[ExI] classroom example

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 4 21:27:29 UTC 2023

I taught social psych for many years.  One of the tricks of persuasion is
'door in the face'.  You will recognize it in a moment.

On a Friday I told the class that we would have a test on the chapter just
finished on Monday.  They moaned and groaned, pleading weekend commitments
and so on.

So I said - we have finished the chapter, and so we have a test. That is
what we have been doing.  If we don't have a test on Monday what will we do?

More groaning.  So I finally said:  OK, we'll have it next Wednesday.  Oh
they were so thankful, but briefly.  Then I said 'door in the face'.  This
tactic is known to most children:  ask for  a baby brother and then settle
for a dog, which is all they wanted in the first place.  Or ask for $100
and 'settle' for $50.

"I was always planning on the test being given Wednesday, and you would
have groaned at that, but now you are happy with Wednesday.  That is,
unless you are unhappy at being manipulated." Which some were.   I wonder
if anyone would have caught it if I had not said anything.  Then I would
have looked like a good guy, not a manipulator.

I get lots of questions on Quora about manipulation - whether it is evil or
not.  Of course it can be used for good or evil, like most anything else.
bill w
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