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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 31-May-15

 


Sunday 21-May-15

The power of the 'Yes' option

A big and ongoing issue in the UK is the question of whether it wants to continue to be a member of the European Union. While there are business and social benefits, there are many 'Euro-sceptics' who believe that the downsides, including value-destroying bureaucracy and unrestricted immigration, are ultimately worse for the country than the benefits. And so, in the recent general election, the Conservatives promised to hold an 'in-out' referendum, so the people of the country can decide whether or not they want to continue to be a part of the Union.

A very significant decision has just been made, that will probably delight the Europhiles: The question will be 'Do you want to stay in the EU', rather than 'Do you want to leave the EU'.

It may seem trivial, but the decision in yes/no questionnaire items is a big deal. Why? Because people prefer to say 'yes' than 'no'. If you have a strong opinion, then this is not significant. You know whether to say 'yes' or 'no'. But if you face a question where you are unsure of how to answer, then your unconscious mind will nudge you towards saying 'yes'. This is because society teaches us that being positive is a good thing.

We are rewarded for being nice. A simple example is that if you ask somebody to help you, then phrasing the words in a friendly way and smiling as you ask will be far more likely to succeed than being negative in your request. And as you probably know, phrasing your question so they say 'yes' to what you want is better than hoping they say 'no'.

For the campaigns around the referendum, this decision allows the Europhiles to be the 'Yes Campaign', and so appear to be the nice people.

Europhiles 1 - Eurosceptics 0


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