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Interpersonal Influence. October 31, 2006. Last Week. Theory of persuasion focused on changing peoples’ attitudes. When there are strong arguments for adopting an attitude central route is effective because it leads people to scrutinize the evidence (e.g. Computer ad).

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interpersonal influence

Interpersonal Influence

October 31, 2006

last week
Last Week
  • Theory of persuasion focused on changing peoples’ attitudes.
    • When there are strong arguments for adopting an attitude central route is effective because it leads people to scrutinize the evidence (e.g. Computer ad).
    • When there are weak arguments for adopting an attitude peripheral route is effective because it distracts people from focusing on the evidence (e.g. a cigarette ad).
this week from attitudes to behavior
This Week: From Attitudes To Behavior
  • Research on compliance focuses on changing people’s actual behaviors not just their attitudes.
    • Example: Having a positive attitude toward Tupperware versus actually buying it.
    • Compliance: Action that is taken only because it has been requested.
      • In other words, I would never by Tupperware unless you asked me to.
  • Key Question: How do you make a request in such a way that results in compliance?
basic mechanisms
Basic Mechanisms
  • Norms that govern the interaction:
    • Reciprocity
    • Commitment/Consistency
    • Social Validation
  • Characteristics of the person making the request.
    • Friendship/liking
    • Authority
  • Characteristics of the product being exchanged.
    • Scarcity
norms that govern the exchange
Norms That Govern the Exchange
  • When people interact with one another there are expectations about how to behave.
  • People trigger these expectations in order to gain compliance with a request.
norm for reciprocity
Norm for Reciprocity
  • Rule: People must give back what they have received from others.
  • People who do not follow this rule are labeled as being greedy or selfish.
  • Two tactics that play on this norm.
    • Door-in-the-face technique.
    • That’s not all technique
tactics based on reciprocity
Tactics Based on Reciprocity
  • Door-in-the-face technique: Begin with an extreme request that is almost always rejected then retreat to a more moderate request (which you planned to make all along).
  • Reciprocal concession: I conceded to you by making a lower request, so you should reciprocate by accepting my smaller request.
  • Study of blood donors.
    • 1st request: Please be involved in a long term donor program.
    • 2nd request: One time blood donation instead.
    • Result: Smaller request accepted 50% of the time compared to control (who did not receive 1st request) who complied 32% of the time.
and that s not all
And that’s not all
  • A related technique is called, “And that’s not all.”
  • The target is not given time to turn down the first offer before the second more attractive offer is given.
  • Explanation: He went out on a limb to give me the better deal so I should accept it.
norm for consistency
Norm for Consistency
  • People want to give the appearance that their words and deeds match.
  • Those who do not give this impression are seen as dishonest, indecisive or weak.
  • Once a person takes a stand they are therefore motivated to stick to it no matter the cost.
    • Initial commitment engages desire to remain consistent.
foot in the door technique
Foot-in-the-door technique
  • Ask for a small favor that is likely to be accepted.
  • Initial compliance is then followed by a request for a larger, related favor.
  • Explanation: People do not want to appear inconsistent with their initial action.
  • 46% willing to give to the Cancer Society when approached directly. Among those asked a day ahead to wear a lapel pin publicizing the drive, 80% gave.
  • 53% gave to a collection for the mentally impaired. Among residents who had been approached two weeks earlier to sign a petition supporting a recreation center for the impaired, 92% gave.
  • Ending blood drive reminder calls with, “We’ll count on seeing you then, OK? (pause for response) increased the attendance rate from 62 to 81 percent.
consistency and commitment
Consistency and Commitment
  • Bait and switch technique: Get people into store with phony promise for cheap merchandise. Once in the store people are more likely to buy something.
  • Low ball technique: Obtain commitment to an action then increase the cost of completing it (e.g. car dealers).
social validation
Social Validation
  • Tendency to see an action as more appropriate when we see others doing it.
  • Mechanism: Pressure to conform
  • Examples
    • Bartenders put money in their jars to give the impression that everyone tips.
    • Sign your name at the end of a long list of other people who complied with the request.
    • Give people a positive label and they will act to preserve the label.
cornell class of 2006
Cornell Class of 2006
  • These people gave, why don't you?

» February 6th, 2006, 10:58 pm  Hi Seniors,

All these great people have given, please join them!  

Let's give.


who is making the request
Who is making the request?
  • The degree of compliance is also influenced by the characteristics of the person making the request.
  • We are more likely to comply with:
    • Friends and those we like
    • Physically attractive people
    • People who are similar to us.
    • People who like us.
  • These factors can also be explained by the ELM model we learned about last week.
  • Tupperware parties: You are invited to the house of a close friend who ultimately makes the request. More likely to buy from a friend than a strange salesperson.
  • Attractive candidates received more than 2.5 times the votes of the unattractive candidates in a Canadian election.
  • People more likely to give a dime to another person who was dressed like them (e.g. hippies).
  • People are more like to comply when they are complimented. Compliments don’t have to be accurate.
  • Do these tactics work even when we know they are being used on us?
  • How do you resist influence of this kind, given that it is so subtle?
  • People are more likely to comply with an authority figure.
  • Example: Rectal Ear Ache
    • Physician ordered drops be given in the patent’s right ear. Abbreviated--------“Place in R ear.”
    • Nurse put drops in the patients anus.
  • Opportunities are perceived as more valuable when they are less available.
  • When freedom to possess something is limited then our desire to possess it increases.
  • Tell people that there is a “limited number” of a certain item or it is being sold for a “limited time only.”
  • Example: Ban on phosphate detergents caused people who could no longer buy them to view the detergent as more effective than people in a neighboring county who still could.
  • What is the psychological mechanism??
  • Gain compliance by triggering and playing upon people’s expectations.
  • Make sure that the person making the request is attractive, complimentary and similar to the target.
  • Give the impression that the item is scarce.