Persuasion Techniques, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 409

Essay

The three persuasion techniques to be addressed in this discussion are foot-in-the-door, door-in-the-face, and low-ball. For each of the three, the paper will discuss the processes involved, and explain why each of these techniques are successful with certain audiences, but likely to fail with others. At the end, the paper will examine the overall resistance to persuasion and answer the question, “Are we more vulnerable to these messages than we think?”

The foot-in-the-door technique convinces the target to agree to a small request, and then follows with a larger request. The second larger request is the real objective and the theory goes that once a person is already involved, they are likely to follow through with full commitment. (Feenstra, 2011) This technique is most successful when the request aligns with a person’s self-image, and coincides with issues the target is likely to support.

In contrast, the door-in-the-face technique begins with a large request that is expected to be refused. This is followed by the second real request that then seems more reasonable. This technique plays on the discomfort and guilt sometimes felt when a person refuses another’s request. The second, smaller request, then seems like a way to lessen that guilt without giving too much of oneself. This works best with audiences that can see a close connection between the two requests. (Feenstra, 2011)

With the low-ball technique, a request is made and accepted. Only later, the target finds out that the full details of the request were not disclosed and the initial request is less reasonable than it first appeared. (Feenstra, 2011) This technique plays to those who like to follow through with a commitment and are not likely to back out once they have begun the process.

People identify attempts at persuasion as attacks on the freedom to make their own choices. A process called reactance often leads to making the opposite choice as what the persuader is pitching. Sometimes, persuasion attempts bring about a counter-arguing process in which a person reinstates an original position in opposition to the persuader’s. (Feenstra, 2011) Despite these attempts to protect, persuasion messages do get through, and more often than people care to admit. When it happens, a person often reconciles it by claiming they were interested in it, or considering it previously. It has been suggested, that the more self-control one practices, the more vulnerable they are to persuasion techniques. (Feenstra, 2011)

Bibliography

Feenstra, J. (2011). Introduction to Social Psychiatry. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. .

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