Goktug Yilmaz's Reviews > Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
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- Weapons of influence: Weapons of influence consist of identifying fixed action patterns and exploiting them. Compliance practitioners use them as a basis for influence.
- Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them. -Alfred North Whitehead
- Automatic, stereotyped behavior is prevalent in much of human action, because in many cases it is the most efficient form of behaving. We exist in an extraordinarily complicated stimulus environment. To deal with it, we need shortcuts. We can't be expected to recognize and analyze all the aspects in each person, event, and situation we encounter in even one day. We haven't the time, energy, or capacity for it. Instead, we must very often use our stereotypes, our rules of thumb to classify things according to a few key features and then to respond mindlessly when one or another of these trigger features is present.

Fixed action patterns:
- When we ask a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do. Just adding the word "because" triggers an automatic compliance response from people.
- A standard principle to guide buying: "expensive = good." Price alone had become a trigger feature for quality; and a dramatic increase in price alone had led to a dramatic increase in sales among the quality-hungry buyers.

- This rule states that: “We should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.”
- A widely shared and strongly held feeling of future obligation made an enormous difference in human social evolution, because it meant that one person could give something (for example, food, energy, care) to another with confidence that it was not being lost. For the first time in evolutionary history, one individual could give away any of a variety of resources without actually giving them away.
- For those who owes someone a favor, it makes no difference whether they like him or not; they feel a sense of obligation to repay him, and they do.
- 1. It pressures the recipient of an already-made concession to respond in kind. 2. Just as in the case of favors, gifts, or aid, the obligation to reciprocate a concession encourages the creation of socially desirable arrangements by ensuring that anyone seeking to start such an arrangement will not be exploited.
- Positive by-products of the act of concession: feelings of greater responsibility for, and satisfaction with, the arrangement.

Commitment & Consistency:
- Just after placing a bet, people are much more confident of their chances of winning than they are immediately before laying down that bet. Our nearly obsessive desire to be consistent with what we have already done. Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.
- In most circumstances consistency is valued and adaptive. Inconsistency is commonly thought to be an undesirable personality trait. The person whose beliefs, words, and deeds don't match may be seen as indecisive, confused, two-faced, or even mentally ill. A high degree of consistency is normally associated with personal and intellectual strength. It is at the heart of logic, rationality, stability, and honesty.
- Once we have made up our minds about an issue, stubborn consistency allows us a very appealing luxury: We really don't have to think hard about the issue anymore. We need only believe, say, or do whatever is consistent with our earlier decision.
- "There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking." - Sir Joshua Reynolds
- The students who had never written down their choices were the least loyal to those choices. Students who had publicly recorded their initial positions who most resolutely refused to shift from those positions later. Public commitment had hardened them into the most stubbornness.
- Lowball: An advantage is offered that induces a favorable purchase decision; then, sometime after the decision has been made but before the bargain is sealed, the original purchase advantage is deftly removed. The impressive thing about the lowball tactic is its ability to make a person feel pleased with a poor choice.
- We accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of strong outside pressures. We should never heavily bribe or threaten our children to do the things we want them truly to believe in, that is external force. If we want the children to believe in the correctness of what they have done, if we want them to continue to perform the desired behavior when we are not present to apply those outside pressures, then we must somehow arrange for them to accept inner responsibility for the actions we want them to take.

Social Proof:
- Principle of social proof states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior. We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.
- When we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct.
- Pluralistic ignorance: In an ambiguous situation, the tendency for everyone to be looking to see what everyone else is doing.
- As a victim you must do more than alert bystanders to your need for emergency assistance; you must also remove their uncertainties about how that assistance should be provided and who should provide it. Isolate one individual from the crowd: Stare, speak, and point directly at that person and no one else: "You, sir, in the blue jacket, I need help. Call an ambulance
- Best strategy when in need of emergency help is to reduce the uncertainties of those around you concerning your condition and their responsibilities. Be as precise as possible about your need for aid. Do not allow bystanders to come to their own conclusions because, especially in a crowd, the principle of social proof and the consequent pluralistic ignorance effect might well cause them to view your situation as a nonemergency.

- We are twice more likely to help people who are similar to us.
- We base a lot of our decision on how someone's looks and their physical attractiveness.
- We like people who are similar to us. This fact seems to hold true whether the similarity is in the area of opinions, personality traits, background, or life-style. Those who wish to be liked in order to increase our compliance can accomplish that purpose by appearing similar to us in any of a wide variety of ways.
- We can be helpless in the face of praise. This happens even when people fully realize that the flatterer stood to gain from their liking him. Praise does not have to be accurate to work.
- There is a natural human tendency to dislike a person who brings us unpleasant information, even when that person did not cause the bad news. And vice versa.
- Conditioning & Association: Whomever you root for represents you. Fans are involved in the outcome of the match. Because they personally, would be diminished by a hometown defeat. Through the principle of association. The mere connection of birthplace hooked him, wrapped him, tied him to the approaching triumph or failure.
- "All things being equal, you root for your own sex, your own culture, your own locality... and what you want to prove is that you are better than the other person. Whomever you root for represents you; and when he wins, you win." - Isaac Asimov
- When-ever our public image is damaged, we will experience an increased desire to restore that image by trumpeting our ties to successful others. At the same time, we will most scrupulously avoid publicizing our ties to failing others.
- If we have come to like the practitioner more quickly/deeply than we would have expected. Don't attempt to restrain the influence of the factors that cause liking. Allow these factors to exert their force, and then use that force in our campaign against them. To defend, mentally separate the person you like from that Toyota he's trying to sell.

- Authority status affects perceptions of size have found that prestigious titles lead to height distortions.
- When confronted with what appears to be an authority figure's influence attempt ask: "Is this authority truly an expert?" & “How truthful can we expect the expert to be here?”

- People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.
- When our freedom to have something is limited, the item becomes less available, and we experience an increased desire for it. However, we rarely recognize that psychological reactance has caused us to want the item more; all we know is that we want it. Still, we need to make sense of our desire for the item, so we begin to assign it positive qualities to justify the desire.
- Censored information: People want to have the information more than they did before. Also people come to believe in the information more, even though they haven't received it. Without ever hearing the speech, they became more sympathetic to its argument.
- According to the scarcity principle, we will find a piece of information more persuasive if we think we can't get it elsewhere.
- We value more things that have recently become less available to us than things that have always been scarce.
- Lesson for rulers: When it comes to freedoms, it is more dangerous to have given for a while than never to have given at all.
- Parents who enforce discipline inconsistently produce generally rebellious children.
- Not only do we want the same item more when it is scarce, we want it most when we are in competition for it. The product is good because other people think so, and also that we are in direct competition with those people for it.
- Extreme caution is advised whenever we encounter the devilish construction of scarcity plus rivalry.
- The joy is not in experiencing a scarce commodity but in possessing it.

We all are at war with the exploiters. The real treachery is any attempt to make their profit in a way that threatens the reliability of our shortcuts. The blitz of modern daily life demands that we have faithful shortcuts, sound rules of thumb to handle it all. That is why we should want to retaliate whenever we see someone betraying one of our rules of thumb for profit. We cannot allow that without a fight. The stakes have gotten too high.

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Reading Progress

June 24, 2015 – Shelved
June 24, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
June 8, 2017 – Shelved as: audio
July 27, 2018 – Started Reading
September 20, 2018 – Finished Reading

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