Table of Contents
Foot In The Door Technique
The Low Ball Strategy
The Slamming Door
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A great psychological technique when it works.
This Can Backfire
This strategy centers on the theory of cognitive dissonance. This is a big concept, but we will have just a short look at it here.
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling induced by holding two contradictory ideas at the same time. The “ideas” or “cognitions” at issue may include attitudes and beliefs, the cognizance of one’s behavior, and facts.
The hypothesis of cognitive dissonance suggests that individuals have a motivational drive to cut down dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Cognitive dissonance hypothesis is among the most influential and extensively studied hypotheses in social psychology.
Dissonance generally occurs when a individual perceives a logical incompatibility among his or her cognitions. This happens when one thought implies the opposite of some other.
For instance, a notion in animal rights could be translated as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing fur. Acknowledging the contradiction would lead to dissonance, which may be experienced as anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other damaging emotional states.
When people’s thoughts are consistent with one another, they’re in a state of harmony, or consonance. If cognitions are unrelated, they’re categorized as irrelevant to one another and don’t lead to dissonance.
By getting me to agree to the first request when the telemarketer called in the previous chapter, they were hoping I had assembled a mental image of myself as a friend, a client, or a supporter. Cognitive dissonance – discomfort – comes about when we take actions that are incongruent with this mental image. And if I agreed to the increasing requests, they were building up my mental image – at the same time making it harder and harder to go against it, to say no to the following request.
Experimenters have also discovered that individuals would often change their positions towards something to match their behaviors to avoid the discomfort that dissonance induces. For example, after having spent 5 minutes on a survey I didn’t initially want to do, I may change my attitude towards the survey – “it wasn’t that bad, as a matter of fact it was quite fun to do.”
Regrettable, then, that the company didn’t recognize they had gotten on my nerves with their first telephone call. I had developed a mental image of myself as somebody who had been strong-armed and lied to by their company – and cognitive dissonance worked against them.
A like strategy is the Low Ball plan of attack and I just recognized the guy who sold me my car used it on me.
Watch Out For The Low Ball
The Low ball works by first making closure and commitment to the thought or item which you want the other human to accept, then employing the fact that individuals will act consistently with their beliefs to hold up the commitment when you alter the agreement.
There’s also an illusion of irrevocability whereby a individual trusts that a decision made can’t be overturned, for instance when a individual agrees to buy a car and believes the handshake as the final transaction (as different than forking over the money).
Agreeing to a low price produces excitement and not purchasing after this state is brought on may lead to an equally deep depression, which the individual may stave off by continuing with the more expensive purchase.
Once the final price isn’t that much higher than elsewhere, the individual weighs up the bother of going elsewhere with the short-run benefit of holding their purchase very soon.
students where asked to take part in an experiment. The control group was told during the postulation that it would be at 7am. The low ball group was only told this later. Twenty-four% of the control group agreed to this, while fifty-six% of the low ball group agreed (and 95% of these in reality turned up).
Researchers found it to be significant that the person believes that they’ve made a free and non-coerced agreement to the beginning request. In particular adding ‘but you are free to accept or to refuse’ to the first request expanded compliance.
However the same person must make both requests.
A sales agent, for instance, may get you to commit to buying a car at a particular price. They’ll then leave you for a couple of minutes, perhaps saying they need to get the paperwork. The true reason, though, is to give you time to work up your mental image. In this time, in addition to seeing yourself as a purchaser already, you may also convince yourself the car is a wonderful purchase.
Then the representative comes back. There has been an “error” in the calculations. The cost is higher than he initially thought it was. But it’s much tougher for you to reject the new price, for you’ve already beefed up your mental image.Other Details
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