Monday, December 06, 2004

12 4

Roloff 12 4

The last day ought to be fun, so Roloff will talk about tricking people into doing things. Some are illegal; most are questionable in their ethics.

The Foot in the Door Technique: If I want you to do something, I should first ask you for something small, then ask for something larger. If you give a first yes, the second yes will come easier. 4 conditions. Called housewives: first group was asked if they’d be willing to give information about household products; second was asked if they would give the information at a later date; third asked 10 easy questions. In another week, all are called and read a statement that asks if they will allow 5 or 6 men to examine the house and list all products. If the women answered the 10 questions, 53% said yes to the home invasion. Group 2, 33% said yes to home invasion. Group 1, 27% said yes. 22% with no prior contact allowed the home invasion.

Another study, knocked on doors, claimed to be a safe driving committee, asked to put card in door; a beautification group asked the same. Another group was asked to stuff envelopes for either group. In a week, safe driving group asked all of them to put an ugly sign on lawn, which required a hole be dug in yard. If a different group and different group, 48% complied, different task same group, 48% did; different task same group, 48% complied. Same task same group, 75% complied. 48% is significant; the reason is a self-perception phenomenon; if I am the type of person that does this sort of favor, I will do both tasks. Incentives, like money, made some less likely to comply; self-image was more compelling.

Limitations: There must be a delay between the first and second requests, so that demands don’t appear to be too great all at once.

No one has been able to duplicate these results since this study.

Door in the Face Technique: Make a large request, then ask for less when turned down. University students asked to work 2 hour/week job for two years as a “big brother” to juveniles center residents. Second was serving as a chaperone for same kids on a single occasion. 50% volunteered under theses circumstances. Asking the two options as an either/or got 25%, asking only for chaperone opportunity was 17%. Why does it work? Explanations: It’s like a negotiation…probably not valid. The second request seems more reasonable after the second…doesn’t work. Fear of looking bad if turndown the second option…doesn’t work. Door in the face is motivated by Guilt, and only works when a pro-social cause is promoted. Time span, unlike foot in the door, requires requests to occur in the same conversation. Door in the face, must be the same source.

Which is more effective? Foot in the door condition: asked college students to take a card with blood donation group logo and display it somewhere. Most did; second request was become long-term blood donors, give blood every 2 months for 3 year, all turned them down. The critical request was participation in annual blood drive, asked to give one unit.

For door in face, 50% complied to request to give blood. In foot in door, 32% complied; same 32% if asked without any technique. Door in face, 39% who said they would did show up, for foot in door, 10% actually appeared. Critical request, ask only, 35% of those who agreed showed up.

Multiple De-escalating Request Strategy – Establish categories of giving, ask starting with highest category, kept asking through a $25 gift. Did the technique work? Higher giving when the technique was used, rather than a general request for giving.

Foot in the mouth technique: The theory is that rapport must be established in order to get money. Asked people in call how they were doing vs. call with only pitch. Fewer gave when asked how they were doing (10%), 25% gave on pitch only. It depends on how they are feeling; people feeling shitty were less likely to give than those who felt poorly.

The lowball technique – illegal – done with car sales. Hot car is displayed, people look and are asked if they’d like the car. The salespeople say that dealing is happening, and they take customers to office where list of amenities the customer claims not to want is marked off to reduce the price; deal is run by the sales manager, who yells at salesperson and gives bottom-line price. Consumers often buy the car under these circumstances. The key component is getting a commitment, then raise the price; commitment is the kicker. What about commitment seals the deal? Was it commitment to task (car deal) or commitment to salesperson? Commitment to the salesperson who put him or herself on the line for customer got the customer to accept the deal.

Cousin to lowball – The Lure – Similar to bait and switch, an ad for a too-good-to-be-true deal is placed, product that was advertised is not so great, but a more expensive product, which is better, is offered. This is an effective way to sell the other product, hard to prove illegal.

The Incidental Similarity effect – assumes that we have an affinity toward those who are like us (e.g. People with similar names are drawn to each other). Established similarity between two people on a trivial thing like a name, studied whether it would be easier to sell raffle tickets to people with similar name; it was. The similarity must be unique, e.g. can’t be first name like Mike, but last name like Roloff.

The Dialogue Technique – Before you ask someone for something, chit-chat helps get them to comply. A Monologue vs. Dialogue: did either make someone likelier to donate to a charity? Dialogue worked better than monologue, since person asked participated in the conversation.

The Name Calling Technique – At Ohio State, called people in Columbus at random, told that they were known as kind and caring; second condition, person was known as an unkind and uncaring person. A third were just asked to collect door to door for the charity. When all were asked to go door to door for the charity, people wanted to convince the charity that they were good, so insult was best motivator. The best way to motivate people is to make them feel badly about themselves or point out an inconsistency in their behavior; study done with women who failed a gender roles mindbender; those who weren’t pro-women’s rights weren’t affected, but those who were pro-women’s rights were likelier to give or sign up for women’s group.

Listing Technique – Solicitor showed a list door-to-door, others who give to a cause in the neighborhood who were known to the solicited motivated others to give; unrecognized named didn’t work as well. Could give max, less, or average; average was most common gift.

Fear then Relief Strategy – Arousal level rises with fear; when the thing fears doesn’t happen, we feel relief. Study gave some tickets, some warnings in a parking lot; those who only got warnings were likelier to give money. In a related study, cookies were given to a group, then an unrelated groups asked for money. Cookies made people likelier to give money. In a phone booth, those who find quarter in change slot were likelier to mail a lost letter found in the booth; when a stamp was lacking, the quarter in the slot made people likelier to buy a stamp for the sender of the lost letter.

