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Does imagining make it so?

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Does imagining make it so?

  1. 1. Does imagining make it so? The persuasive effect of visualisation
  2. 2. This study took place in 1982 in Tempe, Arizona – a town where cable tv was just starting to appear Homeowners were visited by students asking them to complete surveys for a project One group were given information about the benefits of cable tv before being asked to complete a questionnaire
  3. 3. Cable tv subscribers benefit from broader entertainment services, they can plan which events they want to enjoy and spend more time at home with their family without the hassles of going out
  4. 4. I would be grateful if you could answer these questions for me now No problem
  5. 5. Students visited a second group of homeowners also asking them to complete surveys However rather than being told of generic benefits of cable tv, this group were asked to imagine themselves in a scenario where they were personally benefiting from having cable tv in their lives
  6. 6. Take a moment to imagine how cable tv will provide you with broader entertainment services, how you’ll be able to plan which events you want to enjoy and spend more time at home with your family without the hassles of going out
  7. 7. I would be grateful if you could answer these questions for me now No problem
  8. 8. A month after the homeowners had been visited by students, cable tv arrived in Tempe A local cable tv company approached the homeowners offering them subscriptions
  9. 9. No thanks Would you like to sign up to cable tv?
  10. 10. Yes please! Would you like to sign up to cable tv?
  11. 11. Homeowners who had been given information about the generic benefits of cable tv subscribed at a rate of 20% – the same rate as the rest of the neighbourhood who had not been visited by students Homeowners who had been asked to visualise themselves enjoying the specific benefits of cable tv subscribed at a rate of 47%
  12. 12. Conclusions 1. Just hearing about the benefits of cable tv was no more effective at persuading people to subscribe than giving them no information at all 2. However, asking people to imagine themselves benefiting from cable tv in specific ways, made the benefits more tangible and therefore persuasive
  13. 13. Reference Self-relevant scenarios as mediators of likeliness estimates and compliance: does imagining make it so? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43 (1982) 89—99 Larry Gregory, Robert Cialdini & Kathleen Carpenter

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