changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Double Bind Questions

 

Techniques > Questioning > Double Bind Questions

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Double bind questions are questions that, whichever way you answer, the result is the same.

Hence you are 'damned if you do, and damned if you don't'.

A common structure of a double-bind question is of the form:

assumptive of bad thing + question about frequency

Thus you might take a statement about the person doing something wrong, such as stealing, then assume that they are doing this thing and consequently turn the question to how often then are doing it.

By framing the question as closed, the other person is thus expected to answer only yes or no and cannot deny the assumption.

Example

Are you lying again?

Have you stopped beating your wife?

When do you want to help us?

Discussion

The double bind as a notion originated in studies of schizophrenia, where sufferers of this debilitating condition become trapped between two mutually exclusive demands (which can be rooted in excessive childhood requirements by parents and teachers).

As a persuasive device, it is somewhat coercive in nature as it seeks to deny the person questioned free choice.

The best response to a double-bind question is to treat it as an open question and respond to the assumption rather than the closed question.

What makes you think I might lie?

I have never beaten my wife and never will. I find assault of others completely repugnant, and assault of women especially so.

Double binds also may occur where a command is given and the person commanded feels that by complying they are giving in to the other person (which damages the ego), but by not complying they risk punishment (which also damages the ego).

See also

Open and Closed questions, Double Bind (in general), Double Bind (in hypnotism)

How to lose and election

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Links | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font |

 

You can buy books here

More Kindle books:

And the big
paperback book


Look inside

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
Brand management
* Change Management
Coaching
+ Communication
Counseling
+ Game Design
+ Human Resources
+ Job-finding
* Leadership
+ Marketing
Politics
+ Propaganda
+ Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
Sociology
+ Storytelling
+ Teaching
* Warfare
Workplace design

Techniques

+ Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
+ Conversation
Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
+ Happiness
+ Hypnotism
+ Interrogation
* Language
+ Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
+ Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
+ Questioning
+ Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
+ Self-development
+ Sequential requests
Stress Management
* Tipping
Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

+ Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
+ Beliefs
* Brain stuff
Conditioning
+ Coping Mechanisms
+ Critical Theory
+ Culture
+ Decisions
* Emotions
+ Evolution
Gender
+ Games
Groups
+ Identity
+ Learning
+ Meaning
Memory
+ Motivation
+ Models
* Needs
+ Personality
+ Power
* Preferences
+ Research
+ Relationships
+ SIFT Model
+ Social Research
Stress
+ Trust
+ Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

- About
- Guest Articles
- Blog!
- Books
- Changes
- Contact
- Guestbook
- Links
- Quotes
- Students
- Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

Changing Minds 2002-2014
Massive Content -- Maximum Speed