Other people have a profound affect on our behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. A friend can coax another to drink alcohol at a party, despite being underage. A husband can convince his wife that she deserves to be beaten, and a professor can entice a student to prefer one philosophy over the others. These incidents demonstrate how easily influenced humans are, especially when they do not pay attention. Since the results can be severe, it is important for individuals to learn and recognize the various methods used to exploit them. During my research, I came across at least four methods which are frequently practiced: “Door-in-the-Face Technique,” “Foot-in-the-Door Technique,” “That’s-Not-All Technique”, and “Expertise” The first one I encountered was “Door-in-the-Face Technique, a method often used by children (Taylor, Peplau, & Sears, 2006).
On the night of October 21, 2010, my younger brother and I ventured to Wal-Mart in an attempt to purchase a pair of golden stud earrings. I hoped to replace the pair I lost last summer. Upon entering, we found the store, usually swarming with customers, surprisingly calm. Not bare, but peaceful. Wal-Mart itself is a corporate retail store which has a variety of items up for purchasing. These items are organized in sections, such as “electronics,” “toys,” and “baby.” In general, the aisles are packed with items, from the floor to the ceiling, of relatively low prices. However, the “jewelry” section is set apart; it contains a counter which separates the adornments from the rest of the merchandise. Behind this counter, there was a man named Matt. His long beard and otherwise slovenly appearance made him seem quite out of place among the sparkle.
The Door-in-the-Face technique is a tactic used by some salespersons to win over clients. The merchant begins by suggesting an expensive product, which they really have no expectation of selling. When the shopper denies this outrageous proposal, the merchant then draws attention to a more reasonably-priced product. S/he hopes the consumer will feel guilty about their prior rejection and will thus agree to their new alleged compromise (Taylor, Peplau, & Sears, 2006).
When Matt learned that I was looking for a pair of earrings, he presented me with a pair that cost over two hundred dollars. After I informed him that I only need a cheap replacement pair, he showed me a pair for only forty dollars. While forty dollars was still out of my budget range, Matt’s actions clearly demonstrate the Door-in-the-Face technique. Despite this, I was not persuaded, but annoyed. His persistence actually incited me to resist his efforts. I recognize that this aggravation may have been caused by my familiarity with the strategies of salesmen. Still, I would not have continued to drop the prices. Instead, I would have attempted another technique.
The second approach I stumbled upon during my field experience is often linked to door-to-door salesmen. It is called the...