Third-Party Validation, Social Proof, and Why 9 Out Of 10 Dentists Agree: The 10th Dentist Just Doesn't Get ItSubmitted by chris cudnoski on Tue, 06/19/2012 - 15:11
I've never met that tenth dentist, but if I did I might ask him what he thinks he knows that the other 9 don't. Dentists are trained experts. You wouldn't argue with one dentist, why would you oppose nine? You've got to be either pretty brave or pretty dim to stand against 9 guys your certain to encounter at conventions and award ceremonies throughout your career.
If one of the other 9 dentists really wanted to get that 10th guy over on to their team, rather than trying to convince him of the error of his ways through rhetoric, pleading or threats, they would be better off using Third-Party Validation, aka Social Proof.
Third-Party Validation is simply when someone believes something because someone else believes it. It's easy to justify buying a certain toothbrush because 9 out of 10 dentists recommended it, finding someone more attractive if they are 'spoken for', or even voting for a candidate because so-and-so endorsed them.
Outside of the 9-1 dentist war that has been raging most of my life, the most familiar version of TPV is the car dealership scenario. Here, a person goes in to look at cars and they talk to a salesman. A first time buyer believes that they will be negotiating with the salesman and buying the car from the salesman. Then, suddenly, the salesman stops them and says "Wait, I'm sorry. I'll have to go ask the manager about that."
After a very, very long time the salesman returns. He tells them he's sorry, but the manager said that they can't upgrade the tires unless they pay $65 for labor, and they'll quickly agree. The salesman apologizes for giving the wrong figure. You forgive them bacause, after all, the manager must be smarter about cars than the salesman, and they're certainly smarter than the customer.
Social Proof (SP) is another version of TPV which occurs in social situations where you can see everybody, managers and all. The people who are talking will have others drift towards them, rather than other lone people. Guys who walk in with a woman will have every other female's attention. The simple fact that this man has the approval of just one female will be proof enough to the others that he is at least worth investigating.
And on TeeVee, between the toothbrush commercials, we can hear newscasters spout lines like 'some people say' or 'we just had an expert on who would disagree with you' or 'how is the MARKET going to react?' Always pitting the 'guest' against some unseen, all-knowing, omniscient 3rd Party. A third party is even created when one talking head tells another that they can both agree on at least one thing - stocks are a great investment at any time.
What does all this have to do with Ron Paul Activism?
(Before that, for those who are starting to think that TPV is some evil trick, a fourth and final example of SP/TPV is the question 'What Would Jesus Do?' He is the most unobtainable and omniscient of all Third Parties, and everybody knows what Jesus would say was the right thing to do. So this can be used for good or evil, and even if you never use it to get something from someone, you should know that it will be used against you at some point.)
I saw an expert on TV who said Ron Paul will win it all
This Paulistinian's daughter told him Ron Paul will be president:
One thing I have said to people is "I'm not a soldier, but my uncle and grandfather were, and I know that the military gives more to Ron Paul than all the other candidates combined. I'm certain these soldiers know more than I do about national defense."
Another will be 'Have you heard of Joe Scarborough on CNBC? He voted for Ron Paul."
Enough of mine. What do you all think?