Why do YES on 3 Yard Signs Work?

Unfamiliarity is the biggest barrier to new ideas and proposals. Most people initially reject the unfamiliar.

Immediate rejection. Without examination or consideration. Without investigation or deliberation.

Reflexive rejection as immediate as pulling your fingers off a hot stove.

That’s how most people first react to unfamiliar ideas. To the foreign, the strange, the different.

That’s the first and biggest obstacle we’re up against with our Ballot Question 3. Often, unfamiliarity is the ONLY obstacle to accepting and embracing a new and different idea.

Are there ways of getting around this barrier? Are there solutions to reflexive rejection?

Yes! And one way is simple and easy to use.

It’s called: The Exposure Effect.

The more often that people are exposed to something, the more comfortable and positive they feel toward it. The less often that they’re exposed to it, the more uncomfortable and negative they feel toward it.

The first time a person hears or reads something outside his comfort zone, outside his familiarity zone, he immediately, reflexively rejects it. The second time, he quickly rejects it. The third, he rejects it. The forth, he treats it skeptically. The fifth, he may see some interesting or valuable points. The sixth, a little more. And so on, until he’s comfortable examining it — because it’s become familiar.

Why do Yard Signs and Bumper Stickers Create an Exposure Effect?

Yard Signs Facts: 107 neighbors will drive by and notice the yard sign an average of 6 times in the last 3 weeks of the campaign. Another 130 visitors and non-neighbors will see the sign an average of twice. (I personally field researched – counted and documented – this in 2000 and 2002 in Massachusetts.)

10,000 yard signs X 107 neighbors = 1,070,000 voters familiar and comfortable with open-mindedly considering reduucing the sales tax to 3%. And remember that UN-familiarity is the PRIMARY reason that the last 200,000 to 400,000 undecided or ambivalent Massachusetts voters are not yet ready to vote “Yes.”

There’s a second factor: Social Proof. When individuals are undecided – or moderately leaning FOR or AGAINST doing something – they look to the behavior of people around them. If they see 1 or 3 or 5 neighbors – people who are like them – sporting OUR Yard signs, then they begin leaning toward YES. They become receptive and responsive to our arguments and evidence.

Another positive influence for 1,070,000 core YES voters PLUS the 200,000 to 400,000 additional voters we need to win.

Small cost. Big result.

But that’s not all.

They will now be dramatically more receptive and responsive to our evidence and arguments when they read them on the internet or in the newspapers, hear them on the radio, or watch them on TV and YouTube.

Those multiple exposures create a persuasive Exposure Effect, Social Proof Effect, AND they create and reinforce a persuasive “Commitment/Consistency Effect.”  (Cf, Influence by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. for the supporting research.)

These Multiple source exposures amplify and reinforce each other.

This is why we need to distribute and put up thousands and thousands more YES on 3 Yard — as part of our campaign to win November 2nd.

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