Things to Make Congruent


This is a note, extracted from the preceding post for special attention later.

For charismatic leadership, all of these should be congruent with the emotion that you are seeking to elicit:

  • The values you appeal to;
  • The metaphors you use;
  • The emotion you display; and
  • The language you use.

The emotion you elicit, in turn, should be congruent with the action you are seeking to prompt.

So it all starts with the action you are seeking to prompt.

Is the valence positive (affiliative) or negative (expulsive)? Is the focus inward (object of the action (e.g. your client) in the same group as the subject (e.g. the jury)) or outward (client outside jury’s group)?

You can probably imagine scenarios in which you would want to elicit each of these types of moral emotion, but the most common is probably in the upper-right quadrant, eliciting an emotion that will lead the jury to affiliate, through you, with your outgroup client.


One response to “Things to Make Congruent”

  1. My wheels are turning. I agree that most cases will be upper right (“Who wouldn’t have done the same thing in that situation?” or the like.) or upper left (“Hasn’t he suffered enough?”). Right feels more like Guilt-Innocence, where left feels more like mitigation of punishment, thought there’s clearly some overlap.

    Having trouble deciding where “punish the lying cop for the good of us all” falls. I can see putting that in the lower left or right side. Do you think that, by default, the jury sees the cop as in-group, or out-group? It feels like a mix, or at least, like it varies from case to case. Sometimes shame/guilt (“How can we stand by and let this pass without comment”) feels like the right emotion, but sometimes anger (“Who does this guy think he is”).

    (This construct also sheds some light on why anger, especially if it isn’t shared by the jury, can so easily put them off—if you’re in the wrong box, you’re gonna be lonely.)

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