ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract

ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract - Start

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ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract - Description

1.2 Effectiveness of flattering techniquesTo be effective, a compliment must be recognised by the listener, but how effective is a compliment when the listener knows that the person who gave it did th ID: 89456 Download Pdf

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ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract




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Presentations text content in ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract

ingratiation techniques in C. de Haan, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, P.O. Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands (C.deHaan@tudelft.nl, B.A.Andeweg@tudelft.nl, W.J.Blokzijl@ Abstract Engineers hardly ever flatter their listeners when gi 1.2 Effectiveness of flattering techniquesTo be effective, a compliment must be recognised by the listener, but how effective is a compliment when the listener knows that the person who gave it did this for his own benefit? In the literature this is called the ‘ingratiators’ dilemma’ [7]: the more obvious it is you are flattering someone, the less effective the compliment will be, but when a compliment on the other hand isn’t recognised, there is no effect at all. Research shows that flattery works even when the target knows the ingratiator seeks his own advantage. For example: using flattery when selling tickets can easily double the sales, even though buyers are aware of the flattery being a sales a sales 1.3 Research question Unlike professional presenters and politicians, engineers don’t frequently use ingratiation techniques in speeches [9]. In view of the positive effects of flattery this might be incorrect. Presentations of engineers could be more effective when they do flatter their audience. Our main research question is whether a presenter (instructor) acts wisely when he praises and flatters his audience to enlarge its benevolence. To develop an answer for such a broad question we describe experimental research into the effectiveness of flattering techniques in presentations. We also take into account the effects of flattery that isn’t well tuned to the audience. 2. A DEFINITION OF FLATTERY We have seen that both classical and modern advisers mention flattery, whether it is recommended or not. But what exactly is flattery? Do the advisers agree on this? A definition of this notion in accordance with presentation techniques is missing. Therefore, we need to define flattery in presentations. First we will take a look at the notion flattery used in other situations than presentations (2.1). Bases on these definitions we will give a definition of flattery when used in presentations (2.2). 2.1 Flattery in non-presentations A definition of flattery can be found in social psychology, where flattery is being studied as a way of strategic behaviour to increase the attractiveness of the actor to the target. The actor wants to affect the perception of the target and influence his decisions. Normally, we take decisions by weighing one criterion against another, but sometimes we don’t do this, due to a lack of time or some other reason, and than we take decisions based on heuristics and rules of thumb [10]. In situations like this, flattery seems effective. Vonk says: “being flattered simply puts targets in a good mood even before they start questioning the flatterer’s motives.” [11] Therefore a target is less critical towards the actor [12] and more willing to accept his message [13]. In these cases affecting one’s perception seems to be a successful strategy. This type of strategic behaviour is also called ingratiation. Edward Jones, one of the pioneering investigators in this area, defines ingratiation as follows: “The term ingratiation refers to a class of strategic behaviours illicitly designed to influence a particular person concerning the attractiveness of one’s personal qualities.” [14] Examples of strategic behaviour are rendering favours, opinion conformity and flattering. Jones doesn’t use the term flattery but speaks about complimentary other enhancement, about which he says: “This class of tactics probably comes closest to the meaning of flattery in its everyday usage. The ingratiator finds ways to express a high, positive evaluation of the target person and emphasises the latter’s various strenghts and virtues.” [15]. This strategy is effective because “people find it hard not to like those who think highly of them.” [16] There is a difference between flattering and making a person a compliment, but in practice they are hardly distinguishable. Verbiest for instance, defines a compliment as a positive judgment of value of someone or of something that concerns the other person [17]. She suggests that there is question of flattery when the actor has a specific purpose and wants to achieve more than just being nice [18]. In her opinion knowledge of the true purpose of the actor is