Commitment and consistency is a psychological tendency that people have to always ensure consistency between actions and promises and their inner values and belief systems. It is one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion and can be a powerful influence on our behaviour because of the importance of our self-image.
Key things to note about commitment and consistency:
- Commitment is the key driver of consistency.
- Consistency is perceived to be a valuable personality trait. People will sometimes even go against their own beliefs to be perceived to be consistent.
- Asking people for a favour can create that sense of commitment as it can change their self-image (e.g. I’m someone who gives to the needy).
- Ask a question that says something about the type of person they are.
- Start with a small request and people are more willing to comply with a larger request later.
- Getting people to write something complementary about your brand helps to improve their perception of your product or service.
- People assume that what people write reflect their beliefs about a topic.
- Get staff to set their own targets and write them down on paper to benefit from commitment and consistency.
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