Weapons of influence

Fixed action patterns

Such patterns reduce brain strain by allowing us to act without thinking in every situation.

This can also be used for duping us.

  • Reciprocation
  • Commitment and consistency
  • Social proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity

Contrast principle

We perceive things which are presented one after the other differently than those shown in isolation.

i.e. Cloth sellers will try to make the buyer buy the most expensive item on their list first.

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Influence, New and Expanded

Influence, New and Expanded

by Robert B. Cialdini, PhD

Reciprocation

We try to repay in kind, what another person has provided us.

Creating an uninvited debt.

i.e. Most people find it difficult to leave without buying anything after trying a free sample.

Reciprocal concession

i.e. First make a request that will most likely be turned down, next make a second request as a concession.

We feel more responsible and satisfied after agreeing to a concession.

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Commitment and consistency

Once we have made up our minds, we don’t have to think about it again.

We are more consistent in our commitment if we believe that we did it for our purpose rather than external pressure.

Ask yourself, “Would I make the same choice again?”

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Social proof

The more the number of people doing it, the more we believe that the behavior is correct.

  • Canned laughter
  • Tip jars

To prevent falling for this you should recognize when the social proof is deliberately faked.

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Liking

What causes liking?

  • Physical attractiveness – positive characteristic of a person dominates how others view that person
  • Similarity – We like people who are like us
  • Compliments – We are phenomenal suckers of flattery
  • Contact and cooperation – Familiarity with someone plays a role in our decision making. and produces greater liking
  • Conditioning and association – People do assume that we have the same personality traits as our friends

If you like the requester, do not automatically like the request.

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Authority

We obey authorities mindlessly in a lot of cases:

  • Titles
  • Clothes and other outward appearances

Ask yourself, “is this authority truly an expert?”

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Scarcity

The thought of losing something motivates us more than the idea of gaining something of similar value.

We believe that things that are difficult to own are usually better than things that are easy to hold.

i.e. The passion of an indifferent lover surges when a rival comes in.

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