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Questions

 

Techniques General persuasion > Creating Cognitive Load > Questions

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Gain attention and keep their mind busy by asking them a stream of questions.

It helps if they are interested in what you are asking them. The most obvious such topic is themselves. Ask questions that make them think, particularly open questions.

Show interest in them and their answers. Probe politely, asking deeper questions about the things they tell you. Be careful in this not to make them uncomfortable.

Example

What do you think about the new paving in town? ... What did your mother think about it? ... How's your mother's knee now?

Did you see the new movie? What do you think about it? ... What else would you recommend?  

Discussion

When a question is asked, there is a social rule that it must be answered. People hence will always respond. Not wanting to appear disinterested or foolish, they will also take care to think about their answer, perhaps also thinking about what you might think, how you may respond and what they would say next.

The most important person in our lives is usually ourself. We hence are flattered when others show interest in us. In particular we like being asked about our opinion on all kinds of things as this raises our status to being expert, creating a kind of teacher-pupil dynamic.

See also

Questioning Techniques, Questions (Cognitive Load), Using Questions

 

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