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Involvement principle

 

Principles > Involvement principle

Principle | How it works | So what?
 

Principle

When people have personal involvement in something they become more interested and engaged with it.

How it works

There are many things in which I could be interested, but I only have so much time, so I ignore those things which do not seem important.

Things with which I am not involved seem trivial and unimportant. However, when I get involved in something, I discover more about it and find it interesting. Also, because I have invested my time in it, I feel a need to explain and justify my interest, so become more involved.

As people become involved in something, they bond with it, absorbing it as a part of their identity.

Cognitive involvement

Involvement at the mental level means thinking about the subject, musing about and integrating it into our schema. It means making spaces for the subject in our minds, building complex ways of thinking about it and giving it regular cognitive air time, even when we are not physically involved.

Affective involvement

We become involved emotionally, too, as we decide that those things in which we are involved are good, pleasant and to be loved in some way. We bring it into the emotional circle of things to which we are attached.

When we possess it, we feel comfort. When it is removed, we feel a sense of loss and anger. It becomes a part of us.

Social involvement

Social involvement includes activities with other people around the subject. Typically it involves much talking about the subject and may also include joint activities, from football to protesting.

Product involvement

Marketers and advertisers are very concerned with involvement. When customers have a high involvement with a product, then they pay more attention to adverts and listen to promotional messages. Low-involvement product ads are generally ignored and it is difficult to get a message across, which results in the product becoming an effective commodity and customer purchase being based on price or habit.

Marketers wanting to retain or attract customers seek to add emotional content, social importance and other hooks to make their products high-involvement.

Involvement in change

Change in organizations is a common problematic area. A useful way of getting people to buy into the change is to involve them in the change, for example by asking their opinion, addressing their concerns and giving them things to do that are associated with the change.

So what?

To get people interested, get them involved. Start with easy steps then keep them engaged until they become self-driven.

Even if they do not want to do things, just telling them to do it may be sufficient, although beware of reactance.

See also

Bonding principle, Investment principle, Involvement in change

Theories about decision-making

 

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