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Notes by EMA: The Psychology of Influence & Persuasion

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF INFLUENCE & PERSUASION

ROBERT CIALDINI

SUMMARY BY ENRIQUE ABOITIZ MENDIETA

Dear All,
This is a summary of the highlights. The book is worth reading to understand both influence and persuasion.

 

Six Weapons of Influence:

  1. Reciprocation
  2. Commitment & Consistency
  3. Social Proof
  4. Liking
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

The contrast principle – utilize the momentum of the attacker as a means to defeat the same attacker. If the difference between two things is great, you tend to see the difference as greater than they really are. Accessories seem less costly after you have purchased the car. A salesman shows you the more expensive items and you see the less expensive ones as even less expensive than they really are.

To persuade people to act, stimulate their stored up impressions, fears, hopes, desires and dreams. Tap into the powers of suggestion instead of making “in your face” requests.

  1. Reciprocation

When you receive, you have to give in return.

GIVE AND TAKE…as old as we can remember.

It assures one that he can give away something first with the assurance that this gift will be repaid at the end. It’s a trade. It is necessary for creating long-term, long-lasting relationships. Defines what it means to be human – a network of obligations.

CAUTION: THE RULE CAN BE SO POWERFUL THAT IT CAN CLOUD YOUR FEELINGS OF SUSPICION FOR THE PERSON GIVING YOU A GIFT. IT CAN CREATE A “YES” WHEN THE SITUATION MERITS A “NO.”

A flower at the entrance of a church so you give a greater donation.

Test this cheese and you buy boxes.

Buy a girl a drink and ?

Make an excessive request, and then come in with a lesser one.

IF YOU RECEIVE A GIFT THAT IS A TRICK OF COMPLIANCE – DO NOT BE OBLIGATED TO REPAY.

  1. Commitment & Consistency

The principle is the belief that people must always align their outer actions and behaviors with their inner choices and systems, like their values and beliefs.

When promises are made, there is the obligation to work hard to fulfill those promises. When decisions are made, there is always a desire to make the right choices. When something was done, justification always follows, and most of the time a new rationale is made to justify the action.

Consistency can serve as a motivation to behave the way you are expected to. It is the basis of rationality, logic, stability, ethics and honesty. On the other hand, an inconsistent person is perceived as careless, undisciplined, or a hypocrite.

CONSISTENCY – a shortcut to decision making without thinking.

COMMITMENT – the stimulus to be consistent.

COMPLIANCE PRACTITIONERS TAP INTO YOU INNER DESIRE TO BE CONSISTENT FOR THEIR OWN GAIN.

Stubborn consistency stops you from opportunity.

Fraternities undergo pain to enter to make membership more important to you.

You become more consistent in your own commitment if you believe your actions were influenced by your own accord.

YOU CAN SAY NO: WOULD YOU MAKE THE SAME CHOICE AGAIN IN THE FUTURE?

  1. Social Truths

TRUTHS ARE US.

The Principle: you tend to copy what other people do especially if you are not sure what to do.

 Canned laughter.

General Rule: People view behavior as more correct in a particular situation based on how other people would do it.

Social proof is a shortcut. If you conform to the behavior of people around you, then you are less likely to commit social faux pas.

  1. Liking

A Tupperware party: if you like, and are friends of, the host, you will have a hard time not buying.

People like others based on: physical attractiveness, similarity, compliments they pay, contact, cooperation and association.

SAY NO: KEEP YOUR FEELINGS SEPARATE.

  1. Authority

Directed deference.

People tend to obey authority mindlessly.

ANALYSE AND SAY NO IF YOU DO NOT AGREE.

  1. Scarcity

The Rule of the Few.

People find a stronger motivation to act just by the thought of losing something rather than gaining something. Losing is more powerful.

Limited edition.

Do not miss this chance.

Teenagers more likely to pursue a romantic relationship with someone their parents disapprove.


 

This was recommended to me 20 years ago by a student at the Kennedy School of Government. I re-read it earlier this year. It’s relevant!

 

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