Weekly Grooves

Out of Toilet Paper? Blame America's Failings in the Toilet Wars

March 20, 2020

Kurt was struck by an article on the National Public Radio site that indicated the United States is significantly behind the rest of the civilized world when it comes to modernized toileting. That caused us to take a closer look at the behavioral science behind what’s keeping the US market from adopting higher tech versions of the porcelain throne.

With toilet paper flying off the shelves, one wonders WHY more Americans aren't scooping up bidets. (In fact, they are starting to. Tushy said their sales are up 50% since the outbreak of the coronavirus.)

We are not really interested in the world of scatology, but we do care about hygiene and technology. And most importantly, we care about what behavioral science has to say about the use of these technologies.


© 2020 Weekly Grooves

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan

Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates



America is losing the toilet war: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2020/02/25/808791622/why-america-is-losing-the-toilet-race?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

Why Don’t Americans Use Bidets: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/03/the-bidets-revival/555770/

Today I Found Out: https://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/dont-americans-use-bidets/

Lessons on cleanliness NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/27/are-americans-too-obsessed-with-cleanliness/lessons-in-cleanliness-between-french-and-americans

Toilet psychology: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-25/edition-6/toilet-psychology

Squatty Potty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlEovr29KBU

Common Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#

Cristina Bicchieri, PhD on toilet use: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/trendsetters-shaped-indias-massive-sanitation-campaign/


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