How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
When asked a question by another person, our answer is based not just on a rational consideration of what is being asked. In particular, our identity needs lead us to consider how we will appear to others.
We thus will tend to answer more in the positive rather than the negative, particularly if a leading question is used. We seek to acquiesce to the needs and direction of others, particularly when:
People thus tend to agree with one-sided statements. They will also agree with two contradictory statements when they are framed for agreement.
If you were asked 'Do you think the government makes mistakes?', you may well say yes. If you were asked whether the government generally gets it right, you may also agree.
Lawyers will ask complex questions of people in the witness box, who may give in and agree rather try to unravel what is being asked of them.
A butcher asks a customers 'Do you want the best cut?'. The customers agrees.
Use leading questions to get people to agree with you. Use neutral questions if you want a more honest response.
Before you answer a question, consider the bias in the question and also the bias in your head. Don't say 'yes' just to make others happy.