INFLUENCE: How To Secretly Influence People With Psychology


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Though most people don't want the flower and often try to give it back, once it is in their hand they feel an obligation to give a donation. Straightforward mailings by charity groups usually get a response rate of less than 20 per cent.


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But this jumps dramatically when the mailing includes a gift, such as stick on labels with the receiver's own name and address printed. It is not just the obligation to repay that is powerful, but the obligation to receive. Not feeling able to say 'no', plus our unwillingness to be seen as a person who doesn't repay things, makes us prey to canny marketers.

Power (Psychology) - The Personal MBA

Next time you receive an unsolicited 'gift', Cialdini warns, be aware of the lack of good will involved; it may allow you to receive it and not give anything back while still retaining a good conscience. He refers to the famous Watergate break-in that brought down the Nixon presidency. In hindsight, the break in was stupid, risky, unnecessary Nixon was set to win the next election anyway and expensive.

But the Republican re-election committee which OK'd the job only did so to placate one of its more extreme members. G Gordon Liddy had previously presented two much more outlandish, expensive proposals involving everything from mugging to kidnapping, so when he submitted the idea of a small break in to Democratic headquarters, the committee felt obligated to say 'yes'.

Beware the influence of the reciprocation impulse. The need for consistency Human beings like to be consistent. We feel better about something if we are committed to it, and once we are, we do what we can to justify in our minds the decision. Why are we like this?


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Part of the reason is social pressure. No one likes a person who see-saws from one idea or state of mind to another - we want to be seen as knowing what we want.

2. Influence: Science and Practice

This, unfortunately, creates a goldmine for marketers. They are very aware of the internal pressures against changing one's mind, and take full advantage. When charity phone callers ask 'How are you feeling tonight, Mrs? Then when the caller asks us to give a donation to the unfortunate victims of some disaster or disease, we cannot very well suddenly turn mean and grumpy and refuse others who are in a bad way.

To be consistent, we feel compelled to offer a donation.

Marketers know that if you get a person to offer a small commitment, you have their self-image in your hands. This is why some unscrupulous car dealers offer an initially very low price for a car, which gets us into the showroom, but later, with all the extras, it doesn't turn out to be a low price at all. Yet by this stage we feel committed to the purchase.

What Is 'Power'? (Psychology)

Another trick is that salespeople know that getting the customer to fill out an order form or sales agreement themselves dramatically reduces the chances they will change their mind. Public commitments are a strong force. Cialdini notes Emerson's famous quote that 'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds'. Especially when you are marketed to, remember your natural tendency to be consistent and you will find it easier to back out of deals that really aren't that good. Go with your gut feeling about the worth of something before you feel the pressure of consistency — and before you make an initial commitment.

Social proof Why is canned laughter still added to the recordings of TV comedies, even when the creative people who made the shows feel insulted by it and most viewers themselves say they don't like it? Because the research shows that viewers find the gags funnier when they hear other people laughing — even if the laughter isn't real.

Human beings need the 'social proof' of other people doing something first before they feel comfortable doing it themselves.

Cialdini provides a very dark example, the famous case of Catherine Genovese, a woman who was murdered in street in Queens, New York City in Despite the fact that her assailant attacked her three times over the course of half an hour before finally killing her, despite the sound of screams and scuffles, and incredibly even though 38 people saw what was happening, no one stopped to intervene.

Was this just a case of the heartlessness of New Yorkers? Possibly, although the witnesses seemed shocked themselves that they had done nothing. Finally an answer emerged. A person in dire straits, Cialdini notes, has a greater chance of getting help if only one person, rather than a number of people, are around. In a crowd or in a city street, if people see that no one has gone to someone's aid, they feel themselves disinclined to help.

We seem to need 'social proof' before we act. Before it became a common notion, Cialdini discussed the idea of 'copycat' suicides. The most famous case of social proof in relation to suicide was the ghastly Jonestown, Guyana incident in , when members of Jim Jones's People's Temple cult took their lives by drinking from vats of poisoned soft drink. How was it possible that so many died so willingly?

Most of the cult members had been recruited in San Francisco, and Cialdini suggests that the isolation of being in a foreign country contributed to the natural human tendency to 'do what others like us are doing'. This is a skill you want to know to acquire more advanced persuasion skills. This is followed by learning about deception and what you can do to improve your skills and utilize this persuasion technique to your advantage.

Mind games and mind control are the next skills you will learn about. You will be surprised about how these are used in everyday life. In fact, you likely fall victim to them quite regularly in ways you are not even aware of. When you know the basics and how to utilize these to enhance your persuasion abilities, not only can you benefit from them, but you will also have greater control over their impact on you. Seduction is discussed in this book. This is a persuasion technique you definitely want to master since it plays a role in more than just your romantic relationships.

5 Subtle Ways To Persuade And Influence Others

You can use this for a number of things, such as getting a promotion at work. The last chapter looks at subliminal psychology. This is a very interesting topic that you likely have not heard about. You will explore a number of examples of how you already see it in action in the world today. From here, you will learn how to increase your skills and start to use this type of psychology to your advantage. By improving your persuasion skills, you are able to enhance every area of your life.

Just know that improving your skills takes time, so starting your journey now means that you will be able to better persuade others sooner. Make sure to keep this book close at all times so you always have a solid reference on the art of expert persuasion. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.

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INFLUENCE: How To Secretly Influence People With Psychology
INFLUENCE: How To Secretly Influence People With Psychology
INFLUENCE: How To Secretly Influence People With Psychology
INFLUENCE: How To Secretly Influence People With Psychology
INFLUENCE: How To Secretly Influence People With Psychology

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