necessary to distinguish both notions. In everyday situations it will be very hard to make this distinction. Another way of distinguishing flattery and compliments is looking at the status of actor and target. A compliment of an actor with a lower status than the target will be considered more likely as flattery than vice versa [19]. A specific situation in which positive evaluations function, is an educational one: teachers positively evaluate the work of students. We can presume strategic behaviour: a positive evaluation fortifies shown or desirable Neutral speech (NF) Moderate flattery (MF) Excessive flattery (XV) I stand before an audience of students, anywhere; Delft is renowned around the world for its solid handling of complex problems. That is why Delft engineers are much in Delft is renowned around the world for its solid handling of complex problems. The design capacitiesare celebrated. Didn’t Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer say that Delft engineers always go straight for the heart of the matter? That is why Delft engineers are much in demand. This is a subject that that is fit for a broad audience. After all, everyone has to deal with numbers and with the relation between the different groups of numbers. In the end everybody has to deal with numbers. A broad audience can handle a subject really fits. Engineers like you are easy-going with numbers and have a good insight in the relation between numbers The general audience sometime recoils for this subject, but for a public like you I your heart. Skills that everybody can learn, whether you work for a company or for the Skills that everyone possesses, but especially a Delft engineer. Skills that you as Delft engineers obviously posses and with which you distinguish yourselves. TABLE 1. Examples of differences in flattery between the three speeches On the basis of the results the formulation of the fragments was adjusted, because it turned out that some flatteries that we meant to be extreme were judged moderate and vice versa. In the end we had three variations of the same presentation that differed on twelve clauses/paragraphs. The flatteries were evenly distributed throughout the speech. Because of the inserted compliments the speeches differed somewhat in length (NF-version: 2343 words, 14.57 minutes; MF-version: 2377 words, 15.09 minutes; XF-version 2534 words, 15.45 minutes). 3.2 Questionnaire To establish the effects of the praise and flatteries a questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire consisted of 32 statements, accompanied by five point scales (1: completely disagree – 5: completely agree). The statements represented six factors. Table 2 presents an overview of the factors, and the reliability of the coherence (Cronbach’s ). Factor reliability Identification of flattery: the listener is aware of the praise and flattering Example: the speaker praises the listeners Positive ethos: the listener judges the speaker as a friendly, sympathetic expert. Example: The speaker knows a lot about the subject Sincerity: the listener judges the speaker sincere and honest. Example: The speaker seems honest to me. 5 statements; Negative effects (‘sliminess’): the listener is annoyed by the speaker and judges him a toady. 5 statements; Relevance of the contents: the listener judges the presentation as interesting and useful for his daily practice. Example: I will put the advice into practice Fitting in course*: the listener judges the presentation appropriate in the context of the classes he is * This factor was only used to control the educational context of the speech and was kept out of the research TABLE 2. Factors (dependent variables) multivariate analysis makes clear that the arts students (students from the humanities and language) react more or les the same way as the science students to praise and flattery in a presentation. Table 4 presents the differences between the group that watched the XF version and the group that watched the NF version of the presentation. Condition Mean* Std. deviation N Identification of flattery No flattery (NF) 2.99a 0.465 46 Extreme flattery (XF) 3.91b 0.458 44 Total 3.44 0.653 90 Positive ethos No flattery (NF) 3.56 0.419 46 Extreme flattery (XF) 3.47 0.487 44 Total 3.52 0.453 90 Sincerity No flattery (NF) 3.70a 0.423 46 Extreme flattery (XF) 2.94b 0.858 44 Total 3.33 0.768 90 Negative effects (Sliminess) No flattery (NF) 2.45a 0.491 46 Extreme flattery (XF) 3.92b 0.604 44 Total 3.17 0.919 90 Relevance of contents No flattery (NF) 3.73 0.564 46 Extreme flattery (XF) 3.91 0.551 44 Total 3.82 0.563 90 ant differences between the figures (p)TABLE 4. results flattery with bystanders The arts students recognize that the speaker praises and flatters. They also find the Extreme version of the speech (XF) much slimier and they perceive – just like the science students – that the excess of flattery damages the sincerity of the speaker. Compared with the science students the arts students evaluate in the XF versions the negative (slime) effects significantly lower than the science students (F(1, 138)=6.149 p.05) and they evaluate the positive ethos of the speaker less high (F(1, 138)=6.325 p.05). 