The Story of the '100th Monkey'

Posted by Nick Sheridan on

Do you know the story behind our name: '99th Monkey'?

There is an old tale called, the ‘100th monkey effect’.

This effect is a hypothetical phenomenon in which a new behaviour or idea is spread rapidly by one group to all related groups once a critical number of group members of one group exhibit the new behaviour or acknowledge the new idea.

The number ‘100’ isn’t actually a fixed number.

YOU ARE THE 100th MONKEY (everyone can be the 100th monkey). This is why it’s important to keep improving yourself and spreading the truth, because it could be you that tips the scales.

DON’T GIVE UP - you just might be that monkey.

The story of the 100th monkey stems from a study in 1952

Now the long story of the 100th monkey, dates back to a study in 1952, which followed the behaviour of a young female monkey on a Japanese island. She didn’t like the taste of the dirt on the potatoes so one day she had a bright idea and washed her potatoes in a stream before eating them. Her family watched on and then followed. Then her playmates. Then their families. One-by-one, this behaviour spread.

But what the scientists found that was remarkable, was that over night it went from being an idea to a way of living, when the 100th monkey copied the behaviour. Suddenly every monkey on the island took it as the norm. It is what is described as the point at which ‘critical mass’ has been reached.

Now this theory can be applied to almost every sociological change, big and small. For example, drink driving becoming socially unacceptable.

From a communications perspective, we can interpret this theory as being about how, YOU can take people with you, YOUR messages and actions CAN BE heard, understood, and reciprocated.

A key part of achieving critical mass is that YOU must have a powerful change to benefit others - in order to influence and persuade.

How does theory apply to everyday life?

People change their behaviour to align with influential peers.

People will persist with behaviour only if they perceive it as having personal value, such as physical rewards (less time consuming, less strenuous, more fun etc.).


99th Monkey food Happy Healthy Healthy foods Healthy snacks Lunch Melbourne Natural nut butter Peanut butter Pistachio Protein Snacks Vegan

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