18

For example, if someone said, "Who here agrees that cookies are amazing?" on a Youtube channel section for a video that is centered around baking cookies. My brain keeps jumping to the word truism, but that's for statements and is more related to whether or not a statement is factual or not.

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    Are you asking for the word for asking about such a thing or the name for that kind of widely held opinion? – Jim Oct 23 '19 at 22:54
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    Something along the lines of "foregone conclusion?" – user888379 Oct 23 '19 at 23:16
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    Are you what the action is, or the motive... i.e. should I create an answer for the motive of "fishing for validation"? – Keeta - reinstate Monica Oct 24 '19 at 19:00
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    Related: the echo chamber phenomenon seen in today's politics, and its running mate confirmation bias. – Tom Hundt Oct 24 '19 at 22:41
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    @jMan The specific example I was thinking of took place within a subgroup, but this would be like, "All right is it just me, or does anyone else not like being mugged?" The question is dumb, inherently obvious, and really only has one right answer. Nobody would say, "Actually, I enjoy being mugged." Unless they were trying to be cheeky or contradictory. – Dumpcats Oct 27 '19 at 2:48

10 Answers 10

30

Rhetorical Question

citation : https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/rhetorical_question

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    This is a good answer. Please expand out the information found in your link. Links have a way of breaking over time. – David M Oct 24 '19 at 12:10
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    While I agree this would work as an answer broadly, I'd mention that rhetorical questions do not necessarily mean everyone will have the same answer. – BruceWayne Oct 24 '19 at 14:33
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    Rhetorical questions don't require an answer, so anyone having an answer is irrelevant, let alone having the same answer. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 25 '19 at 8:11
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    @MattE.Эллен Rhetorical questions always have implied answers. And that implied answer is intended to be the same for everyone. If it isn't, it's actually a flaw in the rhetoric, and thus can be used in a counterargument. – trlkly Oct 27 '19 at 7:00
  • @trlkly. Rhetorical questions sometimes explicitly don't have an answer. See a list of examples here (examples.yourdictionary.com/rhetorical-question-examples.html), including "Why me?" and "How should I know?". – jimm101 Oct 31 '19 at 17:49
26

A given noun OED

What is given; the known facts, situation, etc.

As in:

The answers to his question were a given: most everyone answered the same.

A given is detail or fact that is known to be true. As in: "It's a given that I'll always love you, no matter how annoying you are."

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    did he not say "almost everyone"? Given assumes that is universal i.e. its a given that Christmas Day is December 25th. – bigbadmouse Oct 24 '19 at 9:23
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    @bigbadmouse That's a bad example, if you consider Christmas Day as the date that Jesus was born then you may also get January 7th (Orthodox Christmas Day) to account for the changes from the Julian to Gregorian Calendar. I wouldn't be surprised if under your definition (total universality) nothing is a given. – user300397 Oct 24 '19 at 15:40
  • Ok, I accept that, however my criticism of his answer remains valid. I will give an alternative then, "it is a given that night follows day", (although that day/night length may vary at extreme latitudes, for the pedants, it still inevitably follows) – bigbadmouse Oct 25 '19 at 7:30
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    @flater You're missing my point, I know people (well... one person) that when asked when Christmas day is, they will actively say January 7th, i.e. the fact that Christmas day is 25th Dec is a given is simply false (according to this definition). I could say the fact the earth is round is a given and under the given definition that'd be false too, simply because it's not universally believed. – user300397 Oct 25 '19 at 9:15
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    @bigbadmouse : Sorry, but night following day isn't necessarily a given. I've been to a church that states that daytime follows nighttime, so a "day" starts at sundown. This is based on Genesis 1-2 reporting days as evening/night followed by day(time), and is why Jewish Sabbaths actually start Friday evening at sundown (because that is when the "day" actually starts for them). So your "givens" (also Christmas's date) seem to be based on assumptions that are so culturally-ingrained that you simply assume them to be obvious, but I suggest to you, they may not be quite as universal as you think. – TOOGAM Oct 25 '19 at 11:06
20

Focusing on the asking side of your question:

I call this phenomenon Can I get an amen?. It's the act of seeking affirmation by picking the low hanging fruit of asking a question that you know will be answered positively.

