Are you altercasting your visitor?

Neuro Usability Insight #20

“Altercasting is defined as projecting an identity, to be assumed by other(s) with whom one is in interaction, which in congruent with one’s own goals.”

– Weinstein & Deutschberger

According to altercasting you can encourage people to behave in a desired manner by stimulating a specific social role (for example: sporter, UX expert, grandfather, co-worker). By directing people into a social role you automatically activate the behavior that you want to stimulate, because people are inclined to behave according to the specific social role. There are two types of altercasting:

1. Manded altercasting
A explicit form of altercating in which a new or existing role is made more prominent and told directly to people. (“You as a mom should …”)

2. Tact altercasting
A more passive and implicit form, in which acting in certain ways could tigger others to take a specific (counter)role. (Seeing a helpless elderly man on the sidewalk can trigger the helper in you).

How to apply 

You as a marketer can use altercasting in different ways:

  • Visually displaying the situation which will trigger the desired (counter-)social role (charities can encourage to volunteer or donate by showing people in situations where they need help.)
  • Directly speak to people by mentioning the social role that applies to them.

neuro usability insight 20 example 2neuro usability insight 20 example 1

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