Supply: Craig Adderley/Pixels
Elicitation is a way to acquire delicate info with out asking direct questions. Direct questions set off defensive responses to guard info folks would favor to stay unsaid.
Elicitation works as a result of elicitation methods are based mostly on behavioral traits that predispose folks to disclose delicate info they might not usually reveal when requested a direct query. For instance, creating cognitive dissonance predisposes folks to disclose delicate info unknowingly.
Individuals attempt to take care of inner consistency or equilibrium. Cognitive dissonance, or lack of equilibrium, happens when an individual holds two opposing concepts concurrently. Cognitive dissonance may also happen when persons are introduced with concepts that immediately oppose what they suppose or consider. Cognitive dissonance causes emotions of discomfort and nervousness.
The depth of cognitive dissonance depends upon how extremely an individual values the opposing perspective. Cognitive dissonance is bigger when the opposing views are private. The higher the cognitive dissonance, the extra stress an individual feels the necessity to scale back or eradicate the cognitive dissonance and, thereby, alleviate nervousness.
The nervousness attributable to cognitive dissonance may be alleviated in a number of methods. First, the individual might change their beliefs or attitudes. Second, the individual might try and persuade different those who their beliefs aren’t legitimate. Or, third, they’ll outright dismiss the opposing view as invalid.
College students in my writing class face cognitive dissonance once they see the grades for his or her first report writing task. College students come into the classroom considering they’re good writers. They see the poor grades on their first task and suppose, “Perhaps I’m not an excellent author; not less than that’s what my professor thinks.” These two opposing views trigger cognitive dissonance.
At this level, the scholars have three choices to scale back the nervousness created by cognitive dissonance. First, they may spend numerous time convincing me that they’re, in reality, good writers. Second, they may admit they’re poor writers and take steps to enhance their writing abilities. Or, third, they may outright dismiss my critique as mistaken. I then remark, that inducing cognitive dissonance additionally serves as an efficient elicitation method.
One in all my college students was skeptical. The scholar who challenged me was an excellent scholar, however he failed to show in a number of class assignments and had mediocre examination grades. I requested the scholar if he thought he was an excellent scholar. He replied, “Sure.”
I requested, “What does it take to be an excellent scholar?” I requested him this to have him set up a baseline of what attributes he believes an excellent scholar ought to possess.
He informed me, “Not lacking class, finishing the assignments, taking part at school discussions, learning for exams.”
After establishing a baseline, I induced cognitive dissonance. I stated, “I observed you failed to show in a number of class assignments. I additionally observed that your examination scores are mediocre.”
The scholar paused and replied, “I’m an excellent scholar. It’s simply that I’m taking seven lessons this semester, and I’m overwhelmed with coursework. In addition to, I’m attempting to graduate early as a result of I need to get a job and begin earning profits so I can get married as quickly as I graduate. I could have missed a number of issues on this class, however I’m an excellent scholar.”
The scholar realized that he didn’t meet his self-described definition of an excellent scholar, which created cognitive dissonance. To cut back the nervousness attributable to cognitive dissonance, he offered info to justify that he was an excellent scholar regardless of his poor class efficiency.
On the finish of my lecture, the scholar approached me and stated, “I actually am an excellent scholar.” He continued to recite extra causes how he might be an excellent scholar and but fail to show within the assignments and do poorly on exams. He reassured me that any further, he would flip in his assignments on time and research tougher for the exams. The scholar’s efficiency elevated considerably after our dialogue.
Inducing cognitive dissonance achieved two targets. The primary goal was to seek out out why the scholar was not doing his greatest in my class, and the second goal was to assist the scholar notice that he ought to take steps to enhance his class efficiency and, extra importantly, reside as much as his self-described expectations of what an excellent scholar must be.
Elicitation is a robust method to acquire delicate info that individuals wouldn’t in any other case reveal below direct questioning.