Could COVID-19 Spark Lasting Change?: Background information when reading The Catalyst

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The Catalyst

How to Change Anyone's Mind

by Jonah Berger

The Catalyst by Jonah Berger X
The Catalyst by Jonah Berger
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  • Published:
    Mar 2020, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Ian Muehlenhaus
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About this Book

Could COVID-19 Spark Lasting Change?

This article relates to The Catalyst

Setting people on a path to change is difficult. And when you're talking about millions of people, it often takes decades to see a mass evolution in behavior. Sometimes, however, a cataclysmic event will act as a catalyst that forces society as a whole to step off the precipice. Such events (e.g., the Great Depression, World War II, Chernobyl) dramatically shift people's frame of thought to such an extent that change is inevitable. In essence, cataclysmic events remove the five hurdles that prevent change, according to Jonah Berger: reactance, endowment, distance, uncertainty, and lack of corroborating evidence.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is cataclysmic. It will be the defining event of many of our lifetimes—at least, we can hope nothing worse lurks on the horizon. It has already changed how people interact with one another and go about their daily lives. When it eventually passes, it will leave a lasting impression on society for decades to come.

By removing barriers ...

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