Authority bias

Research. What a person wears has an incredible amount of influence on our response to a request from this person.A study demonstrated how pedestrians gave 82% more fora stranger’s parking fees when the person was dressed in a firefighter’s uniform.

Bushman, B. J. (1984). Perceived Symbols of Authority and Their Influence on Compliance.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It’s not just for the Queen of Soul,Aretha Franklin.”

Pro tip. Consider entities beyond people and leaders, such as non-profit organisations, local governments, sports teams and community groups.

Thought starters.

» Choose an “authority” that people trust and respect » People may discard information from a formal “authority” they dislike. Peers, colleagues and friends can act as an informal trusted “authority” in many instances