Not receiving needed help is costly. It therefore stands to reason that help-seekers would want to maximize their chances of getting a “yes.” In two experiments, we found that seeking help in-person was far superior to seeking help through any form of mediated communication channel—including seeking help over synchronous, with- face video channels. Nonetheless, we found that richer media channels do still offer an advantage over text-based channels. Yet, importantly, help-seekers appear largely unaware of both these facts. These findings suggest that people may miss out on receiving needed help by asking for it in suboptimal ways.
That’s the conclusion from a study Should I Ask Over Zoom, Phone, Email, or In-Person? Communication Channel and Predicted Versus Actual Compliance, by M. Mahdi Roghanizad (Ryerson University), and Vanessa K. Bohns (Cornell University), published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
There’s a lesson for family history/genealogy societies that believe repeated pleading to the society membership for volunteers at meetings and in newsletters is an effective way to recruit the people they want.