How to Persuade Someone to Get a Hearing Test


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

But just 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 simplistic 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 methods.

Even though it may seem like an impossible scenario, there are other, more discreet techniques you can use. In fact, you can tap into the enormous body of social scientific research that signifies which methods of persuasion have been discovered to be the most consistently successful.

In other words, you can use tested, researched, and confirmed persuasive strategies that have been shown to actually work. It’s worth an attempt, right? And browsing the techniques might allow you to 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 principle of reciprocity is very simple: if someone does a favor for you, you’re powerfully 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 checked at some point anyway, so why not make the request soon after you’ve done something special for them?

2. Commitment and Consistency

What it is:

We all have a deep psychological desire to think and behave consistently.

How to use it:

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

Rather, ease into the topic by casually sharing an article on hearing loss and how universal it is. Without mentioning their own hearing loss, get them to disclose that hearing loss is a more prominent issue than they had assumed.

As soon as they concede to a few basic facts, it may be easier to talk about their own specific hearing loss, and they may be more likely to confess that they have a problem.

3. Social Proof

What it is:

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

How to use it:

There are at least two ways to use this technique. One way is to share articles on the many advantages of wearing hearing aids and how hearing aids heighten the quality of life for millions of people in the U.S. and across the globe.

The second way to use the method is to set up a hearing test for yourself. Explain to your loved one that you want to check on the health of your own hearing, but that you would feel better if they went with you and had their own examination.

4. Liking

What it is:

You’re more likely to be persuaded by those 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 that person discuss and recommend a hearing test.

5. Authority

What it is:

We tend to listen to and respect the viewpoints of those we think of as authority figures.

How to use it:

Share articles on how celebrities, professional athletes, and other notable figures use and benefit from hearing aids. You can also share articles from credible sources that describe the advantages of getting your hearing tested. For 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 generates a sense of urgency when what we want is perceived as limited or in short supply. Scarcity creates the perception that, if we don’t act right away, we may lose something forever.

How to use it:

The latest research has coupled hearing loss to a large number of dangerous conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, memory impairment, and accelerated cognitive decline. Hearing loss also gets worse over the years, so the sooner it’s corrected, the better.

To apply scarcity, share articles, such as our earlier 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, degrades health, and heightens the risk of developing more dangerous conditions.

If all else fails, just give it to them straight. Tell your loved ones how their hearing loss impacts you, along with how it’s affecting your relationship. When you make it about your needs and feelings rather than theirs, the reaction 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.

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