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Foot In The Mouth Effect

 

Techniques General persuasion > Sequential requests > Foot In The Mouth Effect

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

First, seek to make the other person feel good and like you. Ask a question that demonstrates care and interest in them. Listen to their response with due attention and concern. Acknowledge as appropriate the legitimacy of their views.

Then make your request.

Example

How are you today? Are you feeling well? ... Could I ask you for one thing: to sign this petition?

Isn't it such as great day? It's great to see you so happy. ... Can I ask you to help with something?

Discussion

Howard (1990) found that people seeking donations to a charity gained a greater donation when they asked how the subject was feeling and acknowledged the response, rather than just asking for a donation. Having read this study, Meineri and Gueguen (2011) asked people if they were available to answer a questionnaire (and waited for their answer) before diving into the questions, found that this prior request for permission led to a far higher compliance rate.

Dolinski et al (2001) noted how dialog (as opposed to monolog) with a stranger was a viable general social influence technique. Effectively, when you start to talk with anyone in a conversational way, rather than talking at them, you connect with them, creating a bond such that you start to share identities. In doing so, you build trust and consequently are more ready to engage in reciprocal exchange. In other words, if you talk and connect with a person, you will gain a greater influence over them.

See also

Conversation techniques

 

Dolinski, D., Nawrat, M. and Rudak, I. (2001). Dialogue Involvement as a Social Influence Technique, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1395

Howard, D.J. (1990). The Influence of Verbal Responses to Common Greetings on Compliance Behavior: The Foot-in-the-Mouth Effect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 20, 1185-1196

Meineri, S. and Gueguen, N. (2011). "I hope I'm not disturbing you, am I?": Another operationalization of the foot-in-the-mouth paradigm. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41, 965-975.

 

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