Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Just have a quick chat!

Recently we all have had to get participants for our third year projects, and I am sure other people have used this same tactic in getting participants.  This tactic is fleeing interaction;  A brief social interaction with the target of a request which increases compliance with that request.  These interactions can be things such as, asking how a person feels or engaging in a short dialogue before asking the request.  For me, these two covered my fleeting interactions.  The messages I sent to people to ask to volunteer always started with “Hi how’ve you been?” and a follow up question asking them what was going on in their lives, followed by the true request.

Dolinski, Nawrat and Somervell (2001) found that a fleeting interaction of a brief dialogue before the request increases the compliance with said request.

In one experiment they conducted, 400 female students that were walking unaccompanied on a university campus were approached by female confederates and then asked for a donation.  The confederates would either ask with a monologue, or with a dialogue.  Monologue “Hi!” followed by the request “I am collecting money for special care children. Would you like to contribute, please?”.  There were a few types of dialogue conditions, that did not yield significant effects, but in these conditions a dialogue was formed, with questions asked and the answers listened to and then responded to, then the request followed.

Figure 1: 

Figure one illustrates the results from the experiment.  Between the dialogue and monologue conditions on average, the dialogue condition yielded a 31% compliance to the donation request, whereas the monologue condition only yielded 11% compliance.  This result shows that a fleeting interaction of a shot casual dialogue can help to increase compliance in the target of a request.

It worked for the researchers, and worked for me, people seemed more willing to do my study when the bit of dialogue was before compared to people I just sent the request to.

Dolinski, D., Nawrat, M., & Rudak, I. (2001). Dialogue involvement as a social influence technique. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1395-1406.

J. Gladwin

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