Psychological Communication Effects
The American psychologist R. Chaldini draws attention to the fact that in society people consider themselves bound by mutual obligations, which is manifested in their willingness to act in accordance with the rule & quot; we must try to repay in some way for giving us another person & quot ;. This rule all members of the society are trained since childhood, and those who ignore it can run into disapproval from other people.
& quot; ... The arena where the rule of mutual exchange is widely used is the policy.
At the very top of the power pyramid, elected officials are involved in the exchange of mutual services, voices and favors, which truly turns politics into a kind of strange kitchen. The uncharacteristic voting of an official in the adoption of a law can be interpreted as courtesy in exchange for the courtesy of the person who proposed the law. Political analysts were amazed at Lyndon Johnson's ability in the initial period of his reign to conduct most of his programs through Congress. Even those members of Congress who were originally opposed to these proposals voted for them. A deeper study by political scientists showed that the main reason for Johnson's success was not so much his political intuition as the wide range of services that he could provide to other legislators during his long years in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. As president, Johnson could conduct a huge number of legislative initiatives in a short time, demanding payment for these services. It is interesting that it is similarly possible to explain the difficulties of Jimmy Carter in pushing programs through the Senate in the initial period of his reign, and this despite the overwhelming majority of Democrats in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Carter came to the presidency not from the establishment of the Capitol Hill. Carrying his campaign, Carter said that he is not obliged to anyone in Washington. The reason for most of his difficulties in the presidency could well be the fact that no one in Washington owed him anything. "
In carrying out political campaigns, this rule can be used to motivate people to commit certain actions. In particular, for a person in need of a solution to a problem, party activists are providing some assistance, for example, legal assistance, and the person is already beginning to feel bound by obligations, on this basis, he forms the motive for supporting this party in elections. This technique is also used for individual opinion leaders, when, for example, a well-known person should be attracted to a particular political movement. In this case, he is given some kind of service, and he already considers himself obliged to speak publicly in support of a certain politician.
Another rule that makes it possible to increase the impact on people is the principle of consistency. R. Chaldini notes that consistency as a character trait is valued highly in society. Inconsistency, as a rule, is considered a negative feature of the person. A person whose beliefs, words and deeds diverge with each other is usually called duplicitous, unreliable.
The effectiveness of the use of this principle in the practice of motivating people for certain actions was convincingly demonstrated in their experiment by American social psychologists D. Friedman and S. Fraser. In a small town in California, a researcher pretending to be a volunteer went to his house and asked to allow placards for posters and ads, intended for public use, to be placed on the front lawns. To the owners of the houses got an idea of what the inscription might look like, they were shown photos with a picture of a beautiful house, which is almost completely covered by a huge sloppy sign saying "CARE CAREFULLY". It turned out that in one district this requirement was rejected by the overwhelming majority (only 17% agreed), and in the other 76% of the owners were allowed to use their yards. The reason for this complaisance was that two weeks ago the residents of the second district naively agreed with the insignificant request of another volunteer who asked to place in each courtyard a small area of three square inches saying "BE DISCIPLINED DRIVER". Agreeing with such a trifling demand, homeowners were inclined to submit to another similar requirement, much more difficult.
In practice, this feature of human behavior is usually used in the following way: in the beginning people are asked to perform a very insignificant act, which is then used as a starting point for bringing them to more responsible actions. In political campaigns, such a first act often becomes the painting of a person under some treatment. Have you ever wondered about what those people who ask you to sign under petitions do with all the signatures received? - R. Chaldini asks and answers: - Often they do not do anything with these signatures, since their main goal is usually to force those who sign, to assume a certain obligation and, accordingly, to take a certain position. People who signed the petition are more likely to take further steps that will correspond to the position they occupy. "
This technique can give a result, even if a person is simply asked about his intention. E. Aronson and E. R. Pratkanis tell how, in carrying out scientific work, the researchers contacted potential voters and asked them to predict whether they would vote in the elections on Tuesday. Everyone with whom they contacted, perhaps out of a desire to appear as people with a developed sense of civic duty, said "yes", they will vote. Then the researchers compared the responses to real actions. It turned out that among those who were interviewed in the course of the scientific experiment, the level of participation in the elections was significantly higher than in the control group. Thus, E. Aronson and E. R. Pratkanis state, "the researchers found that it is possible to increase the chances of voter turnout on election day by simply asking them if they plan to go to vote."
