Ever wondered where the term
“wine and dine” comes from?
I’ve heard it a million times but I’ve never really understood it. Why is there this cliché of salesmen doing deals over a meal? I considered this tradition old-school; more of a time period/cultural thing that was outdated. Well, turns out I was wrong and there’s more to it. I’ve also wondered why it’s so typical for a man to take a woman out to dinner on a first date. Again, I thought it was because of culture or time period and dates now should be more interesting and exciting. Again, I was wrong. There’s a deeper reason why deals and dates are done over a meal. It looks like all those men from the past knew something that I’m just discovering.
After reading Influence by Robert Cialdini, I discovered the reason why deals or dates are done over meals lies in psychology, specifically the “luncheon technique.” The luncheon technique was discovered by Gregory Razran in the 1930s through different experiments. One experiment was involved politics and food. Prior to the experiment, subjects rated various political statements and then during the experiment, they were presented those same statements and asked to rate them again.
Can you guess which political statements gained in their approval rating? That’s right, the ones that had been shown while food was being eaten. Furthermore – which is amazing to me – these changes in ratings seemed to have occurred unconsciously, as the subjects could not remember which of the statements they had seen during eating versus not.
Thus, through experimentation Razran found people become fonder of the people and things they experienced while eating.
Salesmen wine and dine their clients, and men take women out to dinner on first dates because they are more likely to approve of and like what you say.