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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Persuasion: Consensus

This is the 3rd in a series of 6 posts from a book review of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive.

Consensus: In an experiment involving compliance of hotel guests in order to measure the effect of social pressure (consensus), researchers (Goldstein, Cialdini, and Griskevicius) simply placed a sign in each hotel room asking guests to reuse towels for the sake of the environment. There was an immediate uptick in the number of people who cooperated. When the wording on the sign was altered to not only appeal to the environment but to state that the majority of guests complied with this request, the compliance rate rose to 26%. Finally, when the sign was altered yet again, this time to say that not only did most guests reuse towels, but also that guests who had stayed in that room previously and cooperated with recycling the compliance rate shot up to 33%. Please recycle paper after you read it!

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