Secrets from the science of persuasion

15th February 2013

How do you make important decisions? I suspect many of us believe that we consider the options available to us in a fairly rational way and reach a conclusion which is entirely consistent with the facts.

The reality is that many of us may be persuaded towards a particular course of action without realising it.

Dr Robert Cialdini is a Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, an author of a number of books about the science of influence and persuasion, including “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”.

In this book Dr Cialdini explains that the ability to persuade is governed by 6 key principles, which can be learned and applied by anyone. These principles are:

  1. Reciprocity
  2. Liking
  3. Social Proof
  4. Consistency
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

Despite the pithy academic nature of the subject matter the book is written in a very readable and entertaining style. Whether you are in a role which requires you to persuade others, or you want to avoid being manipulated by people who use these principles in a less than ethical way, this is a great place to start.

If you find the thought of spending hours reading the book a little off-putting then here is a great short video (12 minutes) which describes the Universal Principles of Persuasion based on Dr Cialdini’s research.

Source: Youtube, influenceatwork

We would be delighted to hear how you found the video, including any changes you look to make in your own actions. We are always looking for new ideas for our blog posts, so if you’ve come across something interesting that you think people may want to hear about, please do not hesitate to let us know by contacting a member of our team.