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How to Persuade Someone to Get a Hearing Test

We don’t need to explain to you the symptoms of hearing loss; you already know them all too well. You have a different kind of problem: persuading someone you care about to get their hearing assessed and treated.

But how are you expected to get through to someone who denies there is even a problem, or that simply shrugs it off as “just part of getting old”?

It turns out that it’s not as simplistic as just recommending to them that they need their hearing examined. They won’t see the need, and you won’t get very far with threats, ultimatums, or other coercive methods.

Even though it may seem like a hopeless scenario, there are other, more discreet strategies you can employ. In fact, you can tap into the massive body of social scientific research that teaches which practices of persuasion have been discovered to be the most consistently successful.

This means, you can utilize tested, researched, and validated persuasive strategies that have been shown to actually work. It’s worth an attempt, right? And scanning the strategies might make it easier to think of additional ideas.

With that in mind, here are 6 scientifically tested methods of persuasion and how you might use them to persuade a loved one to get their hearing tested:

1. Reciprocity

What it is:

The basic principle of reciprocity is very simple: if someone does a favor for you, you’re powerfully motivated to return the favor for them.

How to use it:

Timing is everything. You plan on asking your loved one to get their hearing examined at some point anyway, so why don’t you render the request just after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a strong psychological motivation to think and behave consistently.

How to use it:

The trick is to begin with small commitments in advance of making the final request. If you start off by ordering your loved one to get a hearing test, you probably won’t see much success.

Instead, ease into the topic by casually sharing an article on hearing loss and how prevalent it is. Without mentioning their own hearing loss, get them to admit that hearing loss is a more prominent problem than they had assumed.

As soon as they concede to a couple of basic facts, it may be easier to talk about their own individual hearing loss, and they may be more likely to disclose that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

We tend to think in terms of “safety in numbers.” We have a tendency to conform to the crowd, and we assume that if a number of other people are doing something, it must be safe or beneficial.

How to use it:

There are at minimum two ways to use this strategy. One way is to share articles on the many advantages of wearing hearing aids and how hearing aids elevate the quality of life for millions of people in the U.S. and globally.

The second way to use the approach is to set up a hearing test for yourself. Inform your loved one that you want to check on the health of your own hearing, but that you would feel better if they went with you and had their own assessment.

4. Liking

What it is:

You are more likely to be persuaded by people you personally like than by either a stranger or by someone you dislike.

How to use it:

Solicit the assistance of those you know your loved one likes or respects. Attempt to find that one person whom your loved one consistently seems to respond to, and have him or her discuss and recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

We are inclined to listen to and respect the feedback of those we perceive as authority figures.

How to use it:

Share articles on how celebrities, professional athletes, and other distinguished figures use and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from trustworthy sources that outline the necessity of having your hearing tested. As an example, the World Health Organization recently published an article titled “1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss.”

6. Scarcity

What it is:

Scarcity brings about a sense of urgency when what we want is perceived as limited or in short supply. Scarcity creates the perception that, if we don’t act immediately, we may lose something forever.

How to use it:

The latest research has coupled hearing loss to a multitude of serious conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, memory impairment, and rapid cognitive decline. Hearing loss also gets worse as time passes, so the earlier it’s corrected, the better.

To apply scarcity, share articles, such as our earlier blog post titled 8 reasons hearing loss is more dangerous than you think, with your loved one. Show them that each day spent with untreated hearing loss exacerbates the hearing loss, deteriorates health, and heightens the risk of developing more serious conditions.


If all else fails, just give it to them straight. Convey to your loved ones how their hearing loss affects you, together with how it’s affecting your relationship. When you make it about your needs and feelings rather than theirs, the reaction is usually better.

Have you had success persuading someone to have their hearing tested? Let us know your methods in a comment.

Source

The six principles of persuasion were developed by Dr. Robert Cialdini, and can be found in his book titled “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at 9:00 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.