When the issue concerns a matter of taste or judgement (e.g. who was Italy's greatest football player of all time?), similar sources are accepted more readily than dissimilar sources. But when the issue concerns a matter of fact (e.g. at which Olympic Games did your country win its greatest number of gold medals?), dissimilar sources do better (Goethals 8c Nelson, 1973). We have already noted that no single
Arkes, Boehm and Xu (1991) that simple repetition of a statement makes it appear more true! Repeated exposure to an object clearly increases familiarity with that object. Repetition of a name can make that name seem famous (Jacoby, Kelly, Brown & Jasechko, 1989).
In a study by Freedman and Fraser (1966), people were first contacted in their home to answer a few simple questions about the kind of soap they used at home. Later, they were more willing to comply with the larger request of allowing six people to make a thorough inventory of all the household items present. Only 22 per cent complied when they received the larger request 'cold', but 53 per cent complied when they had been softened up by the initial questions about soap.
Cialdini et al. (1975) tested this tactic by approaching students with a huge request: 'Would you serve as a voluntary counsellor at a youth offenders' centre two hours a week for the next two years?' Virtually no one agreed. However, when the researchers then asked for a considerably smaller request, 'Would you chaperone a group of these offenders on a two-hour trip to the zoo?' 50 per cent agreed. When the second request was presented alone, less than 17 per cent complied. For the tactic to be effective, the researchers noted that the final request should come from the same person who made the initial request.
Message intended to change an
attitude and related behaviours of
• Published Communication and persuasion (Hovland, Janis & Kelley, 1953)
• Four Steps: attention, comprehension, acceptance and retention.
• Key to understanding
why people attend to, understand,
remember and accept a persuasive
message is to study the
characteristics of the presenter,
the content of the message and
of the receiver.
• 3 general variables in persuasion:
• The communicator (who);
• The communication (what);
• The audience (whom)
WHO: Source Factors
• Experts > non-experts
• Popular and attractive
communicators > than unpopular
or unattractive communicators
• People who speak rapidly > people
who speak slowly.
• Similar > dissimilar sources
WHAT (the message)
• We are more easily persuaded if we think
the message is not deliberately intended
to manipulate us.
• Intelligent audience = present both sides
• Less intelligent audience = present one
side (Lumsdaine& Janis, 1953; McGinnies,
• Factors: repetition, fear, facts vs. feelings
• Low self-esteem > High self-esteem
• Distracted > full attention, at least when
the message is simple
• Younger > middle adulthood < late
a surface behavioural response to a
request by another individual
Tactics for enhancing
• Jones and Pittman
(1982) describe five
• Self promotion
• an attempt to elicit fear by getting others to
think you are dangerous
• an attempt to
elicit guilt by
getting others to
regard you as a
• is an attempt to elicit
pity by getting others
to believe you are
helpless and needy
• an attempt to
elicit respect and
others that you
• an attempt to get others to like you in order to secure
compliance with a subsequent request
• a particularly common tactic
• First agree with influencer and getting them to like him/her
before various requests are made
• You would be using ingratiation if you agreed with other
people to appear similar to them or to make them feel good,
made yourself look attractive, paid compliments, or
physically touched them.
• ‘Ingratiator's dilemma’: the more obvious it is that an
ingratiator will profit by impressing the target person, the
less likely it is that the tactic will succeed
• Reciprocity principle – If we do others
a favour, they feel obliged to
• Multiple requests – Tactics for gaining
compliance using a two-step procedure:
the first request functions as a set-up for
the second, real request.
Multiple Request #1 – Foot-In-
• Small request large request.
• If the initial request appears too small or the second too large, the link
between the multiple requests breaks down
• Psychological explanations:
• 1) Self perception theory: By complying with a small request, people
become committed to their behaviour and develop a picture of
themselves as 'giving'. The subsequent large request compels them to
• 2) Self-consistency: We try to manage our self-concept in such a way
that if we are charitable on one occasion then we should be charitable
again on the second occasion.
Multiple Request #2 – Door-In-
• person is asked a large favour first and a
small request second.
Multiple Requests #3 – Low-Ball
• the influencer changes the rules halfway and
manages to get away with it.
• inducing the customer to agree to a request
before revealing certain hidden costs.
• Based on the principle that once people are
committed to an action, they are more likely to
accept a slight increase in the cost of that
Persuasion – Yale Study
• Published Communication and persuasion
(Hovland, Janis & Kelley, 1953)
• Four Steps: attention, comprehension,
acceptance and retention.
Central Route vs Peripheral Route of Persuasion
– Central Route:
• Presents clear information, strong arguments,
logic and analyses.
• Use for people who like to think about and
– Peripheral Route:
• Emphasize emotional appeal, personal traits
and create negative or positive feelings.
• Use for people who don’t like to spend much
time thinking about the issues.
– Effective when used in tandem.