Can You Encourage Pro-Social Behavior?
Now that you are an expert in the use of interpersonal influence strategies, can you use what you know to change the behaviors of others? Advertisers and salespeople often use interpersonal influence strategies to make money When in the hands of an unethical influence agent, these strategies can be used to take advantage of you. But they can also be used to promote pro-social behavior changes in attitudes, beliefs, and/or behavior that benefit others, and society as a whole. In this Application Assignment, your goal is to use your understanding of interpersonal influence to encourage people to engage in pro-social behavior.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review the sections in Chapter 7 of the course text, Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives, on reciprocity, social validation, and commitment. Reflect again on the rules and psychological processes that cause each type of strategy to influence change.
- Identify and describe the steps that are required to use the door-in-the face strategy, the list technique, the four-walls technique, and the legitimization of paltry-favors strategy. Familiarize yourself with how researchers have tested the effectiveness of each strategy.
- Reflect for a moment on the behavior that each strategy has been shown to change. Consider how you would measure the effectiveness of these interpersonal influence strategies. Can you think of other ways to test a given strategy’s effectiveness?
The assignment (1–3 pages):
For each of the scenarios below, describe: 1) the steps in the strategy, 2) the rule or psychological process that makes it work, and 3) how you would implement the strategy and how you would measure the effectiveness of the strategy. Your responses must be 1–2 paragraphs for each of the following scenarios:
- Design a way to increase a person’s exercise habits using a door-in-the-face strategy.
- Get people to reduce their water consumption using a list technique.
- Create a way to get more people to volunteer time at a soup kitchen by using a four-walls technique.
- Get people to start recycling by using a legitimization of paltry-favors strategy.