Sunday, October 31, 2004

Change Reinforcements

Albert Bandura says if you want to change behavior, have to change the reinforcement. Three types of reinforcement:

  1. past reinforcement, ala traditional behaviorism.
  2. promised reinforcements (incentives) that we can imagine.
  3. vicarious reinforcement -- seeing and recalling the model being reinforced.

Behavior Management Reinforcements

  1. Money - pay for performance (incentive systems)
  2. Social Recognition
  3. Feedback

Monday, October 25, 2004

10 22

Roloff - 10 22

Classical Approaches to Persuasion

1) Individual Differences – a) Gender – in 50s and 60s studies, men were more resistant to persuasion. Studies were designed poorly, men were better informed about topics discussed – tires for car, life insurance – didn’t mean that women were more persuadable. In 70s gender specific topics were added “female topics” – roles reversed. Gender and persuasion studies have been dropped because differences can’t be easily explained. b) Age – Older were expected to be less persuadable, young easier to persuade. Young = 18-25, so recent study banded ages, 18-35, 36-50, et al, and elderly. There wasn’t a linear relationship between age and persuadability. Young are easier to persuade than 18-35, 36-50. Middle age (36-50) are the hardest to persuade, harder than the elderly. There isn’t a definitive explanation for this, but it may be because the elderly are looking for stimulation. (Kate Peters suggested a cohort effect, whereby a group stays skeptical throughout life, not change with age). c) IQ – Dumb people are easy to persuade – mixed results, no consistent finding on IQ. d) Self-esteem – no clear differences.
2) McGuire – provided an inconsistent model of persuasion – Stages referred to as probabilities: 1) Probability that a message will be sent – Dating couples didn’t tell each other what bothered them about their partners. 2) Probability that the message will be received – that the message arrives, not necessarily read/processed 3) The probability that there will be attention – not necessarily detailed attention, but the message is processed. 4) The probability of comprehension 5) The probability that the message will be accepted - agreement. 6) The probability that the message will be translated into behavior – that the message will be acted upon. 7) the probability that the change will be remembered or retained. The probabilities can break down at any one of the steps. Individual characteristics can influence the steps, e.g. a high-IQ individual will get more messages, read and process it, but will be more critical (step 5) Low IQ people will get and process fewer messages, but may be more inclined to uncritically accept them. Moderate IQ in mid-self-esteem (intelligence and self-esteem are correlated) are the easiest to persuade, because of their mix of reach-ability and critical assessment of the message.
3) Social Judgment Approach – The reason persuasion fails is that the person asking for change is asking for too much. For any issue, we have a favorite, or Anchor position, and latitude of acceptance, or all of the other positions we’d be willing to accept. There is the latitude of non-commitment, which are positions we don’t either favor or disapprove of, or issues about which we’re ambivalent. The latitude of rejection are the positions we are opposed to. The contrast effect suggests that the stronger one feels about a position, the wider the differnce between oneself and a differing position seems. Ego-involvement makes it harder to persuade.
4) Attributional Approach – When someone asks me to change, I ask myself what’s in it for them; we look for their biases. Shaken and Eagley suggest that there are people whose motives we’d be inclined to automatically judge because we know they seek an angle, but we do it automatically. Two biases – 1) Knowledge Bias – persuader believes that they are telling you the truth, but really isn’t 2) Reporting Bias – knowledge that there is something to gain by persuader, tactic by persuader is to mitigate the idea that they are pursuing their own self-interest. Deception is suspected when the persuader has something to gain.
5) Katz’s Functional Theory – 1) Instrumental – my attitude allows me to get rewards and avoid punishments. 2) Social Adjustment – I hold my attitude because it allows me to fit in. 3) Ego Defense – I hold my attitude because it enables me to avoid something bad about myself. 4) Knowledge Function – I hold my attitude because I am competent, familiar when I hold the attitude. 5) Value Expression – I hold my attitude because it is consistent with my values. Ego-involvement is an example. Persuasion fails when it doesn’t match the function that is the source of the resistance. Cialdini research on the theft of Petrified Forest wood, a sign that gave the number of pounds of petrified wood was posted, and it had no effect on behavior of visitors to the park. A sign asking them not to steal the wood didn’t help. Injunctive norms, a message suggesting that people disapproved of theft, were effective. Another of Cialdini’s studies gave advantages of recycling at hotels, one said that most people approve of recycling; another listed the advantages of recycling. The sign that suggested that the norm was recycling was the most persuasive. “Bandwagon Effect”. Descriptive norms alone weren’t effective, because they lack consequences.

