I rarely answer these calls, but when I do I’ll be interested to see if they use this psychological trick to bring out the vote.
This story explains that typical get-out-the-vote reminder calls can be more effective when the voters are asked a series of carefully constructed questions:
“What do you think you’ll be doing before you head to the polls on Tuesday?”
“Where do you think you’ll be coming from that day?”
These questions were designed by a Harvard professor named Todd Rogers. Rogers, among other things, is a behavioral psychologist, and he says he chose those questions for a very particular reason.
“We borrowed that from cognitive psychology,” he says, “There’s a lot of research showing that thinking through the actual moment when you will do something makes it more likely that the behavior will pop into your mind at the appropriate time.”
When questions are asked this way, your brain bookmarks them within the context of the questions. You are much more likely to remember. These calls proved to be pretty effective in increasing voter turn out.
I need to remember this strategy when I’m reminding my kids about their chores. Hopefully it will lead to less nagging on my part.
“What do you think you’ll be doing before you mow the lawn on Saturday?”
“Where do you think you’ll be coming from on your dish day?”
Give it a try! I hope it works.