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The Psychology, Persuasion, ROBERT B CIALDINI PH D. This book is dedicated to Chris, who glows in his father s eye. Introduction v, Weapons of Influence 1, Reciprocation The Old Give and Take and Take 13. Commitment and Consistency Hobgoblins of the Mind 43. Social Proof Truths Are Us 87, Liking The Friendly Thief 126. Authority Directed Deference 157, Scarcity The Rule of the Few 178.
Epilogue Instant Influence, Primitive Consent for an Automatic Age 205. Bibliography 225, Acknowledgments, About the Author. About the Publisher, INTRODUCTION, I can admit it freely now All my life I ve been a patsy For as long as I. can recall I ve been an easy mark for the pitches of peddlers fund. raisers and operators of one sort or another True only some of these. people have had dishonorable motives The others representatives of. certain charitable agencies for instance have had the best of intentions. No matter With personally disquieting frequency I have always found. myself in possession of unwanted magazine subscriptions or tickets to. the sanitation workers ball Probably this long standing status as. sucker accounts for my interest in the study of compliance Just what. are the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person And. which techniques most effectively use these factors to bring about such. compliance I wondered why it is that a request stated in a certain way. will be rejected while a request that asks for the same favor in a slightly. different fashion will be successful, So in my role as an experimental social psychologist I began to do. research into the psychology of compliance At first the research. vi Influence, took the form of experiments performed for the most part in my.
laboratory and on college students I wanted to find out which psycho. logical principles influence the tendency to comply with a request Right. now psychologists know quite a bit about these principles what they. are and how they work I have characterized such principles as weapons. of influence and will report on some of the most important in the up. coming chapters, After a time though I began to realize that the experimental work. while necessary wasn t enough It didn t allow me to judge the import. ance of the principles in the world beyond the psychology building and. the campus where I was examining them It became clear that if I was. to understand fully the psychol gy of compliance I would need to. broaden my scope of investigation I would need to look to the compli. ance professionals the people who had been using the principles on. me all my life They know what works and what doesn t the law of. survival of the fittest assures it Their business is to make us comply. and their livelihoods depend on it Those who don t know how to get. people to say yes soon fall away those who do stay and flourish. Of course the compliance professionals aren t the only ones who. know about and use these principles to help them get their way We. all employ them and fall victim to them to some degree in our daily. interactions with neighbors friends lovers and offspring But the. compliance practitioners have much more than the vague and amateur. ish understanding of what works than the rest of us have As I thought. about it I knew that they represented the richest vein of information. about compliance available to me For nearly three years then I com. bined my experimental studies with a decidedly more entertaining. program of systematic immersion into the world of compliance profes. sionals sales operators fund raisers recruiters advertisers and others. The purpose was to observe from the inside the techniques and. strategies most commonly and effectively used by a broad range of. compliance practitioners That program of observation sometimes took. the form of interviews with the practitioners themselves and sometimes. with the natural enemies for example police buncosquad officers. consumer agencies of certain of the practitioners At other times it in. volved an intensive examination of the written materials by which. compliance techniques are passed down from one generation to anoth. er sales manuals and the like, Most frequently though it has taken the form of participant observa. tion Participant observation is a research approach in which the re. searcher becomes a spy of sorts With disguised identity and intent the. investigator infiltrates the setting of interest and becomes a full fledged. Robert B Cialdini Ph D vii, participant in the group to be studied So when I wanted to learn about. the compliance tactics of encyclopedia or vacuum cleaner or portrait. photography or dance lesson sales organizations I would answer a. newspaper ad for sales trainees and have them teach me their methods. Using similar but not identical approaches I was able to penetrate ad. vertising public relations and fund raising agencies to examine their. techniques Much of the evidence presented in this book then comes. from my experience posing as a compliance professional or aspiring. professional in a large variety of organizations dedicated to getting us. to say yes, One aspect of what I learned in this three year period of participant. observation was most instructive Although there are thousands of. different tactics that compliance practitioners employ to produce yes. the majority fall within six basic categories Each of these categories is. governed by a fundamental psychological principle that directs human. behavior and in so doing gives the tactics their power The book is. organized around these six principles one to a chapter The prin. ciples consistency reciprocation social proof authority liking and. scarcity are each discussed in terms of their function in the society. and in terms of how their enormous force can be commissioned by a. compliance professional who deftly incorporates them into requests. for purchases donations concessions votes assent etc It is worthy of. note that I have not included among the six principles the simple rule. of material self interest that people want to get the most and pay the. least for their choices This omission does not stem from any perception. on my part that the desire to maximize benefits and minimize costs is. unimportant in driving our decisions Nor does it come from any. evidence I have that compliance professionals ignore the power of this. rule Quite the opposite In my investigations I frequently saw practi. tioners use sometimes honestly sometimes not the compelling I can. give you a good deal approach I choose not to treat the material self. interest rule separately in this book because I see it as a motivational. given as a goes without saying factor that deserves acknowledgment. but not extensive description, Finally each principle is examined as to its ability to produce a distinct.