Contextual Models of Persuasion

Anthony Downs – Research for Rand Corp., (govt.) all employees are to some degree self-interested, but some people consider what’s good for the organization. There is a typology:

1) Purely Self-Interested – don’t care about the organization – two types: A) Climbers – wants to maximize his or her salary, power, and prestige. They get what they want by: 1) rapid promotion 2) aggrandize – gauges what’s valuable to the organization, move to get it 3) Jump – they leave the organization and take a job elsewhere. Climbers are inherently pro-change, because it disrupts the existing power and influence structure. B) Conservers – keep their salary, power, and prestige. Most are trapped in middle managements and are middle-aged. Conservers follow rules, resist change. As a group, they can stifle change. Many were once climbers, but are becoming irrelevant, and resist. “Age lumps” – air traffic controllers, NASA are examples, many are hired with same age and credentials, leads to a large number of conservers, first are those in the age cohort who don’t get promoted. Mixed Motives – Three types of mixed motive employee 1) Advocate – When it comes to dealing with one’s unit, you are politically neutral on the inside, promote every specialty within his or her unit, but biased when they deal with administrators from different units. 2) Statesman – committed to the overall organization, not own unit. 3) The Zealot – Highly committed to and idea, practice, or policy. They have many contacts, lots of energy, but become tiresome, annoy and alienate others…wanted during change because of their contacts and energy. Conservers must be persuaded to change over time, “Behavioral Drift.”

Friday, October 22, 2004

Interview with Robert Cialdini

Theories of Pesuasion and Resistance

A great summary from "Steve's Primer of Practical Persuasion and Influence."

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

10 16

Roloff 10 16

Process Models of Persuasion

1) Incentive Approach or Message/Learning Approach – People must remember the message, and then be given incentive to comply. Simplicity and Explicitness - tested for effectiveness, sometimes explicitness was offensive when conclusion was obvious. Repetition - can lead to “wearing out” if repetition is excessive. Wear-out can be mitigated with variety. Incentives – fear was a great motivator; the best way to get people to comply is to scare them. Other theories suggested moderation, or that fear was a negative. Conclusion was that Message/Learning effectiveness was inconsistent.
2) Cognitive Response Approach – Shifts focus from message to the audience, called a self-persuasion model. Message makes one think, and the thoughts generated determine level of persuasion. Four types of thoughts: 1) Counter arguments; 2) Supportive arguments; 3) Neutral Thoughts; 4) Irrelevant Thoughts. Cognitive Response suggests that people have Own-ness bias, that their own thoughts are better than others’. Therefore, the fact that people may not pay attention to a message doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of the message, as long as the thoughts generated are positive. - It is better, according to CR, when people remember the thoughts associated with a message than remember the message itself, what they were thinking at the time they heard the message. People should be encouraged to remember the “gist”. - People who are preaching to the choir, who do a so-so job presenting a position, are more effective than good presenters who have to convince a group that holds a contrary position; more thinking is required for persuasion. – Forewarning, or anticipatory attitude change, causes people to change their attitudes from intense to the middle…the middle ground creates less conflict. – Distraction – makes the message less effective, more attention paid to the distraction. “Salient Cue” can sometime make delivery effective if a positive cue. - With each repetition, the response to the message becomes more negative. – Personal connections lead to positive responses.

3) Ellen Langer developed the Theory of Mindlessness – people will choose mindlessness over mindfulness, and most hours are spent in a mindless state. Mindfulness requires effort, (cognitive control can be generated by suggesting that a person not think about something, then give them another task, which is difficult because of the cognitive effort required not to think of something) and often causes one to think of bad things…people in the U.S. dwell on negative things. Not thinking becomes an escape. “Rumination” the intrusiveness of negative thoughts and the difficulty in getting rid of negative thoughts. Women ruminate more than men. Women think more about their jobs. Rumination is bad for you! No new insights come from rumination. What forms does mindlessness take? 1) Complete Shutdown – stronger = not thinking at all, weaker = not thinking about immediate environment. The job is where shutdown, especially in highly routinized jobs, is common. Langer’s study focused on behavior at a copier, and someone who wanted to get make his or her copy first...some had few copies to make, some had a time limit, some gave a placebic explanation like “I need to make copies”. Reason was important when many copies needed to be made by the other, resistance to placebic explanation, few copies got compliance. Other study, secretaries given a memo that asked to be delivered to a room that didn’t exist, unusual looking memo got people to think about the fact that the room didn’t exist, a typical-looking memo had people looking for the room. Langer studies showed that seniors in a nursing home creates a routine that leads to mindlessness, and therefore depression and risk of physical harm. She also mixed up pictures in seniors’ rooms, it got them angry but stimulated cognitive activity. Langer believes we avoid mindfulness, but mindfulness is good for us. Langer’s studies called into question Cognitive Response theories that suggested that we are always thinking.

