Legitimizing Paltry Contributions

Legitimization of paltry contribution, also known as single penny tactic, is a useful persuasion technique for softening people’s hearts when soliciting charitable contributions, and it may work with other kinds of requests. Its essence is to present your request as minimal, non-threatening, small as a pixel.

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Pluralistic Ignorance and the Power of Social Norms

Social norms can be a major artery to influence and persuasion. Prescriptive social norms define what an acceptable behavior is in a particular society or a social group, for example, that it is not okay to have your cell phone ring when you’re in a church and your pastor is reaching a climax in his speech.

People conform to social norms in order to accepted, to avoid embarrassment, to be liked. The more people care about other people’s acceptance, the greater is the power of social norms. Social norms are especially useful when trying to change people’s behavior based on pluralistic ignorance, a phenomenon as widespread as syphilis and traffic accidents combined, but which lacks popular recognition commensurate with its pervasiveness.

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