kind of automatic mindless compliance from people that is a willing. ness to say yes without thinking first The evidence suggests that the. ever accelerating pace and informational crush of modern life will make. this particular form of unthinking compliance more and more prevalent. in the future It will be increasingly important for the society therefore. to understand the how and why of automatic influence. It has been some time since the first edition of Influence was published. viii Influence, In the interim some things have happened that I feel deserve a place. in this new edition First we now know more about the influence. process than before The study of persuasion compliance and change. has advanced and the pages that follow have been adapted to reflect. that progress In addition to an overall update of the material I have. included a new feature that was stimulated by the responses of prior. That new feature highlights the experiences of individuals who have. read Influence recognized how one of the principles worked on or for. them in a particular instance and wrote to me describing the event. Their descriptions which appear in the Reader s Reports at the end of. each chapter illustrate how easily and frequently we can fall victim to. the pull of the influence process in our everyday lives. I wish to thank the following individuals who either directly or. through their course instructors contributed the Reader s Reports. used in this edition Pat Bobbs Mark Hastings James Michaels Paul. R Nail Alan J Resnik Daryl Retzlaff Dan Swift and Karla Vasks In. addition I would like to invite new readers to submit similar reports. for possible publication in a future edition They may be sent to me at. the Department of Psychology Arizona State University Tempe AZ. 85287 1104, ROBERT B CIALDINI, WEAPONS OF, Everything should be made as simple as possible but not sim. ALBERT EINSTEIN, I opened an Indian jewelry store in Arizona She was giddy with a. GOT A PHONE CALL ONE DAY FROM A FRIEND WHO HAD RECENTLY. curious piece of news Something fascinating had just happened and. she thought that as a psychologist I might be able to explain it to her. The story involved a certain allotment of turquoise jewelry she had. been having trouble selling It was the peak of the tourist season the. store was unusually full of customers the turquoise pieces were of good. quality for the prices she was asking yet they had not sold My friend. had attempted a couple of standard sales tricks to get them moving. She tried calling attention to them by shifting their location to a more. central display area no luck She even told her sales staff to push the. items hard again without success, Finally the night before leaving on an out of town buying trip she. scribbled an exasperated note to her head saleswoman Everything in. this display case price hoping just to be rid of the offending pieces. even if at a loss When she returned a few days later she was not sur. prised to find that every article had been sold She was shocked though. to discover that because the employee had read the in her scrawled. message as a 2 the entire allotment had sold out at twice the original. 2 Influence, That s when she called me I thought I knew what had happened but.
told her that if I were to explain things properly she would have to. listen to a story of mine Actually it isn t my story it s about mother. turkeys and it belongs to the relatively new science of ethology the. study of animals in their natural settings Turkey mothers are good. mothers loving watchful and protective They spend much of their. time tending warming cleaning and huddling the young beneath. them But there is something odd about their method Virtually all of. this mothering is triggered by one thing the cheep cheep sound of. young turkey chicks Other identifying features of the chicks such as. their smell touch or appearance seem to play minor roles in the. mothering process If a chick makes the cheep cheep noise its. mother will care for it if not the mother will ignore or sometimes kill. The extreme reliance of maternal turkeys upon this one sound was. dramatically illustrated by animal behaviorist M W Fox in his descrip. tion of an experiment involving a mother turkey and a stuffed polecat 1. For a mother turkey a polecat is a natural enemy whose approach is. to be greeted with squawking pecking clawing rage Indeed the exper. imenters found that even a stuffed model of a polecat when drawn by. a string toward a mother turkey received an immediate and furious. attack When however the same stuffed replica carried inside it a small. recorder that played the cheep cheep sound of baby turkeys the. mother not only accepted the oncoming polecat but gathered it under. neath her When the machine was turned off the polecat model again. drew a vicious attack, How ridiculous a female turkey seems under these circumstances. She will embrace a natural enemy just because it goes cheep cheep. and she will mistreat or murder one of her own chicks just because it. does not She looks like an automaton whose maternal instincts are. under the automatic control of that single sound The ethologists tell. us that this sort of thing is far from unique to the turkey They have. begun to identify regular blindly mechanical patterns of action in a. wide variety of species, Called fixed action patterns they can involve intricate sequences of. behavior such as entire courtship or mating rituals A fundamental. characteristic of these patterns is that the behaviors that compose them. occur in virtually the same fashion and in the same order every time. It is almost as if the patterns were recorded on tapes within the animals. When the situation calls for courtship the courtship tape gets played. when the situation calls for mothering the maternal behavior tape gets. Robert B Cialdini Ph D 3, played Click and the appropriate tape is activated whirr and out rolls. the standard sequence of behaviors, The most interesting thing about all this is the way the tapes are ac. tivated When a male animal acts to defend his territory for instance. it is the intrusion of another male of the same species that cues the ter. ritorial defense tape of rigid vigilance threat and if need be combat. behaviors But there is a quirk in the system It is not the rival male as. a whole that is the trigger it is some specific feature of him the trigger. feature Often the trigger feature will be just one tiny aspect of th. compliance I wondered why it is that a request stated in a certain way will be rejected while a request that asks for the same favor in a slightly different fashion will be successful So in my role as an experimental social psychologist I began to do research into the psychology of compliance At first the research

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