How great is coffee in the morning?!?! Can I get an amen?!?!

The people who respond are often referred to as an amen corner.

Related but not exactly is preaching to the choir which is speaking as though to convert people despite knowing they already believe.


Politicians do this all the time. When they do it, it's called playing to one's base. Asking questions of this type to stoke up the audience knowing that they'll agree with the question.

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    Interesting. Adding the "Can I get an amen" to the end of it makes the question seem less intelligence insulting because it clarifies that the intent is to seek group affirmation. – Dumpcats Oct 27 '19 at 2:50
16

If you can afford to use two words, I would call this a leading question, one for which you already have predicted the answer. I prefer this over "rhetorical question", a question that is commonly not expected to be answered.

https://www.google.com/search?q=leading+question&oq=leading+question&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.1839j0j3&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

lead·ing ques·tion /ˌlēdiNG ˈkwesCH(ə)n/ noun a question that prompts or encourages the desired answer. "after a few leading questions about his earlier life, he talked almost nonstop"

10

This is also known informally as milking (an audience); the term is however hypernymic. Lexico has:.

milk verb [with object] ...

2.2 Elicit a favourable reaction from (an audience) and prolong it.

he milked the crowd for every last drop of applause

A favourable reaction is expected or at least hoped for. 'Working' an audience is a synonym.

5

I suggest a new phrase based on "preaching the choir":

Asking the choir to sing

5

This is slightly broader than you're asking, but in the context of your example, the term Engagement bait fits. Engagement Bait refers to content in a post or video that is included for the sole function of boosting engagement(likes, comments, shares, reactions) on the post in order to reach a wider audience.

Common examples include:

  • Asking viewers for their opinion on trivial matters that don't aren't likely to lead to any meaningful discussion. ("Comment your favorite kind of cookie!", "Would you do __ for $1,000,000?", "Would you try [product featured in video]?", "Pineapple on pizza. Yes or no?")
  • Asking simple questions that one can easily infer or find the answer to. ("Do you guys like cookies?", "Why does my dog tilt his head back and forth like that? Comment below if you know ")
  • Deliberately including typos, incorrect grammar, or parroting common misconceptions to bait commenters into "correcting" you.
  • Encouraging viewers to "tag a friend who ____"
  • Asking viewers to "vote" on a matter using likes, comments, or reactions.
  • Misleading viewers into liking a post (common on instagram, where posts will try to trick you into double-tapping an image to "reveal" non-existent hidden content, or combine with the heart icon to create a "secret image")
  • Challenging viewers to spell a word letter by letter in sequential comments.

Facebook seems to have popularized the term, so most online definitions are specific to that platform, but it is common on nearly all social medial platforms.

citation: https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2017/12/news-feed-fyi-fighting-engagement-bait-on-facebook/

2

Considering this question was tagged as a single-word-request, I'm suggesting prevalent, particularly in the first meaning of Merriam-Webster's definition:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prevalent

prevalent adjective

Definition of prevalent
1: generally or widely accepted, practiced, or favored : WIDESPREAD
2: being in ascendancy : DOMINANT
3 archaic : POWERFUL

1

pandering: "(intransitive) To tempt with, to appeal or cater to (improper motivations, etc.); to assist in gratification." (Wiktionary)

  • I usually hear this verb applied to pimps. – Cascabel Oct 24 '19 at 20:01
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    @Cascabel Find better quality company? – Kaz Oct 24 '19 at 21:14
  • @Kaz Erm...maybe you have led too innocent a life. Cops use that language in police reports. – Cascabel Oct 24 '19 at 21:20
  • Doesn't "pandering" run the other way? The person saying "oh, these are such delicious cookies" only because they know that's what the first person wants to hear is pandering. – JonathanZ supports MonicaC Oct 25 '19 at 18:41
  • @JonathanZ Yes, it does go both ways, like "Does anyone else here really like cookies?" – Dapianoman Oct 25 '19 at 19:00
0

Groupthink: A psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome.

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    Not really the right context. That's like a dysfunctional relationship than asking a question .... – David M Oct 25 '19 at 4:13

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