We don’t need to tell you the symptoms of hearing loss; you already know them all too well. You have a different type of challenge: persuading someone you care for to get their hearing evaluated and treated.

But how are you expected to get through to someone who denies there is even an issue, or that simply shrugs it off as “just part of getting old”?

It turns out that it’s not as simplistic as just recommending to them that they need their hearing tested. They won’t understand the need, and you won’t get very far with threats, ultimatums, or other coercive tactics.

Even though it may seem like a hopeless situation, there are other, more subtle strategies you can employ. In fact, you can draw from the massive body of social scientific research that signifies which techniques of persuasion have been found to be the most consistently successful.

This means, you can employ tested, researched, and validated persuasive practices that have been shown to actually work. It’s worth a shot, right? And exploring the strategies might make it easier to think of additional ideas.

With that said, here are 6 scientifically tested methods of persuasion and how you might use them to persuade a loved one to get their hearing tested:

1. Reciprocity

What it is:

The concept of reciprocity is very simple: if someone does a favor for you, you’re strongly motivated to return the favor for them.

How to use it:

Timing is everything. You plan on asking your loved one to get their hearing tested at some point anyway, so why don’t you make the request immediately after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a deep psychological motivation to think and behave 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 likely won’t see much success.

Alternatively, ease into the topic by casually sharing an article on hearing loss and how widespread it is. Without pointing out their own personal hearing loss, get them to admit that hearing loss is a much bigger problem than they had believed.

As soon as they confess to some basic facts, it may be less difficult to talk about their own individual hearing loss, and they may be more likely to accept that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

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

How to use it:

There are at least two ways to utilize this approach. One way is to share articles on the benefits of wearing hearing aids and how hearing aids raise the quality of life for millions of individuals in the U.S. and all over the world.

The second way to use the method is to arrange a hearing test for yourself. Explain to your loved one that you want to confirm the well being of your own hearing, but that you would feel better if they went with you and had their own assessment.

4. Liking

What it is:

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

How to use it:

Solicit the assistance of people you know your loved one likes or respects. Attempt to find that one particular person whom your loved one consistently seems to respond to, and have that person talk about and recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

We are inclined 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 prominent figures use and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from reputable sources that outline the necessity of getting 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 generates 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 right away, we may lose something forever.

How to use it:

The latest research has coupled hearing loss to several serious conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, memory impairment, and accelerated cognitive decline. Hearing loss also gets worse through the years, so the earlier it’s dealt with, the better.

To apply scarcity, share articles, such as our earlier 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 exacerbates the hearing loss, weakens health, and heightens the risk of developing more dangerous conditions.


If all else fails, just give it to them straight. Describe 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 emotions rather than their own, the response is usually better.

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