Thursday, March 29, 2018

Activate Prior Knowledge for Senior Persuasion

Recount benefits of a product or politician to a consumer in similar ways often enough and the consumer could become certain of the existence of the benefits. The effect is so well-established by decades of research that consumer scientists coined the term “truth effect” to refer to it.
     The problem is that the beliefs due to the truth effect do not need to be true. What is repeated gets easier to understand, and ease of understanding facilitates persuasion. Consumers might be fooled by any misleading messages which happen to be much easier to comprehend than are accurate complex messages.
     The problem is more severe in older than in younger adults because of how age impacts memory. People remember both a statement and the degree of truth. Older adults tend to forget the degree of truth. In one study, participants of varying ages were presented various true and false statements three times. The statement “Corn chips contain twice as much fat as potato chips” was presented with a correct “False” designation each time. Later, the younger adults in the study remembered the statement as false much more often than did the older adults.
     Researchers at Duke University and Claremont McKenna College find that senior citizens can mobilize an effective defense against this problem: Activating their past experiences. In those cases where the older adults take the time to consider what they already know about a topic, they are more resistant to chicanery.
     For the seniors to take the time, they must believe they have the time. As our objective is to ethically persuade our consumers, don’t rush them. The researchers say that seniors will then naturally activate memories of past experiences because they’ve become accustomed to doing so in their daily lives. The evidence is that older adults learn to use this as a way to compensate for other cognitive deficits.
     The effectiveness does depend on the older adult having built the subject matter knowledge in the past. If it’s not there to consult, the senior can be more easily fooled. This argues for the ethical persuader to take even more time, beyond not rushing the client, in order to educate the client.
     The results can explode myths of the relentless deterioration of abilities with advancing age. It might explain why University of Waterloo researchers found no evidence senior citizens were more susceptible to financial scams than were younger citizens.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Impact Shoppers with Creative Repetition
Unknot Distortions from Using “Not”
Give Shoppers Reason to Believe
Protect Seniors from Poor Financial Capacity

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