Chapter 10: The norm of commitment: Keeping your promises (pp. 365–369)
- What does the low-ball technique stand for?
- Why do people stick by their commitments even when the deal has changed?
In this topic
The Low-Ball Technique
The low-ball technique is used when an influencer secures an agreement with a request, but then increases the size of that request by revealing hidden costs.
Case study: The low-ball technique
Research activity: The low-ball technique
Long-Term Consequences of Commitment
The norm of social commitment requires us to stand by agreements and fulfill our obligations.
People stick by their commitments for several reasons.
They feel an obligation to fulfill their social commitments.
Such commitments help us to maintain a positive view of ourselves, and reduce cognitive dissonance.
The original commitment is strengthened by the addition of supportive new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (cognitive bolstering).
So what does this mean?
The norm of social commitment requires us to keep our promises. This norm is used in the low-ball technique, which relies on the fact that people usually stick to the deal even though it has changed for the worse. The reason people stick to their commitment is that they want to fulfill social commitments and maintain a positive self-image. People strengthen their original commitment by the addition of supportive new thoughts and feelings (cognitive bolstering).