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False social proof for handwashing

Encourage proper handwashing by making it seem like others are doing it
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
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In places where there are two public bathrooms next to each other, and where it's apparent to visitors that the sinks in each are on opposite sides of the same wall, a new method of encouraging more thorough handwashing can be applied.

It consists of a device with a speaker mounted under the counter, which plays a sound that imitates the sound (as heard through the wall) of the water running through the pipes connecting to the other bathroom's sink. If the counter is long, with many sinks, there can be many speakers. The sound turns on and off with such timings as to produce an impression in the people in this bathroom that the people in the other bathroom are washing their hands thoroughly. This could even work within one bathroom, if the sinks are on opposite sides of the same internal wall such that people on one side can't see what the people on the other side are doing.

The level of activity simulated by the sound is proportional to the number of humans detected on the other side of the wall by infrared sensors similar to those used in faucets, toilet flushers, presence-detecting lightswitches, etc. This is to enhance believability by responding to trends in the other bathroom's activity that people might observe from outside.

Social proof is a powerful encourager. For example, recently, Shopify has cracked down on apps that provide store owners with ways to give notifications to their customers that say that other customers have just bought products from the store, when those purchases and even those other customers don't actually exist. (They're still allowing ones that only give genuine notifications of this.) In that case, false social proof is a way to mislead customers into having more confidence in the store and its products, increasing conversion; in this case, it's a way to encourage people to have better personal hygiene, improving public health.

N/A [2019-05-17]

notexactly, May 19 2019

Arctic re-emergence https://www.arctict...-zombie-apocalypse/
Zombie Apocalypse?! [Sgt Teacup, May 19 2019]

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       The high road could be taken, which would say don't lie or falsify.   

       With levels of gut problems prevalent, I would say our biodiversity of good bacteria is slightly unbalanced. The length of life reason might have overstepped as nature loves Goldilocks zones. Maybe, an icky but a natural high gene truth.   

       Even wanting just people with infectious disease and bad bacteria to wash their hands places a evolutionary pressure on those organisms.   

       It's a culling problem for microbial stewardship. Maybe [8th of 7] has a solution.
wjt, May 19 2019

       8'o'7 sol'n: One size fits all Old-Testament-y Steampunk-y fire'n'brimstone Shock and Awe   

       MB: DNA milkshake (shaken, not stirred), strain, organize tests on possibly witting subjects   

       SgtTCup: Can't fix stupid (people who won't/can't wash feces off their hands, for gawdsake)--put it (microbes) under a big snowbank for a millenium or two, so we can think about it (how to win against overwhelming numbers of teeny-tiny shifty adversaries).
Sgt Teacup, May 19 2019

       [Sgt Teacup] I don't think we (as individuals) are suppose to win. It's really their earth. Just have fun, life while we're here. Yes, definitely wash your hands, but remember nature does a fitness check if you don't.
wjt, May 19 2019

       This is quite funny and may just actually work. +++++
blissmiss, May 21 2019

       [-] try not to falsify.
wjt, May 21 2019

       I never claimed it was an honest method…
notexactly, May 22 2019

       Honesty is a grey area here. Right?
blissmiss, May 22 2019

       Depends on how dirty the hands are. ;-)
wjt, May 23 2019

       I thought I'd explain what was going on when I came up with this idea, which may change some opinions on the honesty of this idea.   

       When I wash my hands, I typically first wet my hands by briefly running the water over them, after which I turn off the water, get soap, and lather the soap. Then, once I'm done scrubbing, I turn the water back on to rinse.   

       I feel that a person on the other side of the wall, who hears the water running, and perhaps only hears one of the uses of water (because the time interval of their being in earshot may overlap only partially with my handwashing), will think, based on what they hear, that I'm not thoroughly washing my hands, and that this will either (if they're a good handwasher) worsen their opinion of me or (if they're a bad handwasher) reinforce their idea that it's socially acceptable to substitute a quick sprinkling of water on the hands for actual washing.   

       Therefore, I came up with this idea out of a desire to give the person on the other side of the wall the idea that I'm washing my hands more thoroughly (which is the truth) than their (potentially incomplete) hearing of my water use might suggest to them.
notexactly, Jun 15 2019

       [notexactly] Do you think you are giving humanity too much credit when listening and thinking about hand washing water flow? When there are so many other things people are worried about in a day.
wjt, Jun 15 2019

       Well, I do, so I assume others do too.
notexactly, Jun 15 2019

       I guess there is less need for this system now, now that everyone is receiving remedial handwashing education and probably will understand what's going on when they hear someone else run the water for only a couple of seconds, and then again ~20 seconds later if they're still in earshot.
notexactly, Mar 20 2020


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