Manipulating the Masses Into Making the World a Better Place on “Crowd Control”

What if we could make the DMV a happier place by adding a little laughter? Or curb America’s speeding epidemic without issuing a single ticket? Or reduce the rate of pedestrian collisions by making it worth the wait at the crosswalk?

On tonight’s series premiere of Crowd Control, viewers will discover that sometimes all you need is a little science to help make the world a better place. Best-selling author and behavior change expert Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) will use behavioral science to lead a series of experiments that show how we can apply the power of persuasion in our daily lives to reduce stress, minimize annoyances, improve health and increase happiness. Using hidden cameras to record his results, Pink will tackle the seemingly impossible task of righting everyday wrongs — from convincing partygoers to clean up their streets to stopping the senseless rush at an airport baggage claim.

With 20 years of experience studying why we do the things we do, Pink will draw on academic theories and enlist an elite team of designers, builders, and technologists to change bad behavior into good. Using the power of guilt, fear, shame and outright lying, Crowd Control will curate social behavior in fun and eye-popping ways that have real-life applications. He’ll introduce targets in men’s restrooms to reduce cleaning bills, lie to the elderly to make them stronger and scare the pants off air travelers to reduce their chances of death.

Scientifically based, but shamelessly entertaining, Pink travels the country to catch unsuspecting members of the public in the act — from Brooklyn, where he’ll calm a long line of patrons waiting to get into a popular pizza joint, to New Mexico, where a “musical road” will reward drivers for obeying the speed limit. He’ll also convince New Orleans revelers to clean up Bourbon Street and corral oblivious texting pedestrians with a special cellphone lane in Washington, D.C. Additional stops on Pink’s itinerary include Orlando, Dallas, Providence and the Jersey Shore.

“We made a list of the most annoying social situations we face on a daily basis, and then used science to fix them,” said Pink. “Viewers will be amazed at just how much we can influence behavior by slightly altering the situation, and how these small adjustments can actually make a big difference in our world.”

Tonight at 9/8c on the series premiere of Crowd Control: Lawbreakers, millions of us routinely break the law by driving too fast, but countless speeding tickets don’t seem to make any difference. Thirteen thousand people are killed each year on U.S. roads due to speeding. Behavior change expert Daniel Pink has a radical new approach: What if we were rewarded for NOT speeding instead of punished for going too fast? Pink puts his plan into action with spectacular results. Later, he heads to Austin, Texas, to curb a terrible trend: able-bodied motorists parking in handicapped spots.

Then at 9:30/8:30c on Lazy Nation, millions of tourists descend on the French Quarter in New Orleans every year for good food and good times. It’s one of the few places in America where you can drink on the streets, but that brings its own problem: Every night, tons of garbage piles up as people chuck their cans, cups and bottles wherever they please. Trash cans are everywhere, so why are people too lazy to use them? Pink has a plan is to turn revelers into unpaid street cleaners using a trivia quiz trash can, but will he succeed?

Don’t miss the series premiere of Crowd Control tonight at 9/8c on the National Geographic Channel!


  1. Art
    December 2, 2014, 6:14 am

    Great show. Especially liked the airport solutions. It stimulated my own creative thinking.