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The Principles of Persuasion

| February 26, 2013

by Jim Bruce

We each hope that decisions are carefully made based on all of the information that is available.  Unfortunately, that is not the case, particularly in our increasingly overloaded environment.  In this twelve minute animation, Robert Caldini, one of the thought leaders in the areas of influence and persuasion, and his colleague Steve Martin illustrate six principles of persuasion identified by their research.  The contention is that understanding these shortcuts and applying them in an ethical manner can significantly increase chances that someone can be persuaded by your request.

These shortcuts are:

  1. Reciprocity.  The implied obligation to give when you receive, particularly when it appears personalized and is unexpected.
  2. Scarcity.  We want more of things that there are less of, what’s unique.  So, when trying to persuade, point out both the uniqueness of what you are seeking and what’s not available from alternatives.
  3. Authority.  Individuals will follow credible, knowledgable experts.  
  4. Consistency.  Be consistent with what you’ve previously said or done.
  5. Liking.  People prefer to say yes.  Similar interests enable us to cooperate toward mutual goals.  (Think 4 I’s.)
  6. Consensus.  Individuals look to the actions and behaviors of others similar to themselves to determine their own.

So, take a look at the video, it’s well worth a ten minute investment.  In each instance, Caldini and Martin discuss research results illustrating how that particular  principle can be applied.  I’m sure that you will see ethical ways to apply what you learn here.

. . . jim