Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

Psychology and Foot-in-the-door Tactic

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1. Describe how differences between high vs. low self-monitoring could influence each of the five stages of information processing when a target is being presented with the foot-in-the-door tactic of interpersonal influence. That is, for each separate stage, analyze what might be different in the way high self monitors make sense of this sequential request technique in contrast to low self monitors. Each stage has differences between high and low self monitors; therefore focusing on each stage will allow the contrasts between the two.

A high self monitor tends to read the social situation first and then present an appropriate face, as opposed to simply presenting a consistent image of self in every situation. A low self monitor behaves in accordance with an image of his “real” self. In the focusing stage, a high-self monitor is more than likely going to focus in detail and assess the situation more thoroughly than a low-self monitor.

Thinking more thoroughly will help the foot-in-the-door tactic because if it’s a well-thought out request a person is more than likely going to accept. The foot-in-the-door tactic is when a person agrees to a small request, which usually allows you to be better able to get them to agree to a later, larger request. In the storage stage, a high-self monitor is going to get in depth on the reasoning for why the situation is relevant and make more sense of the situation than a low-self monitor.

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By going in depth on the reasoning for why the situation is relevant and know why it makes sense, will help when using the foot-in-the-door tactic because you know exactly what you’re talking about which makes it easier for someone to believe you. During the integration and interference stage a high-self monitor is going to be able to assess the situation and assemble it in his/her mind whereas a low-self monitor might not be able to do that because they don’t like change at all.

Drawing inferences and thinking of things that usually aren’t thought of might be hard for a low-self monitor because they tend to be single minded and stubborn on their opinions and thoughts. Using the foot-in-the-door tactic is going to be easier for a high-self monitor to use since a low-self monitor doesn’t have the will to change or think differently about certain things, which is going to make it harder to get someone else to agree with you if you’re stubborn and single minded.

For the selection stage, it is going to be easier for a low-self monitor to label things because a high-self monitor is going to be worried about what other people are going to think about his/her labeling. A low-self monitor can’t put on different “faces”, or social identities, for different situations; they’re opinion is always their opinion and no one is going to change that, which might be hard when using the foot-in-the-door tactic.

If someone doesn’t agree with you then they aren’t going to accept your request. Finally for the implementation stage, a high-self monitor is going be able to act upon it and relate the situation to other things easier than a low-self monitor because a high-self monitor is highly sensitive to external cues and can act differently in different situations, which will help when trying to figure out how something relates to other things.

By using the foot-in-the-door tactic, a high-self monitor is going to be better at getting someone to accept their response because there are more flexible in adapting their leadership styles to changing situations; which is going to be useful when figuring out how to response or how to use things during this stage. 2. What role is played by self-schema in managing each of the interpersonal objectives when someone is dealing with the various stages of romantic relational dissolution (e. g. , trial rejuvenation)?

That is, when a romance is “falling apart,” describe the relationship between partners’ self concepts and their balancing of the separate “issues” they must simultaneously address when influencing and interacting with one another. Imagine you and your partner have created a separate identity; bigger then either one of you and full of each of you. Together you have created a “relational” schema. A living, breathing entity owned by both parties until the dissolution of your romantic relationship begins, occurs, and concludes. What happens when ours turns into mine?

When we’re becomes I’m? Maybe a girl looks around at lunch and sees a cute guy and starts to imagine how things might be if they were in a romantic relationship. The possibility of the unknown versus what she already knows. Her boyfriend has no idea that water has just been added to his romantic relational gas tank. Breakups are never easy. Usually less then ten percent of college romantic relationships break up on mutual terms. So, typically, it is one person, usually the female, taking the lead, creating “the influenced” and the “influencer”.

When the influencer, in this case lets say her name is Debra, changes her objective, the influenced, lets call him Bronson, has no choice but to be influenced. No one can change another person’s goals or objectives without influence and since we know Bronson is the influenced his are being altered by the dissolution of their romantic relationship. When two partners begin to remind each other that they are separate individuals and they have other concerns besides their relationship (differentiating); that is the beginning of the end.

While an individual remembers that they have other goals that require other objectives, his or her self-schema is also changing. Differentiating will not only begin the dissolution process but will begin the initial steps of re-adaptation, for each individual, of self-schema. Throughout the dissolution of the relationship self-schema for each individual will be a product of the perception of the relationship, a sense of social sensitivity, and the objectives set to achieve each individuals overall goals. Self-schema, once realized and owned, will lead to new objectives.

It will also be evolving constantly while the relationship continues to move toward a more self-schema based relationship as opposed to a relational schema, as defined in the book. Relational objectives change as the relationship deteriorates and ones self-schema will lead the way through the relational objective challenges because once an individual has a self-schema his objectives change. Each individual will perceive the relationship in his or her own way and without self-disclosure, circumscribing begins (usually in one partner).

Social sensitivity in the dissolution of a romantic relationship is widely publicized in mass media, so much so that it’s almost a script now. Once communication has been restricted in circumscribing, stagnation sets in quickly. During stagnation there is less physical time spent together there might be room and cause to try for a hail marry. This might be a good place for the last chance effort to save the relationship by taking part in a trial rejuvenation. Maybe a weekend alone to get back to what’s important or just some along time to even out their relational keel is needed.

