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How To Use 10 Psychological Theories To Persuade People

How To Use 10 Psychological Theories To Persuade People

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Amplification Hypothesis

When you express with certainty a particular attitude, that attitude hardens.

The opposite is true as well: Expressing uncertainty softens the attitude.

The minority in a group can have a disproportionate effect on influencing those in the majority.

Typically, those in the majority who are most susceptible are the ones who may have joined because it was easy to do so or who felt there were no alternatives. Consistent,

Information Manipulation Theory

This theory involves a persuasive person deliberately breaking one of the four conversational maxims. These are the four:

  • Quantity: Information is complete and full.
  • Quality: Information is truthful and accurate.

You can be influenced by stimuli that affect how you perceive short-term thoughts and actions. Here’s a really smart example from Changing Minds:

A stage magician says ‘try’ and ‘cycle’ in separate sentences in priming a person to think later of the word ‘tricycle’.

Reciprocity Norm

A common social norm, reciprocity involves our obligation to return favors done by others.

You want what is in short supply. This desire increases as you anticipate the regret you might have if you miss out by not acting fast enough.

Persuasive messages tend to decrease in persuasiveness over time, except for messages from low-credibility sources.

Messages that start out with low persuasion gain persuasion as our minds slowly disassociate the source from the material (i.e., a presumably sleazy car ...

Social Influence

We are influenced strongly by others based on how we perceive our relationship with the influencer.

For example, social proof on web copy is persuasive if the testimonials and recommendations are from authoritative sources, big brands, or peers.

This approach, based on multiple years of research by Yale University, found a number of factors in persuasive speech, including being a credible, attractive speaker; when it’s important to first or go last; and the ideal demographics to target.

Ultimate Terms

Certain words carry more power than others. This theory breaks persuasive words into three categories:

  • God terms: those words that carry blessings or demand obedience/sacrifice. e.g, progress, value
  • Devil terms: those terms that are despised an...

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