Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

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

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

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

While it may seem like an impossible scenario, there are other, more discreet approaches you can employ. In fact, you can draw from the sizable body of social scientific research that reveals which techniques of persuasion have been discovered to be the most consistently effective.

This means, you can use tested, researched, and confirmed persuasive techniques that have been demonstrated to actually work. It’s worth a try, right? And scanning the techniques might help you to think of additional ideas.

With that said, here are 6 scientifically tested techniques of persuasion and how you might use them to persuade a friend or family member to get their hearing tested:

1. Reciprocity

What it is:

The principle of reciprocity is very simple: if someone does a favor for you, you’re highly 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 examined at some point anyway, so why don’t you render the request just after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a deep psychological need to think and act consistently.

How to use it:

The trick is to begin with smaller commitments prior to making the final request. If you start off by ordering your loved one to get a hearing test, you likely won’t see much success.

Instead, ease into the subject by casually sharing an article on hearing loss and how prevalent it is. Without mentioning their own personal hearing loss, get them to confess that hearing loss is a bigger issue than they had thought.

Once they concede to some basic facts, it may be less difficult to discuss their own specific hearing loss, and they may be more likely to admit that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

We tend to think in terms of “safety in numbers.” We are inclined to stick to the crowd, and we assume that if a number of other people are doing something, it must be trusted or effective.

How to use it:

There are at a minimum two ways to utilize this approach. One way is to share articles on the benefits of using hearing aids and how hearing aids amplify the quality of life for millions of people in the U.S. and across the world.

The second way to use the approach is to set up a hearing test for yourself. Tell your loved one that you want to check on the health of your own hearing, but that you would have more confidence if they went with you and had their own exam.

4. Liking

What it is:

You are more inclined to be persuaded by people you personally like than by either a stranger or by someone you dislike.

How to use it:

Enlist the assistance of those you know your loved one likes or respects. Attempt to find that one person whom your loved one always seems to respond to, and have that person discuss and recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

We have the tendency to listen to and have respect for the feedback of those we think of as authority figures.

How to use it:

Share articles on how celebrities, professional athletes, and other distinguished figures wear and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from trustworthy sources that show the importance of getting your hearing tested. As an example, the World Health Organization recently published an article titled “1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss.”

6. Scarcity

What it is:

Scarcity causes 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 once and for all.

How to use it:

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

To utilize scarcity, share articles, such as our previous 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, deteriorates health, and increases the risk of developing more dangerous conditions.

If all else fails, just give it to them straight. Convey to your loved ones how their hearing loss impacts you, together with how it’s impacting your relationship. When you make it about your needs and feelings 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.


The six principles of persuasion were developed by Dr. Robert Cialdini, and can be found in his book titled “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today