People have a desire to look consistent through their words, beliefs, attitudes and deeds and this tendency is supported or fed from three sources:
# ''Good personal consistency is highly valued by society''
# ''Consistent conduct provides a beneficial approach to daily life''.
# A ''consistent orientation affords a valuable shortcut'' through the complexity of modern existence. That is by being consistent with earlier decisions we can reduce the need to process all the relevant information in future similar situations. Instead, one merely needs to recall the earlier decision and respond consistently. 

* Inconsistency is considered a negative personalty trait
* We are urged to behave in correspondence with the ''choices, norms and values'' we previously made
* As soon as we took a position on an issue, we are compelled internally to behave in correspondence with that issue

!The key to using the principles of Commitment and Consistency
This held to manipulate people to make some initial commitment. ''After making a commitment, taking a stand or position, people are more willing to agree to requests that are consistent with their prior commitment''. Examples:
** Begging people that first ask for a question and //then// for money get up to five times more money

Many compliance professionals will try to induce others to take an initial position that is consistent with a behavior they will later request. Commitments are most effective when they are:
* ''Active''
* ''Public''
* ''Effortful''
* ''Internally motivated'' and not coerced.

Once a stand is taken, there is a natural tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly consistent with the stand. The drive to be and look consistent constitutes a highly potent tool of social influence, often causing people to act in ways that are clearly contrary to their own best interests.

To recognize and resist the undue influence of consistency pressures upon our compliance decisions we can listen for signals coming from two places within us our stomach or "gut reaction" and our heart.
* A bad feeling in the pit of the stomach may appear when we realize that we are being pushed by commitment and consistency pressures to agree to requests we know we don't want to perform. 
* Our heart may bother us when it is not clear that an initial commitment was right. 
* At such points it is meaningful to ask a crucial question, "Knowing what I know now, if I could go back, would I have made the same commitment?" 
!Practical tips
* Ask your customer to take a stand on an issue first before asking them to take action
* If possible, let the customer write it down.

* In a study by social psychologist Steven J. Sherman residents were asked them to predict what they would say if asked to spend three hours collecting money for the American Cancer Society.
** Not wanting to seem uncharitable to the survey taker or to themselves, many of these people said that they would volunteer.
** The consequence of this sly commitment procedure was a 700 percent increase in volunteers when, a few days later, a representative of the American Cancer Society did call and ask for neighborhood canvassers.
* Ann even more crafty commitment technique has been developed recently by telephone solicitors for charity:
** Have you noticed that callers asking you to contribute to some cause or another these days seem to begin things by inquiring about your current health and well-being? “Hello Mr./Ms. Targetperson,” they say. “How are you feeling this evening?". 
** This question It is to get you to respond-as you normally do to such polite, superficial inquiries-with a polite, superficial comment of your omm: “Just Fine” or “Real good" or “I’m doing great, thanks.”
** Once ''//you have publicly stated that all is well//'', it becomes much easier for the solicitor to corner you into aiding those for whom all is not well: “I’m glad to hear that, because I’m calling to ask if you’d be willing to make a donation to help out the  unfortunate victims of...”
* Consumer researcher Daniel Howard put the theory to test.
** Dallas, Texas, residents were called on the phone and asked if they would agree to allow a representative of the Hunger Relief Committee to come to their homes to sell them cookies, the proceeds from which would be used to supply meals for the needy. When tried alone, that request (labeled the “standard solicitation npprunenl) produced only 10 percent agreement. However, if the caller initially asked, “How are you feeling this evening?" and waited for a reply before proceeding to the standard approach, several noteworthy things happened:
** First, of the 120 individuals called, most (108) gave the customary favorable reply (“Good,” “Fine,” “Real well,” etc.).
** Second, 32 percent of the people who get the “How are you feeling tonight” question agreed to receive the cookie seller at their homes, nearly twice the success rate of the standard solicitation approach.
** Third, true to the consistency principle, almost everyone who committed to such a visit purchased a cookie.

<<tiddler [[Robert Cialdini on consistency]]>>
Sun, 12 Jun 2011 19:19:29 GMT
Sun, 12 Jun 2011 19:19:29 GMT
Six principles of influence