How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Mere Thought Effect
Just thinking about something makes it seem more significant and important. This leads us towards increasingly more extreme attitudes as the item, fresh in the mind, seems bigger and, in contrast, other things seem smaller. In this way, mere thought creates polarization of attitudes.
When people have long enough to muse about something, the mere thought effect may be reversed as their continued reflection and consideration of alternatives acts to balance out the effect, reducing the polarization effect.
Just before a customer visit, a sales person sends the customer some research in areas related to and supporting the salesperson's product. In the sales meeting, they then mention aspects of what they are selling that coincide with the research, which the customer mentions. They discuss this further, after which the customer places an order. The down-sides of the product being sold are never mentioned.
To persuade somebody of something, get them thinking about it. Also prevent them thinking about alternatives.
Always take time to consider multiple viewpoints when making a major decision. Do not get hurried into a decision.
Tesser, A. (1978). Self-generated attitude change. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. II, pp 289-339). New York: Academic Press
Clarkson, J.J., Tormala, Z.L., & Leone, C. (2011). A self-validation perspective on the mere thought effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 449-454.