Introduction: What Is Actively Caring?

The large-scale and long-term health, safety, and welfare of people requires us to routinely go beyond the call of duty on behalf of others' well-being. We call this "Actively Caring for People" or "AC4P". Research in social psychology1, applied behavior analysis2, and person-based psychology3 provide principles and practical strategies for increasing the occurrence of AC4P behaviors throughout a culture. These are reviewed in this presentation.

Figure 1 presents a simple flow chart summarizing a basic approach to culture change. We start a culture-change mission with a vision or ultimate purpose--for example, to achieve an AC4P culture. With group consensus supporting the vision, we develop procedures or action plans to accomplish our mission. These are reflected in process-oriented goals which hopefully activate goal-related behaviors. Indeed, the popular writings of Covey4, Peale 5, Kohn,6 and Deming7 suggest behavior is activated and maintained by self-affirmations, internal motivation, and personal principles or values. However, these authors as well as many motivational consultants miss a key component of human dynamics—the power of consequences.

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