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October 10, 2018

"Influence. The Psychology of Persuasion"

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Today, I want to breakdown the 6 pillars Dr. Robert Cialdini presents in the book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasions", so that we have a better understanding for how people try to manipulate us.

The first pillar is reciprocity. We all have an innate preference to not owe people anything, so we go out of our way to repay debts.  Some people try to take advantage of us by creating situations that require reciprocation.

The second pillar is commitment and consistency. We all have a tendency to back-up previous commitments that we made, and have consistent behavior.  This why negotiating can be so hard, because we get stuck in a certain way of thinking in order to be consistent.

The third pillar is social proof. If there is a line at a restaurant, or a lot of reviews for a product, we are more likely to choose it because it has the public stamp of approval.  There are cases when a false perception of public acceptance influences our choices.

The fourth pillar is liking. People tend to prefer things that they seem to like, which comes as a result of attractiveness, similarity, and cooperation.

The fifth pillar is authority. We tend to be affected by the requests of authority figures, and will do things against our normal behavior patterns out of respect. A classic example of this is the Milgram Shock Experiment.

The last pillar is scarcity. If there isn’t much available, then it must be good.  This is FOMO (or fear of missing out) taken to the extreme, and most definitely can influence our actions.

Keep an eye out for reciprocity, commitment consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity in your life, and you will be less likely to be manipulated.

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