4) ELM – Elaboration Likelihood Theory – Everyone wants to hold an accurate view, but we know we don’t have all the information we need. Two paths to persuasion 1) Central Path – motivated to think about the message, a desire to understand the message. In Central Path, strong arguments matter to persuasion. Watching would be equivalent to reading a transcript of a presidential debate. 2) Peripheral Path – Most people are on this path, focus on prominent feature of the situation to infer what to believe. Facial features and body language would be important when watching presidential debates on peripheral path. What causes people to choose a path? Need for Cognition – some people like to think! Need to Criticize – people who analyze and pick-apart. Topic of persuasion has consequences for people affects persuasion, as does mood. Whether a person is by him or herself or in a group affects persuasion; a persuasive message is considered for less time by people in groups, and when they are relaxed. ELM tells us more about what is done while in Central Path…in response HSM was developed – Heuristic Systems Model – Heuristics are quick and dirty decision making algorithms. The Expert Heuristic – Competence counts. The Trust Heuristic – I trust this person, so what he or she says is probably true. The Length Heuristic – A longer message is likelier to be considered true. The Agreement Heuristic – The more people who agree, the likelier it is to be considered true. Laugh tracks bolster mediocre jokes. Likeability Heuristic – I like this person, so what he or she says is true. Faster speakers are more credible, a speech heuristic. (Except in Deep South) Most people are in more than one, or move between, Heuristics. When systematic approach leads to overload/conflicting information, heuristics are leaned-on.

Brehm’s Theory of Psychological Reactance

We want to believe that we have the freedom to choose. When our freedom to choose is limited, we are aroused, and do something to restore our freedom. Multiple ways to restore freedom:

1) Decide is to do the opposite of what is being proposed.
2) Imagine defying the position.
3) Encouraging others to resist
4) Act like they can defy, even if they can’t.

Felt Competency – People will do what they think they do well.

Denial of Freedom can be mitigated with a milder message.

Monday, October 11, 2004

10 8

Roloff – 10 8

More on Kelman’s approach - Compliance, Indentification, Internalization

Money will motivate people to do more, not a better-quality, of the desired behavior, since paying attention to quality may limit the quantity of the behavior that can be done…people will cut quality and ethical corners to do more of the behavior, and get more money.

Social Recognition – Employee of the Month, “attaboys” - sometimes leads to problems, embarrassment, a sellout or yes-man image.

Feedback – letting an employee know how they are doing compared to how they should be doing. Feedback typically comes in the form of performance appraisals, which are typically what managers and employees like least about their jobs. Biases affect evaluations…this motivator has the weakest impact, doesn’t motivate people to improve.

The Harshness effect – Managers evaluate employees more harshly than objective indicators would justify – “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” – power obscures the evaluation process. Kitnis worked with two groups, one with a leader with power to hire/fire/punish, one with a leader with no authority, just a supervisory role. Results of the study showed that people who have authority use it. People with power attribute more success to their own efforts. Power corrupts ones view of the world, the leaders with power distanced themselves from their groups in the study.

The Leniency Effect – When using rating scales, only the upper part of the scale is use This is done because managers hate to give bad feedback. High self-monitors can be guilty of the leniency effect. There is a relational explanation for this, but also a cognitive effect – a manager will emphasize an employee’s strengths, however few, because they notice contrasts. According to Attribution Theories, a manager figures out why an employee performs poorly and attributes it to the employee’s behavior, but the employee attributes it to external factors. Whose opinion changes the most when the two meet to discuss the problems? The employer’s opinion changes, because he or she listens to an explanation from the employee, usually rehearsed. Most managers don’t argue with the reasons given by employees, thus the leniency effect.

Mobility Bias – The fear that an employee will leave influences the appraisal. Appraisal is an over-reward to prevent the high-performing employee from leaving. Marriage, kids, and mortgages limit mobility, and therefore the bias in favor of the employee. The secret to getting more money is to not be loyal.

