Monday, February 04, 2008


I just got a funny phone call. He said he had a quick three-question poll and I said let's do it. Question one was something like: Mitt Romney raised taxes in Massachusettes by $700 million and called it fees while effectively negating the Bush tax cuts. Does this make you more or less likely to vote for Mitt Romney? I laughed out loud and since 'no difference' was not an option, I said it makes me more likely. Question number two was something like: National polls show that John McCain has a real chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the general election while Mitt Romney lags behind in every national poll. Does this make you more or less likely to vote for Mitt Romney? Again, I laughed out loud and said more likely. Then I mused aloud, Gee, I wonder who is sponsoring this three-question poll. The guy laughed along with me and said, I'll just skip the third question, sir. Thank you for your time.


E said...

The pollster was trying to work the Consistency Principle on you. If you can get someone to state a proposition out loud, even to some pollster who doesn't figure in their life, the likelihood of them changing their behavior to be consistent with what they said is significant. See Cialdini, INFLUENCE: The Psychology of Persuasion. That poll is genius!

Tom said...

Third Question:

Does the frequency with which Mitt Romney beats his wife create a desire in you to be married to McCain.

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