How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Social Judgment Theory
Given a range of possible positions about given subject, people may have a range of opinions, but will have an anchor position. As this is often tied to people’s sense of identity, it is seldom possible to change it.
The latitude of acceptance are those positions which are acceptable. The latitude of non-commitment are those positions which are neither accepted nor rejected. The latitude of rejection are positions which will be actively opposed.
The five principles of Social Judgment Theory are:
Opinions on punishment for murder range from required therapy to mandatory capital punishment. If a friend was murdered, I would prefer life imprisonment, would not object to capital punishment, but would object strongly to any non-custodial action.
Find the other person’s preferred position, aim not to stray out of their latitude of acceptance and certainly not into their latitude of rejection. Also avoid denting their ego.
Know your own preferred position and latitudes. Go outside them carefully and thoughtfully.