Social Judgement Theory

Food for thought: Want to know how to be effectively persuasive? I’ll let you in on a few tips.

food for thought
The premise here is the way we perceptually judge our own attitudes and compare them to attitudes of others. Think of any subject that is controversial, and take note of where you stand on this issue. This point of stance is called an anchor point. Imagine your anchor point sitting on a continuum, in which one end, the stance would be accepting of the issue, and the other would be totally rejecting it. In the middle would be non-commitment. These are all latitudes, latitudes of attitudes. So if you want to move somebody’s anchor point, here’s the secret – you must deliver a message to them that is near their anchor point, but close to the latitude you want their anchor to move to. If the message you convey to them is too far away from the anchor point, you could push them further away from your intended goal. The objective is to be close to the viewpoint of the person you are trying to persuade but in a position along the continuum that is closer to your anchor point. This will broaden their latitude of acceptance, and if executed properly change their viewpoint on the subject.

After considering the social judgement theory, I immediately thought of George Lakoff , professor of cognitive linguistics and one time student of the great Noam Chomsky. More from Wikipedia of Lakoff:

“George Lakoff is most famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society. He is particularly famous for his concept of the “embodied mind,” which he has written about in relation to mathematics. In recent years he has applied his work to the realm of politics, exploring this in his books. He is the founder of the progressive think tank, the Rockridge Institute.There is an amazing book called Moral Politics, which explores the argument that Conservatives and liberals hold 2 different conceptual models of morality.”

I actually heard Lakoff give a talk once on how to effectively engage (without fighting an emotional battle) with conservatives. He utilized several techniques similar to the “Social Judgement Theory”, and urged full understanding of the social framing of the conservative perspective.

Heady? Yeah. Academic? Maybe.

Food for thought? You bet!!!!!!!!!!!

No calories, at least. :)

1 comment for “Social Judgement Theory

  1. Emily
    July 20, 2007 at 11:49 am

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