (Or why the solution should always be smaller than the problem.)

Reflecting English

Tharby-solution-larger-than-problem
Image: @jasonramasami

What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.

– Chip and Dan Heath, Switch

In the opening pages of Switch: How to change when things are hard, the Heath brothers share the story of two health researchers from West Virginia University who wanted to persuade the public to eat a healthier diet. Rather than telling people to eat less saturated fats or to cut their daily calorie intake, they went for an unexpected approach. Buy skimmed milk rather than whole fat milk. The researchers had worked out that if the entire population were to make this simple switch, average levels of saturated fat consumption would immediately drop to a healthy level. Just like that.

This is an example of ‘script the critical move’ – in other words, if you want people to make a change, give them sharp, simple first steps. In this…

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