Do Cialdini's "Principles of Influence" Motivate Safe Practices on Farms?

J Agromedicine. 2022 Jul;27(3):272-283. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2021.1950591. Epub 2021 Jul 21.


On farms, power take-off (PTO) drivelines pose serious risks in terms of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. PTO shielding can prevent such injuries; however, is often underutilized by the farm population. This study aims assesses seven influence campaigns and their ability to change attitudes toward PTO shielding in order to encourage sustainable behavior change. Seven strategies based on common principles of influence (liking, social proof, authority, consistency, reciprocity, and scarcity) were implemented in seven agricultural counties in upstate New York. Pre- and post- tests focused on shielding behaviors and attitudes, as well as the presence of the influence strategies, were used to assess changes resulting from these interventions. Little change in the presence of influence strategies was noted from baseline to follow-up. Additionally, there were no significant changes in behavior or attitude toward PTO shielding in the same time period, indicating the failure of the interventions to create change. The findings of this study support the challenges identified in past efforts to increase the use of PTO shields on farms and highlight the need for more intensive, focused interventions. Future studies can use these lessons to develop more robust interventions for improved outcomes.

Keywords: Kelman’s processes of change; Power take-off; agricultural safety; attitude change; behavior change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Farms
  • Humans
  • New York
  • Protective Devices*