Victor’s Insider Scoop on INFLUENCE The Psychology of Persuasion …
December 15th, 2010 | top of page

My book club is currently reading the book of that title by Robert Cialdini. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of the techniques promulgated by Cialdini:

1. Reciprocation says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. Reciprocation is innate to humans and much stronger than you might imagine as we tend to feel obligated to repay favors, gifts, etc.

2. Commitment and Consistency. Once we have made a choice or taken a stand we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. The drive to look and be consistent constitutes a highly potent weapon of social influence often causing us to act in ways that are contrary to our own best interests.

3. Social Proof. When we are unsure of ourselves or if we are in an ambiguous situation, we tend to look at and accept the actions of others as correct. Social Proof becomes even more powerful if we view the others we are following as similar to ourselves.

4. Liking. Everyone prefers to say yes to someone they know and like. This simple truism can be used by total strangers to get us to comply with their requests. Furthermore, we automatically assign favorable traits such as talent, kindness, honesty, and intelligence to physically attractive (i.e. likable) people.

5. Authority. Information from a recognized authority (or even a perceived authority) can influence our decision to act in a specific way. Authority can be conferred through titles, clothes, size of the authority figure, and their possessions like jewelry or cars.

6. Scarcity. Anything, that on its own merits holds little appeal to you, will become decidedly more attractive if it will soon become unavailable. People are more motivated by the thought of losing something than the idea of gaining something of equal value.  Depending on which side of the table you find yourself sitting on, you may want to employ one or more of these techniques to get your way or arm yourself with an awareness of them so you can successfully defend yourself against them.

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