Can people be made to feel guilty? The effects of guilt - College students were brought into a room and given computer cards, and told not to mess with the cards. A false leg on the table messes up the cards, and the experimenter enters as the students tried to help…asked students if they’d be willing to be in the study, they were more likely. If they were exposed to the person whose cards they had messed up, they were less likely to participate in the study due to fear. Another study, student was asked to watch a radio for another student who went to the bathroom; confederate steals the radio, student asked to watch the radio buys lunch for the victim, who says he is out of money. The second condition the subject stops the theft, doesn’t buy lunch for the poor victim, because good deed is already done. Messages of guilt will motivate people to do what they can to feel better about themselves. Unsolicited gifts will make a person likelier to comply to a request. Is this because of a social exchange notion of indebtedness, or liking people who are nice to you? Niceness, liking someone helps persuade people to comply.

Ways to phrase requests:

Pique Technique – People have rejection scripts or dialogues, one has to break up the rejection script. College students dressed as homeless, made scripted or unscripted requests; scripted were “you go any spare change?” unscripted were “do you have seventeen cents?” A scripted request got a scripted rejection response; a request for seventeen cents got a quarter.

“Even a Penny Will Help” Technique – We’d like you to give, even a penny will help. This works; the average amount of gift doesn’t rise, but more will give. Why? Giving change makes people feel cheap, asking for a penny will takes that feeling away, legitimize a gift of change. “Even a dollar will help” didn’t work because giving a bill exposes a wallet, whereas change can be taken out of a pocket. Even a penny will help doesn’t work via mail, only in person.

Gender – Women who ask for help are likelier to get it than men who ask. A presentation using many appeals to request gifts made by men and women; helplessness and good cause appeals used. Women more effective with helpless appeal; men with same appeal were the least effective group. Women are likelier to hang up on another woman than are men, but everyone will hang up on the man solicitor. Another study, 3 AM call, two scripts: first says sorry, I didn’t mean to do that to you, please don’t be mad at me babe, I love you, don’t leave me, et al; second says you have some nerve, who do you think you are, it’s over, et al. If it was a male voice, people hung up. If the voice was female, she was let finish.

Powerless speech includes tag questions like, “it was really cold out there, don’t you think?” seeks approval, also includes hedges, like, “it was really cold, but what the hell do I know?” and qualifiers, like, “it’s kind of cold.” Linda Carly got men to convince men, women to women, and men to women. If a man tries to convince a man, powerful speech is used; same with woman to woman and man to woman. When a woman tries to convince a man, she speaks powerlessly. She also found that a more powerfully spoken man would be likelier to convince a man or woman, as would a woman convincing a woman. Powerless speech by women was likelier to persuade a man, because such women are smarter and more likeable.

How to get people to buy things?

Was physical attractiveness important in selling a gym membership and stocks? Physical attractiveness matters as long as the product is related to physical attractiveness.

Similarity vs. Expertise – study done in a mall, selling disk washer, demonstrator asks what kind of music the person likes; the personal will either like whatever the customer likes, or doesn’t like anything, but puts it on. At times, the salesperson fumbles or appears adept at using the product. Customer buys from similar expert most often; similarity is more important, a salesperson with similar taste but fumbles does better than the salesman who doesn’t like the music but handle the product expertly.

The “That’s Not All” technique – If you call right now, you’ll get free shipping! The technique works before the consumer can respond to the initial offer, but not if the consumer has already responded; a sense that the consumer got a “deal” was essential.

The “Disrupt then Refrain” technique – If the price was 300 pennies rather than 3 dollars, consumer thought was clever, so more likely to buy.


Study done with servers, touching shoulder worked for half the sample; woman touching a man increased the tips most significantly. A brushing against shoulder also increased tip, as did “accidental” hand contact. Kneeling down at eye level to take an order increased tips. “Mimicking study” – server repeated order immediately after it was given increased tips, seen as rapport building/care for customer.

Credit card logo leads on bill leads to higher tips; credit cards set off proclivity to spend. “Standards for tipping” guides that prescribe but don’t demand tip amounts increases the size of the tips. Customer’s feelings before dining affect tips more than quality of service.


A lot of opinion and not much data on whether product placement in movies/tv is effective; consumers think it gives sense of realism to movie or tv. We pick out product/brand under two conditions: if the brand is written into the script, or a prominent visual placement. The impact is limited; the audience won’t run out and buy the product, but will be likelier to go to the fridge if they have the product available.

Humorous ads – study indicate that humor doesn’t affect attitude toward product, though the consumer may appreciate the ad. A longitudinal study found that best-recalled Super Bowl ads were the funniest.

Sex – Decorative model who stands and presents the product. This does sell, people like ads with decorative models, and these ads are recalled better. Another second factor studied was sexual humor; men respond well to it. The third sexual cue was sexual suggestiveness; women favor sexual suggestiveness.

Shock ads – made to violate expectations, push the envelope of appropriateness, include things that disgust, anger or surprise us. What effect do shock ads have? They draw attention and increase awareness, and initial disgust dissipates with repeated viewings.

Subliminal Advertising – The most overrated of all of the advertising effects. Subliminal messages to buy theater concessions study is an urban legend. Subliminal effect is difficult to create. Some people can see subliminals and some can’t; and one must be paying close attention to the screen in order to get the message, so they are often missed. Subliminals also have different levels of saliency; “eat popcorn” only popcorn might be missed. Subliminal might only reinforce an urge; a thirsty person might respond to a subliminal, but an un-primed person might not or if there is no Pepsi in the house.


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