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Will This Pollster Trick Work on Your Kids?

As the election ramps up, I’m getting more calls from pollsters. Good for all those involved people who volunteer to make political calls! And good for my hard-working caller ID.

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.

More from me on Kid Scoop:

Use Superheroes to Teach Your Kids Science

Teacher’s Wishlist: Most Urgently Needed School Supplies

How Going to Church Helps Me Raise My Kids

Read more from me at Every Day I Write the Book.
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