According to the Research Digest blog, if you want complete strangers to trust you, the best way to do so is to apologize for the bad weather or for a transportation delay.
That's the implication of a new study by researchers at Harvard Business School and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
The most compelling evidence came from Alison Brooks and her colleagues' fourth and final study in which a male actor approached 65 strangers (30 women) at a train station on a rainy day to ask to borrow their mobile phone. Crucially, for half of them he preceded his request with the superfluous apology: "I'm sorry about the rain!" The other half of the time he just came straight out with his request: "Can I borrow your cell phone?" The superfluous apology made a big difference. Forty-seven per cent of strangers offered their phone when the actor apologised for the rain first, compared with just nine per cent when there was no apology.
|Is That a Pilot in Your Pocket?|
|Shuttle Discovery's Final Flight|
|Women's Tears Lower a Man's Testosterone|
|We Could Be Living in a Two Dimensional Holographic Universe|
|The Most Information, The Fewest Words|
|“This conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.”|
|Japanese Create Ice Cream That Does Not Melt|
|Making a Movie Inside a Video Game|
|“Banning polluting cars in 2040 or 2050 doesn’t actually look like a very bold move.”|
|“Human and animal cells can be 3D printed into high-resolution tissue.”|
|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|Google Map Shows You the Most Photographed Areas of the World|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|