Using the rules of mutual exchange and consistency resulted in the creation of a special method of involving people in the interaction, called "foot in the doorway" (Figure 10.1). Its essence lies in the fact that a person is offered to perform an action that does not require any serious efforts from him, and then turn to him with new requests for participation in political events. Thus, the mechanism of the gradual introduction of a person to work in a political organization is launched.
<img border=0 src="/user/themes/esthemes/images/pageimg/image027.jpg" alt="The technology of" the foot in the doorway "">
Fig. 10.1. Tech & quot; foot in the doorway & quot;
Receiving & quot; foot in the door & quot; requires the following rules:
• it is necessary to start with appeals, requests, which at first glance do not oblige to anything, are not burdensome for the person involved in interaction. In political practice, it may be a request to sign a candidate's support or to support any appeal, a petition, a proposal to attach a badge with political symbols to the lapel of a jacket, etc.
• Create a favorable emotional background. Interaction (even single) should cause a person's emotions, forming a predisposition to repeat contact. He must either feel participation from the other person, or satisfaction from his insignificant act, or feel the solemnity of the moment;
• It is important that the person involved in the interaction does not have a feeling that he is being pressured, he is forced to do something. In this case, the effect will be minimal, since a person is not inclined to view actions committed under pressure as a manifestation of one's own convictions. Conversely, if a person commits an act, being sure that he acted on his own, the probability of including the principle of consistency will be very great. A person will endeavor to confirm by his subsequent actions that the previous act corresponds to his ideas, beliefs and value orientations;
• Do not lose sight of those who have entered into the primary interaction. After a while, turn to them again, for example with a letter of gratitude for the support of a candidate or political appeal. To send such a letter is quite possible, if it is a matter of collecting signatures, since subscription lists usually indicate the home address of signers;
• Do not limit oneself to single acts, involve people in new interactions, i.e. invite to new meetings, to events organized by a political organization.
Sequential implementation of the & quot; foot in the door & quot; can lead to the formation of a stable political identity, a special affective-cognitive structure that determines the attitude of a person to certain political actors. This structure includes, first, the knowledge of belonging to a particular political group that can be rationally realized and verbalized; secondly, the emotional or affective component, when a conscious belonging to the group is supplemented by a sense of responsibility for the group, empathy with its members; thirdly, the behavioral component, manifested in the willingness to act in support of the interests of the group, to solidarity with its members.
The underlying sense of ownership can arise under the influence of meaningful communicators, when their emotional mood is passed on to the recipient, and he perceives not only the meaning of the transmitted information, but also assimilates the special emotional state associated with this information. For example, if parents show their preference for a particular party by their actions, then the likelihood is that the child will also have a positive attitude towards this political organization. Seeing how people are relevant to him in this party, how worried and worried about her defeat in the elections, how close to her heart they perceive attacks against her political opponents, the child, who has close emotional relations with her parents, can not but take this emotional mood, he begins to empathize with an organization with which he has never personally come into contact. If the actions of parents are repeated, then the emotionally experienced knowledge is consolidated; formation of political identity is being formed. In fact, there is a transfer of the installation of parents into the structure of the child's personality, and empathy for parents finds the child's continued empathy with those political objects that are significant to them. However, it is worthwhile to invade additional external factors (the appearance of influential friends, quarrels between parents, receiving information from other significant sources, etc.), as it is broken, and its results become unpredictable.
In political campaigns, the sense of ownership has to be formed in adults who have already established political preferences, are influenced by various political communicators, more than children, are capable of critical evaluation of the incoming message. The dissemination of positive information about the positioning policy or organization in the forms and channels of communication that we described in the previous two chapters is not sufficient to form an attitude of political identity. It is required to include additional techniques that can push people to emotional empathy.
Receiving & quot; foot in the door & quot; allows to involve people in interaction gradually, unobtrusively, keeping at them sensation of independence of own choice. In the practice of political campaigns, technologies for solving this problem have developed. Some of them will be dealt with in the following paragraphs.
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