5. CONCLUSIONSDoes a presenter act wisely when he or she praises and flatters to enlarge the benevolence of the listeners? The objective of this study was to explore to what extent flattery techniques are effective in presentations. A subsequent objective was to test whether it makes a difference when the flattery is badly tuned to the audience. Before turning to the results found it is prudent to point out some of the limitations of the research. Firstly, it is necessary to note that the type of university forms the context of the research. The samples used for a part of the research consisted of only male (engineering) students; the bystanders group that was used included many female students. It can be expected that all kinds of (sub)cultural influences played a role in the experimental design. Furthermore this issue is easy to broaden to the Dutch context of the research. Praising and flattering are possibly different in various countries: maybe northern versus southern European ingratiation techniques must be postulated. Research scarcely exists on this point. Secondly, only one presentation was used in the research. A presentation that was rather interesting (according the attendees) and, as we see it, not very disputable. Maybe the techniques used work differently with presentations on issues that are more focussed on persuasion or lulling the listeners into a sense of consent. Praising and flattering – in the way used in this research – do not seem very stealth-like techniques. The listeners are aware of the usage of the technique; even more moderate flattery is recognised immediately. What are the consequences? The results of this study indicate that utilisation of flattery doesn’t affect the appreciation of the lecture itself. The listeners find the contents of this 15-minute lecture relevant and interesting. Even in the more extreme condition the listeners (both intended audience: science students as bystanders: arts students) are very positive. The appreciation does not seem influenced by the way the speaker approaches the listeners. [13] Forgas, J. P., & Bower, G. H. (1987). Mood effects on person perception judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 53-60. [14] Jones, E.E. (1964). Ingratiation.A Social Psychological Analysis New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc, p. 11. [15] Jones, E.E. (1964). Ingratiation.A Social Psychological Analysis New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc., p. 24-25. [16] Jones, E.E. (1964). Ingratiation.A Social Psychological Analysis New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc., p. 25. [17] Verbiest, A. (2004) Als ik jou toch niet had. De taal van complimenten. [If I did not had you. The language of compliments] Uitgeverij Contact, p. 40. [18] Verbiest, A. (2004) Als ik jou toch niet had. De taal van complimenten. Uitgeverij Contact, p. 41. [19] Stengel, R. (2000). You’re too kind. A brief history of flattery. New York etc.: Simon & Schuster. [20] Gordon, R.A. (1996). Impact of ingratiation on judgements and evaluations: a meta-analytic investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, p. 55. [21] Verbiest, A. (2004) Als ik jou toch niet had. De taal van complimenten. Uitgeverij Contact. [22] Burger, P. & J. de Jong (1993). De menselijke maat. Het onvoorstelbare voorstelbaar maken. [The human measure. Making the inconceivable conceivable] Communicatief 6(4/5), 65-71. [23] The results of this study are also described in Haan, C. de, B. Andeweg, W. Blokzijl (2005). You’re the best: Ingratiation techniques in informative presetations. Sefi 2005 Proceedings, p. 207-213. [24] Carnegie, Dorothy (1994). Doeltreffend spreken: de succesformule / Dale Carnegie ; Amsterdam: Omega Boek [edition by Dorothy Carnegie of: The quick and easy way to effective speaking. New York : Association Press, 1962.] Corrie de Haan, PhD, has been working since 2001 as a lecturer in communication skills at the Institute of Technology and Communication at Delft University of Technology. She has a PhD in Dutch Language and Literature from the University of Leiden. She is doing research on presentation techniques and into the effectiveness of web lectures. Bas Andeweg, PhD, is assistant professor. He lectures on oral and written communication. Recently he has finished his Ph.D. project The introduction of speeches (together with Jaap de Jong of Leiden University), about different aspects of speech introductions; for example about the effectiveness of different kinds of introductions (www.deeersteminuten.nl). He publishes regularly on subjects in the fringe of human communication and internet technology. Wim Blokzijl, MA, received a master's degree in applied linguistics at the University of Groningen, 1996. Since 1997 he has worked at TU Delft, where he co-ordinates and teaches courses on oral and written communication. He does research into the effectiveness of visual support at oral presentations, and into audience appreciation of PowerPoint. He regularly publishes articles on a variety of communication subjects.

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