What do organizations do about bias? (They think leniency is the most serious) How do organizations overcome leniency? Force ranking, or rank-and-yank. Mentoring and hiring the best are often discouraged, because employees fear their performance could be exceeded by high-achievers. “Designated Victims” will be hired. Rank and yank will cause problems, employees will resist. Teamwork suffers, people would rather work alone when rank-and-yank is in place.

All three evaluation methods together, (money, social recognition, feedback) are more effective than any one.

Identification – Charismatic leadership styles – dot com leaders were this type of leader…what are the traits of a charismatic leader?

1) Has a strategic vision they can articulate
2) Engage in personal risk – if we fail, I’m going down with the ship
3) Sensitive to the Environment – Roloff stresses this trait – person with the vision understands the reality of the situation, not a pie in the sky vision.
4) Sensitive to employees’ needs – they are grounded, are looking out for employees, are up-front about things
5) The willingness to engage in unconventional behavior – quirkiness – people able to make changes are insiders, outsiders, insiders with outsider’s perspectives and outsiders with insider’s perspective…usually the hybrid types are more successful, and are quirky.

Which component impacts and productivity? 1, 3 are the most important, the others don’t show a consistent pattern.

2 Major disadvantages:

1) Charisma is attributed to people, people assume a person is charismatic if they’ve survived a major crisis;
2) People become dependent on charismatic leaders rather than take individual action.

Internalization –ASA Theory

Attraction, Selection, and Attrition

How do people select jobs for which to apply?

People apply because they think they fit, recruiters think they fit, and stay because they think they fit. ASA is about fit.

Personality – does it fit the culture of the company? We can also talk about how well the personality fits the group one is a part of, and the degree to which one’s personality fits the job.

Theory suggests that fit could mean a values fit.

Attraction – what attracts people to apply for jobs? A team-based culture attracts extroverts, agreeable people, but also non-conscientious people, because conscientious people hate team-based culture…it isn’t easy to work with others, individual recognition and rewards are not as available. Innovative culture attracts open-personalities, but conscientious people don’t care for it, because conscientious people prefer clear standard operating procedure. A detail-oriented culture attracts conscientious people, though others find that culture boring.

A study compared actual culture from people inside to the outside impression of the culture…the mission statement was the source of some impressions of the culture, others looked at the ads for products made by the company….talking to people within the company made no difference, because employees could spin based on their own experiences. Interpersonal sources give more variance. The degree of personal experience as an outsider – if you’d done business with the company – made no difference. There doesn’t seem to be a reliable way to determine culture until one is an insider.

The Selection phase can discover a match, even if the applicant’s impression was wrong at first. Applicants were broken into types:

1) Some told the recruiter they were culture matches;
2) “Self-promotion” strategy - their credentials fit the job;
3) ”Other Enhancers” - complimented the recruiter;
4) Opinion Conformity - agreed with everything the recruiter said;
5) The Non-verbal strategy – applicants didn’t speak much, just smiled a lot.

The most powerful strategy was the group who said they were culture matches, got to the next round…weak correlation with credentials fits…complimentors decreased chances, agreeableness reduced chances, being smiley reduces.

Roloff believes that fit is most important…how do recruiters decide if there is a fit?
What do recruiters look for? Recruiter’s subjective measures of fit are highly correlated with the objective measures. They are still biased…the first bias is likeability, the second is GPA. The third bias was work experience; it was uncorrelated with fit. Physical attractiveness also made recruiters think an applicant is a fit.

Attrition – Whether an employee stays at a job. When values are out of step with a company’s culture, an employee will leave…if compatible with workgroup but not company, they’ll stay, but the reverse isn’t true…day to day contacts are more influential to attrition.

ASA theory suggests:

Hire different people who fit the culture you want, rather than the one you have; it doesn’t often work, the new people feel like they don’t fit; many new people must be brought in. Ostracizing happens, people aren’t nice to those whom they don’t like, the silent treatment is the most common form…cyber-ostracism will exclude people from email that goes to many others…exclusion drives people out. Some companies use the social structure to convince people to leave companies. What does this mean about how easy it is to change an organization? It isn’t easy. Superficial diversity – skin color, gender, et al – doesn’t matter as much as Deep Diversity, or differences in attitude and values. This suggests that companies are not very innovative, and have no diversity of outlook.

Katz has another approach – start at individual level, what reasons do they give for doing what they do?