But if the trials rejuvenation comes up short and leaves both parties with a sour taste in their mouths then each persons self-schema becomes more defined and more important to each individual then the relational schema. Following the self-schemas strength relational objectives change and the identity objectives start to become clearer. These changes in self-schema and objectives lead to avoidance. Avoidance is probably the most difficult step in the dissolution of the relationship. Initial discussions about breaking up are dealt with simultaneously as being interested in others.

Individuals go out of their way to limit the amount of face-to-face interactions. The pain is too much for people to stand. Self-schema is “holding strong” but this is the most vulnerable point in ones self-schema. Both relational and instrumental objectives follow suit with self-schema but the identity objectives help to encourage the individual toward the final resolution. The final dissolution of the romantic relationship, that is not a physical or psychological departure, is termination.

It usually consists of talk that prepares each individual for the end, otherwise known as the “grave-dressing phase”. Self-schema has developed into a “single” idea of self and the objectives an individual once held in such high regard while in a relationship are no longer in place. Relational objectives are more centered on family and friends and the time spent with each. Although there is no way to tell how long it will take to develop a pure self-schema that will not include a former partner we do know when the process began… the process began when “ours became mine”. . To what extent does a student’s level of psychological reactance to a professor’s attempt to change their behavior depend on (a) the student’s perceptions of the professor’s level of interpersonal power and (b) whether the student has a relatively high- or relatively low-level of cognitive complexity in the interpersonal domain? That is, how much does this type of mental reaction depend on both the social power of the agent as well as the social experience of the target?

The psychological reactance to a professor’s attempt to change a student’s behavior depends greatly on the cognitive complexity of the student and interpersonal power of the professor. However, there will always be some degree of psychological reactance during the first class sessions. When the students and professors meet to create the learning environment they share certain expectations like the fact that teacher is the agent and the students are the targets. The standards of the environment vary greatly from student to student and the instructor.

However, students can expect to have instructor expectations laid out in the syllabus, home/class work, and tests. A professor can expect to have teaching skills, grading capabilities, and office time to provide to his students. The level of success the professor has depends on how much power he is perceived to have by the student. There are various powers that the professor could use to try to influence the student. The professor holds reward power in the form of grades. Coercive power can be used by the professor who gives pop quizzes, inspiring fear among his students.

A professor has expert power in the form of knowledge, that’s why they are teaching and not the students. Referent power can be used through physical attractiveness. Finally, a professor can use legitimate power because he is a representative of the establishment. We believe the most successful powers a professor can use to influence a behavior change in a student are legitimate, expert and reward power. Reward power in the form of grades is something tangible the student has to have in order to graduate. If the student has to change their behavior to achieve the grade, it will happen.

Expert power in the form of knowledge shared is what we pay to have access to as students. Why would a student pay thousands of dollars to go to college if they aren’t going to listen and learn from the professors? Legitimate power plays along the same lines as expert power. The university has given this professor power over the student, trusting the professor to teach the student enough to have an understanding of the subject. The relationship can be altered at any time throughout the course by either party in how they interpersonally communicate with each other.

For example, if a student has only one class and lots of time to complete work or discuss things with the professor, they may perceive the professors course as beneficial and would have little psychological reactance towards the instructor. On the flip side, if a student has multiple classes and little time to discuss things with the professor, they may perceive the class as pointless and may have more intense psychological reactance towards the instructor. However, the ideal outcomes of this shared learning experience re often diminished by the fact that either party’s expected standards are not always met in real life due to other circumstances. Therefore, a student’s level of psychological reaction has as much to do with their cognitive complexity as it does with the professor’s interpersonal power. For things to be ideal there must be a balance or mutual understanding between student and professor. Now a student with a relatively high level of cognitive complexity will be able to examine the situation and think of different possibilities.

While a student probably won’t think of the situation in theory form, they would think of it from the past experiences viewpoint. A high cognitive complexity student can use what they have learned in the past from similar experiences to decide how to react to the professor trying to change their behavior. Now this says nothing about the social power of the professor. A professor would have more experience than the student, but not necessarily in the form of attempting to change the behavior.

This is where things such as the reputation of the professor comes in, as well as impressions the student has formed of the professor. A low cognitive complexity student though, won’t think about the situation as much. They would probably remember a time or two from the past, but that’s about it. The student will most likely ‘go with the flow’ and either fall in with the professor’s wishes or be stubborn. If the professor has a strong sense of social power though, the student will probably fall in with his plan to change the behavior.

The easier path is what will be more likely chosen by someone of low cognitive complexity because it is easier for such a person to follow the crowd then to decide what to do based on past experiences. This also means there will be less psychological reactance to the professor and what the professor is trying to encourage in the student’s behavior. Some students just expect to be let down or accept the fact they can’t change anything. The system and/or the teaching methods used are insufficient to meet the learning goals of the student.

They know there are rules and they know they are the student, but being in that subordinate position is counter-productive to their lifestyles/goals (even though it’s socially expected to “move on with life”) and they may have increased psychological reactance towards the professor regardless of any circumstances. In such instances, reverse psychology can sometimes be a tool of influence. However, reverse psychology will work better for a low cognitive student compared to a high cognitive student.

Psychology and Foot-in-the-door Tactic essay

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