Dollar Shave Club and Social Judgement Theory

Social Judgement theory states that one rejects or accepts a message based on one’s cognitive map. Furthermore, a message is accepted if it falls within one’s latitude of acceptance, and its overall acceptability is based on one’s own feelings and opinion on the subject. Social judgement theory is an attempt to predict how a message will be interpreted by the subject. Will the subject be persuaded toward the point-of-view of the message, or will the subject move further away from the message? Social judgement theory assigns a quantitative value to the quality of how persuaded one is on a subject matter. There are three separate areas of the scale:  the latitude of acceptance, the latitude of non-commitment, and the latitude of rejection.

The latitude of acceptance is what one already agrees with and would accept as a world-view. The latitude of non-commitment is the area past the values for the latitude of acceptance. If an idea falls in this latitude, it is something one doesn’t agree with nor disagree with. It is in this area that persuasion can have the biggest affect on someone. The latitude of rejection is the area on the side of the latitude of non-commitment farthest away from the latitude of acceptance.

Social judgement theory uses a scale that goes from -3 to +3 and the view of the subject and the message are plotted on the scale. Also on the scale is noted the subject’s latitudes of acceptance, rejection, and non-commitment.

This dollar shave club advertisement is a video ad aimed at men in the 20 – 30 years old age group. It shows the founder of the Dollar Shave Club talking about his company. He starts by introducing the gist of the service, that for one dollar a month you get a razor. He goes on to downplay the effectiveness of the current razor market by saying that the razors that have flooded the market have too many extra features. He brings up how back in the day, men used single blade razors to shave. His main point is that simplicity trumps feature set when it comes to shaving, especially because a razor is a necessary purchase for men who shave regularly. It doesn’t make sense to spend more than a few dollars a razor when over the course of a decade literally one hundred razors will be bought.

Below, I have graphed my inclinations towards buying razors online (more generally, buying anything online). It is clear that I have an inclination towards buying things online. I have graphed buying things online in the top graph and buying razors online in the bottom one. As you can see, I am in favor of buying anything online, but with razors, it is something I have not really committed to doing or not doing (rather being in favor of doing or not). I have labelled both my position and the dollar shave club ad’s position. Also on the scale is my projected change in belief.

Acceptability Scale

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