In our experiment, we strived to find our how to improve persuasion by building up the appropriateness between the identity of persuader and the content of advertisement. We also conducted a follow-up study. The hypothesis was that people in a group have strong social bond and unconsciously want to appear cooperative to their group members
People would be more convinced to offer help if the persuader was relevant to the issue.
We randomly sampled 160 shoppers in Shanghai, half of whom we selected from a high-end store named Jing An Kerry Centre and half from a low-end store named Reel Shopping Mall. We further equally divided the shoppers in two shopping malls into several subgroups. The table below can effectively present how we intentionally classify these subgroups.
The experimenters were five Grade eleven students from The Experimental High School Attached To Beijing Normal University. These Shoppers were diverse in different age groups, shopping alone or in groups, and approximately equal numbers of males and females.
We based on two actual platforms on WeChat run by students expecting to gain popularity. Statement 1 and 2: “Hello,(I’m a student from Shanghai Baoji Middle School.)This is a student-run charity project to help disabled children in Muyangdi. Every month we would visit them and bring them necessities. I hope you can support this project by scanning this QR code.”
The other platform provides suggestions about security when studying abroad. We designed a statement that could help with advertising.
Statement 3 and 4: “Hello,(I’m a student from Shanghai Baoji Middle School.)This is a Wechat platform run by myself to provide information for students who study abroad. I am trying to enlarge the followers base so I sincerely hope you can scan this QR code and follow this account.”
The chart above can directly present the procedure of the experiment.
We firstly conducted the experiment in the high-end store——Jing AnKerry Centre, and then Reel Shopping Mall. The experimenters are separate in different floors to ensure the efficiency of experiment. For each group, every experimenter randomly chose four shoppers to collect data.
The result didn’t quite confirm our hypothesis. When the experimenters wore school uniforms, only 47.2 percent of subjects agreed to accept student information advertisement. However, when the experimenters didn’t wore school uniforms, dressing up like adults, 67.7percent of subjects agreed to accept charity project advertisement, much higher than the acceptance percentage of student information advertisement. We could partly conclude that the fitness exerted certain influence to persuasion but the effect was not significant.We also found out an unexpected result: during our experiment, we discovered that people were more likely to accept the request when they were in groups, especially couples or families.
People in a group have strong social bond and unconsciously want to appear cooperative to their group members.
I sampled 68 students in Special A to finish the survey questionnaires. There were 32 copies of questionnaires in version 1, and 36 copies of questionnaires in version 2. The sample was approximately equal numbers of males and females.
I designed two versions of survey questions.
The first version:
You are on the street alone a stranger asks you to take the survey, would you take the survey or not?
The second version:
You are on the street with a group of friends and a stranger asks you to take the survey, would you take the survey or not?
I employed the between-subject design whereby the subjects wouldn’t be aware of the difference between the two versions. I just distributed the questionnaires to students and then collected them back.
The result of the survey questionnaire to a great extent confirmed my assumption. When I compared the percent of acceptance among individuals and groups, 48.6% and 51.4% respectively, and the percent of rejection among individuals and groups, 45.2% and 54.8% respectively, the result still didn’t show remarkable difference.
For subjects in individual, 22.6 percent of them agreed the advertisement, and 65.8 percent of them rejected the advertisement. For subjects in groups, 77.4 percent of them agreed the advertisement, and 34.2 percent of them rejected the advertisement. I found out that people indeed appeared more cooperative when being with others. This sharp difference also formed remarkable contrast with the results of the survey questionnaire, leading to my conclusion that people would unconsciously build up social bond and appeal more cooperative to their group members.