How to Persuade Someone to Get a Hearing Test

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

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

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

While it may seem like an impossible situation, there are other, more discreet approaches you can employ. In fact, you can draw from the massive body of social scientific research that proves which methods of persuasion have been determined to be the most consistently successful.

In other words, you can use tested, researched, and validated persuasive methods that have been established to actually work. It’s worth an attempt, right? And exploring the techniques might help you think of additional ideas.

With that said, the following 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 concept of reciprocity is simple: if someone does a favor for you, you’re strongly compelled to return the favor for them.

How to use it:

Timing is everything. You plan on requesting your loved one to get their hearing examined at some point anyway, so why not make the request just after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a strong psychological motivation to think and behave consistently.

How to use it:

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

Rather, 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 confess to a couple of basic facts, it may be easier to discuss their own specific hearing loss, and they may be more likely to accept that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

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

How to use it:

There are at minimum two ways to make use of this method. One way is to share articles on the many advantages of using hearing aids and how hearing aids enrich the quality of life for millions of people in the U.S. and globally.

The second way to use the method is to set up a hearing test for yourself. Inform your loved one that you want to check on the well being 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 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 help of those 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 him or her talk about and highly recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

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

How to use it:

Share articles on how celebrities, professional athletes, and other famous figures use and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from credible sources that describe 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 quickly, we may lose something on a permanent basis.

How to use it:

The latest research has linked hearing loss to a variety of dangerous conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, memory impairment, and accelerated cognitive decline. Hearing loss also gets worse over time, so the earlier it’s dealt with, the better.

To use scarcity, share articles, such as our preceeding blog post titled 8 reasons hearing loss is more dangerous than you think, with your loved one. Show them that every day spent with untreated hearing loss exacerbates the hearing loss, weakens health, and heightens the risk of developing more serious conditions.


If all else fails, just give it to them straight. Convey to your loved ones how their hearing loss affects you, combined with how it’s impacting your relationship. When you make it about your needs and emotions rather than their own, the reaction 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.”

Questions? Talk To Us.