This technique works due to the fact that, when you ask a question in the positive, asking for a “yes”, you will obtain a lot of false “yes”es. It’s manipulative, to a point. When you give the person a choice to say “no”, they will be honest when it’s, in fact, a “no”.
- In short, you will not get more “no”s, but you will obtain the true “no” behind every false “yes” that you would otherwise obtain;
This technique also works, to an extent, because you’re asking for a big disagreement. So chances are the person may even have a small disagreement, but not a big one, so they won’t say anything.
- For example, when you ask, “Is this proposal ridiculous?”. It may be bad, but not ridiculous. So they won’t disagree. And the feeling they will have is that it’s not so bad;
- It’s almost a challenge to label their intent that fails, which is similar to the technique of eliciting multiple reasons. You’re daring the person to say something, to make their intention clear, but they can’t. And because of that, they get the opposite feeling. It’s a snapback effect;