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Eric S. Knowles

Eric S. Knowles

I am a retired social/personality psychologist who maintains an active consulting and writing schedule.

The focus of my consulting and writing is on how to facilitate change by reducing resistance. Rather than adding inducements for action, I study how to identify and dispel opposition to change. Resistance can be avoided, minimized, confronted, reframed, acknowledged, distracted, used up, or turned against itself using a variety of effective, inexpensive, psychological techniques. If an action didn't have resistance, there would be no need for persuasion. Focusing on how to manage resistance has produced a number of new, interesting, and effective change strategies applicable to persuasion, marketing, psychotherapy, advertising, organizational change, and self-change.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Group Processes
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

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Journal Articles:

  • Davis, B. P., & Knowles, E. S. (1999). A Disrupt-Then-Reframe technique of social influence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 192-199.
  • Knowles, E. S. (1988). Item context effects on personality scales: Measuring changes the measure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, 312-320.
  • Knowles, E. S., Coker, M. C., Scott, R. A., Cook, D. A., & Neville, J. W. (1996). Measurement induced improvement in anxiety: Mean shifts with repeated assessment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 352-363.
  • Knowles, E. S., & Condon, C. A. (1999). Why people say ‘yes': A dual-process theory of acquiescence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 379-386.
  • Pollock, C. L., Smith, S. D., Knowles, E. S., & Bruce, H. J. (1998). Mindfulness limits compliance with the that's-not-all technique. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1153-1157.

Other Publications:

  • Knowles, E. S., Butler, S., & Linn, J. A. (2001). Increasing compliance by reducing resistance. In J. Forgas & K. Williams (Eds.), Social influence: Direct and indirect processes. New York: Psychology Press.
  • Knowles, E. S., Coker, M., Cook, D., Diercks, S., Irwin, M., Lundeen, E., Neville, J. W., & Sibicky, M. E. (1992). Context effects on personality measures. In N. Schwartz & S. Sudman (Eds.), Context effects in opinion measurement. New York: Springer-Verlag.
  • Knowles, E. S., & Riner, D. D. (2007). Omega approaches to persuasion: Overcoming resistance. In A. R. Pratkanis (Ed.), Science of Social Influence. New York: Psychology Press.

Eric S. Knowles
1231 Southern Heights Place
Fayetteville, Arizona 72701
United States of America

  • Phone: (479) 521-6104

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