Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Kipling D. Williams & James Wirth
Stealing thunder is a social influence tactic in which in anticipation of negative information being revealed about a person, that person chooses to reveal it first. By doing so, the negative impact is reduced or, in some cases, eliminated. An individual's representative can also steal thunder with similar consequences, as in the case of an attorney who steals thunder by revealing the worst bit of evidence before the opposing counsel brings it out. Courtrooms provide the best example of the use of stealing thunder. Defense attorneys may reveal incriminating evidence about their clients, for instance that they had a prior conviction, before prosecuting attorneys can reveal it. The defense attorney might use the stealing thunder technique to minimize the damage caused by incriminating evidence against his or her client. Based on naive theories and research, beginning an interaction by revealing damaging information about one's self would seem to backfire by ...