‘Weapons of persuasion’ from Robert Cialdini

Los Angeles Times:

Mitt Romney on the stump, singles at the bar, car salesmen on the lot: All sorts of people are practicing the art of persuasion, with varying degrees of success.

We like to think that we make our own decisions, that we’re in control. But we’re all open to persuasion by others, says Robert Cialdini, professor emeritus of psychology at Arizona State University and author of “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”

Humans have been testing their own trial-and-error persuasion techniques forever, Cialdini says. Now, for better or worse, the professionals are moving in. Or, as he puts it, “the art of persuasion has turned into a science.”

Through experiments and real-world observations, researchers have unlocked some of the mysteries of persuasion: what works, what doesn’t work and why so many of us end up with candidates, dates and cars that we never really wanted.

People who learn these secrets can keep themselves from getting duped, Cialdini says. With practice, they can even reach the ultimate goal: getting others to do their bidding.

Read the whole story: Los Angeles Times

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