This study reports the results of three field experiments which demonstrate that asking someone how they feel, having them verbally respond, and then acknowledging that response, facilitates compliance with a charitable request. The findings are discussed with respect to the influence of public commitments on behavioral consistency.
Before you ask anyone for a donation, you first ask them how they’re feeling. After they tell you they’re feeling good, and you tell them you’re glad they’re feeling good, they’ll be more likely to contribute to helping someone who isn’t.
Source: “The Influence of Verbal Responses to Common Greetings on Compliance Behavior: The Foot-In-The-Mouth Effect” from Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Volume 20, Issue 14, pages 1185–1196, August 1990
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