1) The Instrumental Function – I do what I do because it works, rewards exceed costs
2) Value Expression – similar to internalization – I do what I do because it’s consistent with my values.
3) Social Adjustment – I do what I do because I want to fit in with other people – some have changed churches, religions as they moved up through organizations to reflect status.
4) Ego Defense – I do what I do because I want to hide something undesirable about myself. Sexists and Racists have low self-esteem, and demean others to compensate…has since been refuted; these people have an inflated sense of self-worth. Officers won’t come to training, they feel inferior, incompetent.
5) The Knowledge Function - I do what I do because I understand it, it allows me to predict the future, I am good at it. When Microsoft changes Windows, some people react negatively because they used to know how to use it, now they have to relearn.
Katz says that two people could hold the same attitude about something for different reasons, so we’re never sure which function is motivating someone. The only way to change a person’s opinion is to address all functions directly. The primary function must be identified and attacked in order to change an attitude, e.g. for high self-monitors, market research, and ads that show someone fitting in by using the product (social adjustment) works…for low self-monitors, values expression or instrumentality works best. Sometimes a person’s attitude and behavior serves multiple functions…what to do? Attack both functions.

Monday, October 04, 2004

10 2

Roloff – 10 2

Persuasion - How do we alter another person’s behavior?

Today, we look at experiences…if someone has been persuaded, what does it mean to them?

Change in attitudes or behaviors – when we think of an attitude, we think of it as an evaluation…strong/weak, good/bad…beliefs are discussed, what we believe to be factual/observable characteristics, statement of reality for an individual…even if one believes that cigarettes are bad, he or she could have a bad attitude about quitting. Some attitudes may be genetic…identical twins/fraternal twins/siblings raised apart were studied, correlation between twins’ attitudes raised apart…temperament is inherent.
- Values are ideals...Most Americans value the freedom of choice, but we have a commitment to egalitarianism…these can conflict. (Incest Value) Usually stable.
- Opinions – the expression of attitude. These are supposed to reflect what you think…contextual differences change the behavior regardless the stated opinion. (Women turning down a date…does she give a reason? Women give a reason that does not reflect their feelings about the suitor…usual they’re busy) Usually unstable.
Persuasion is Message-Driven – Heart attack victims didn’t change their behavior until after the first heart attack…seat belts are worn after accidents. “Seeing is believing”

The Message was Intentionally Sent – Mike thinks that is limited, acts sometimes have “incidental effects”…a downsizing makes sends a message.

Persuaded by Own Free Will – difference between coercion and persuasion, coercion is forced, persuasion is not…Mike believes that there is an element of coercion in persuasion. Authority figures are attributed more coercive elements…there is a feeling of psychological threat, lack of choice or alternative, and the change was not desired. Coercion will generate a greater degree of compliance than classic persuasion.

3 Elements of Attitude – Cognitive, Affective, Behavior

Cognitive – observation, consequences of behavior
Affective – how one feels about something – Mike thinks that too little time spent on feelings in study of persuasion…syringes are used to arouse study subjects
Behavior – Predispositions, what we’d like to do, a natural compulsion - approach/avoid

Some attitudes are shaped more by one element than the others – Experientially formed attitudes are driven by affective element…. vicariously formed attitudes are formed by cognitive element. Giving Blood has an affective weighting – those who do and those who don’t have an affective motivation.

People don’t like it when they’re persuaded by one element and are motivated by another.

Functional element of Attitude – What reasons are attitudes held?

Kelman – 3 types of attitude change:

1) Compliance – threats and inducements – Needs a “means control communicator”, someone who has the power to deliver the threat or inducement - limit choice, or feeling of having choice…reactions are disruption, then minimalization, then acceptance – behavioral clarity…people need to know what to do – Surveillance is necessary, so people believe they can be caught for non-compliance.
2) Identification – Social impact of the attitude…attitude enables one to socialize – Attractiveness of the source…physical attractiveness, aspiration of relationship, like me – Salient Relationship with the communicator is necessary…advertising and celebrities…”Role requirements”…basking in reflected glory, we feel better about ourselves when we can associate with someone who is admired.
3) Internalization – Accept something because it is a values fit – Credibility, trustworthiness – The most lasting form of persuasion, because values are stable.

In a study that compared Internalization and Identification, message came from an attractive source and a credible source, no reasons given. Crossed with how many arguments the speaker gave – when 3 arguments were given. Expert was believed when 3 arguments given…the attractive source was credible regardless of arguments given…arguments were disregarded, and couldn’t be recalled by subjects. Kelman would argue that identification would only work in the short-run.
Organizational Examples: Compliance, Identification, Internalization