If you were to ask something, say a donation from someone, how would you do it? Would you prefer the good old face to face? Or the newer era email? Which of them do you think would be more effective?
Well, a recent study
showed that although you can reach almost anyone with an internet connection, people will comply to your request 34 times more when asked in person than when using email!
The researchers let 45 participants ask 450 strangers (or ten strangers each) to answer a short survey. Half of the participants made their requests face-to-face, while the other half made theirs through email. Results showed that people are more likely to complete a survey through asking them in-person rather than through email.
However, when the researchers asked the participants to predict how many strangers would agree to complete the survey, both groups felt just as confident that people will comply more to requests made through email compared to asking them in person. "While requesters underestimated compliance in face-to-face contexts, replicating previous research, they overestimated compliance in email contexts," the researchers said in their paper.
The researchers think that the reason behind this bias is that the participants believe in their own trustworthiness and the legitimateness of the request, hence, failing to anticipate that the recipients are more likely to see it as a spam email and/or a dubious link. When the results were replicated, the researchers found that it is actually the nonverbal cues requesters give during the request that provides legitimacy on their requests, even though requesters were unaware of this.
So if you want your girl scout cookies to sell or ask donations from other people, better talk to them in person rather than hitting them up on their social media. Also, if your friends won't seem to agree to a night out, perhaps you can switch your invitation from a chat box to their front doors and see their surprised faces!