Larisa recently had a question of how to resolve the phobia of inefficiency (which is a quote from Ghostcrawler apparently). Not long after reading that I came across an article in Gamasutra, which may have some promising ideas.
The article talks about priming. The idea being that if you set people up to not worry about gearscore, they are more likely to not worry about gear score. Of course, Blizzard is actually priming players for using gearscore. What I mean by that is that, to enter heroics, you need to be at or mostly at a particular gearscore minimum.
But, is it possible, that using the loading screen tips, that Blizzard might be able to undo the society of fear they have created? Did their tips about taking a break and meeting your friends outside of WoW work?
How about everytime you use the LFD tool you get a message saying things like, "Everyone who is selected for your team is qualified for the dungeon, there's not reason to kick them out if their gear is low."
That's also very blatant though. Perhaps it needs to be more subtle. How about, every time you go to vote kick, it asks you, "What would Thrall do?" or "Everytime a member gets kicks, Arthas eats a baby."
There are different ways to possibly undo what has happened, but the question is, how far will GC and Blizzard have to push to change the player base?