By Robert B. Cialdini
Weapons of Influence:
- Be aware of fixed-action patterns brought on by instincts.
- Compliance is born out of the human (and animal) need to short cut a process with a single stimulus eliciting the fixed-action influence.
- The most widespread and basic norms of human culture is reciprocation: one should try to repay, in kind, what another has provided. Example: A stranger hands you a flower or a compliment, then asks for a stick of gum. You’ll do it.
- Compliance is influenced by this.
- It’s so powerful it can overwhelm a usual negative request
- Works with even uninvited favors
- Can spur unequal exchanges
- An individual can make a request, then a concession. The concession works just as well. Example: individual asks to borrow your car, you say no, and the individual asks for a ride – you comply.
- Defense against it: accept offers on good faith and don’t see them as tricks so you’re not “caught” later
Commitment and Consistency:
- People want to be and look consistent in words, deeds, beliefs, and attitudes.
- Consistency valued by society
- Consistency valued because of its affect on daily life
- Consistency because of a shortcut of modern complexity (you did this once, so do it again)
- You must secure an initial commitment first. Once you do it once, you’ll do it again.
- Once you make a commitment, if the initial reason falls out, you’ll come up with other reasons.
- Defense against it: go with your gut, literally.
- People decide what to do based on what other people are doing.
- Most influential in:
- Similarity (dress, voice, etc)
- Defense against it: develop a sensitivity to manufactured social proofing
- People prefer to say “yes” to individuals they know and like
- Physical attractiveness matters
- Similarity – dress the same, act the same
- Increased familiarity facilitates liking
- taking a meal together, etc
- Defense against it: upon recognizing that we like a requester inordinately well under the circumstances, we should step back from the social interaction and separate the requester from the offer
- There is evidence of strong pressure for compliance with the requests of an authority
- There is a tendency to react in an automatic fashion to symbols rather than substance: titles, clothing, and automobiles
- Defense against it: Question authority. Consider the authority’s trustworthiness.
- People assign more value to opportunities when they are less available
- Scarcity works for two reasons:
- If it’s difficult to attain, it’s got to be more valuable, so a shortcut to it quality
- As it becomes less accessible, we lose freedoms and we respond to the loss of freedoms by wanting to have more.
- The terrible twos and teenage years are the worst time for restrictions
- It works with how information is evaluated: limiting access to a message causes individuals to want it more. LIMITED INFORMATION IS MORE PERSUASIVE
- Scarcity works best under two conditions:
- they are heightened in value when newly scarce
- we are attracted to scare resources if we have to compete
- Defense against it: be alert to a rush of arousal and take a break to assess.
- Life is so complex now, we look for shortcuts.