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Negative Altercasting

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Negative Altercasting

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Get others to do as you want by pointing out that only a bad person would refuse to do what you suggest should be done.

You can frame 'bad' as any negative attribute, typically indicating this as some form of anti-social attitude or action.

Example

I knew a fellow once who wouldn't help out. Nobody liked him. Now come on, lend a hand!

Only an inconsiderate person would not contribute to such as worthy cause.

Are you a thief? I cannot believe it. I'd suggest putting that back before anyone else finds out.

Discussion

Altercasting 'casts' another person into another (alter) role, suggesting that they are (or may be) like a person you may describe.

What effectively negative altercasting does is to hold up an image of a socially undesirable person who breaks shared values. This implies that if they do not do as you ask, they will be like this bad image, and the result of breaking social rules would be that nobody else will like them or want to associate with them. Esteem from others is a very important need for many people, making the thought of being ostracized particularly powerful. The result should be that the person retreats from actions that may result in social disapproval.

Negative Altercasting, or 'Altercasting (negative)', is the second of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Altercasting, Values, The Need for a Sense of Identity, Marwell and Schmitt's Compliance-gaining Strategies

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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