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How to Persuade Someone to Get a Hearing Test

We don’t need to tell 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 evaluated and treated.

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

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

Even though it may seem like a hopeless situation, there are other, more discreet approaches you can employ. In fact, you can tap into the enormous body of social scientific research that signifies which practices of persuasion have been found to be the most consistently effective.

This means, you can make use of tested, researched, and confirmed persuasive practices that have been demonstrated to actually work. It’s worth a try, right? And browsing the techniques might help you think of additional ideas.

With that said, the following are 6 scientifically tested techniques of persuasion and how you might use them to persuade a friend or family member to get their hearing tested:

1. Reciprocity

What it is:

The principle of reciprocity is 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 requesting your loved one to get their hearing tested at some point anyway, so why not make the request right after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a strong psychological desire to think and act consistently.

How to use it:

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

Rather, ease into the topic by casually sharing an article on hearing loss and how widespread it is. Without mentioning their own hearing loss, get them to disclose that hearing loss is a larger issue than they had thought.

Once they confess to a few basic facts, it may be less difficult to talk about their own personal hearing loss, and they may be more likely to admit that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

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

How to use it:

There are at minimum two ways to make use of this method. One way is to share articles on the benefits of wearing hearing aids and how hearing aids amplify the quality of life for millions of individuals in the U.S. and around the globe.

The second way to use the method is to arrange for 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 have more confidence if they went with you and had their own assessment.

4. Liking

What it is:

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

How to use it:

Enlist the help of those you know your loved one likes or respects. Attempt to find that one person whom your loved one always seems to respond to, and have him or her talk about and highly recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

We tend to listen to and have respect for the viewpoints of those we think of as authority figures.

How to use it:

Share articles on how celebrities, athletes, and other respected figures wear and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from credible sources that describe the importance of having your hearing tested. For instance, the World Health Organization recently published an article titled “1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss.”

6. Scarcity

What it is:

Scarcity creates a sense of urgency when what we want is perceived as limited or in short supply. Scarcity creates the feeling that, if we don’t act promptly, we may lose something on a permanent basis.

How to use it:

Recent research has connected hearing loss to a number of serious conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, memory impairment, and rapid cognitive decline. Hearing loss also gets worse as time goes by, so the earlier it’s corrected, the better.

To implement scarcity, share articles, such as our previous 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 worsens the hearing loss, weakens 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, combined with how it’s affecting your relationship. When you make it about your needs and feelings rather than theirs, the response is usually better.

Have you had success persuading someone to have their hearing tested? Let us know your approach 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.”

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