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Influence by Robert B. Cialdini

1. Weapons of Influence

  • In today’s world, we need the first advantage to handle pocketbook strain; but we need the second advantage to handle something potentially more important - brain strain. (?)
  • Automatic behavior patterns make us terribly vulnerable to anyone who does know how they work
  • There are several components shared by most of the weapons of automatic influence to be described in this book:
  1. The nearly mechanical process by which the power within these weapons can be activated

  2. The consequent exploitability of this power by anyone who knows how to trigger them

  3. The way that the weapons of automatic influence lend their force to those who use them

  • In the end of this chapter author give a few examples on human perception. The idea where people judge things differently after being in contact with the same thing but worse or better.

2. Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take … and Take

  • Idea that people have that sense of (reciprocation) which tells them, in simplest terms, if someone gives them something, they have to give something in return, whatever the size of this return.
  • Another idea is where use both human perception and reciprocation, as in the example of the boy who sold me a chocolate.
  • People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The good cop/bad copstrategy is also based on this principle. - Wikipedia

3.Commitment and Consistency:Hobgoblins of the Mind

  • In the simplest form and idea that when a human states their opinion prior to the question or an act that was act to do it is highly "possible" that this person will stick to his earlier stated opinion. Examples, with Chinese prisoners, Toy companies, Sherman strategy and the great companies trick, where they ask consumers to right an essay about why they love their product, that makes consumer buy/love more of it, all apply very well.
  • If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. Cialdini notes Chinese brainwashing on American prisoners of war to rewrite their self-image and gain automatic unenforced compliance. See cognitive dissonance. - Wikipedia

4. Social Proof: Truths are us

  • A simple idea, that we - the human, do things that are socially approved, that everyone else doing.
  • A story in the end of the chapter shows perfectly how can this principle deceive our thinking and make us act not entirely rational.
  • People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments. - Wikipedia

5. Liking: The Friendly Thief

  • *   * What this chapter basically says is that when it comes to our friends or people we like (or just even know) we are more vulnerable. We are much easier to persuade to buy certain things or do something, just like in the example of Tupperware party.
  • People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype. - Wikipedia

6. Authority: The Directed Deference

  • In this chapter, Robert Cialdini talks about our tendency to obey the people who stand higher then you in the social status, whether it is a police officer, a billionaire or a president. Moreover, we are much more easily persuaded not only by the actual people who are in higher social position, but look like them. So, if you run into a man with a good looking suit, your subconscious mind tells you that this person as important and you better listen to him not get in any trouble (or any other incentive would do).
  • People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre. - Wikipedia

7. Scarcity: The Rule of the Few

  • *     *Human mind is weird. We tend to pay for things more if we thing they are scarce. This is the reason some people are ready to pay crazy amounts зf money for some rare baseball card or something like that.
  • Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales. - Wikipedia

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