Over the years we may have gathered many theories about how they are created: the grass is coloured, has different lengths, and so on. But the real reason is a lot naiver. It’s the direction of the blades that tints the grass in various shades. When the sun hits an upright blade, its whole frame reflects the light–rendering brighter than a blade that points directly towards the sun. Most professionals create patterns by mowing in different directions. But the astute among them has another trick up their sleeve: they use a simple roller behind their mower to direct the blades with even more force.

And the same way the mowing and rolling directs the grass, our values and beliefs direct student behaviour (and ours as well) as humans.

What Influences Student Behavior?

On the surface, most of our human behaviours do not seem rational. But if we follow these impulses down to their roots, everything starts to make sense.

It’s called the Value-Behaviour Chain. Our Values influence our beliefs, which determine our attitudes that guide our behaviour. That means if a business wants to influence its customers behaviour, it must change their attitudes, beliefs or values first.

Values

Values are a measure of worth we attach to something. We can value something very little–meaning basically we do not care. Or we can value someone a lot–going out of our way to do something for that person. Going even further, values often guide us between what is good and what is bad. Universal values are - for example- happiness, love, freedom, respect, equality and justice. But they can also be as specific as this:

  1. One of my values is altruism: the fortunate should share their wealth with the less fortunate.

    Beliefs

    A belief is a feeling that something is true. As a whole, our beliefs represent all the bits of information we collect about people, events and things in life. They do not necessarily have to be rational or based on facts. They can even be false beliefs and we still cling on to them. They grow stronger the longer we keep them and the more we keep repeating them to ourselves or others. Following our example chain, this could be a belief that is based on the value above:
  2. I believe a good company donates some of their profits to charitable causes.

    Attitudes

    Our attitudes are based on our values (good and bad) and our beliefs (what we know). And they express our relationship towards the world around us. Based on what we value and believe, we like something or dislike it. Or we are ambivalent. An example of an attitude in our chain might be:
  3. I like TATA cars because they help people in need. They donated a huge sum of money to The Prime Ministers’ Relief fund.  

    Behaviour

    Our behaviour is simply what we do and say–our words and actions. Based on the attitude above, the chain would be concluded through the following behaviour:
  4. Buying TATA Cars.


How Are They Associated?

Our attitudes are like buoys. They are attached to a chain (our beliefs). And the chain is anchored to the ground (our values). Like the ground, our values will rarely change. Depending on the tide–the circumstances in our life-the buoy will go up and down.

Meaning our attitudes will adapt to what’s happening to us. But they will always depend on our beliefs, as these can be stretched only so far before they break. The only missing piece in the picture is our behaviour. Not hard to guess, they are the ships which are guided by the buoys.  

As soon as we dive below the surface, people are a lot more rational than they often seem. In fact, their behaviour becomes quite clear when we take their motives into account:

And once we know their motives, getting them along becomes as easy as creating a perfectly shaped checkerboard on a cricket field.