How the human mechanisms of conditioning and persuasion work
In a world which is becoming more complex by the day, and is brimming with stimuli, our brain is forced to make shortcuts to work quickly, but these constant automatic responses expose us to risk. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion teaches us to recognise the most widespread mechanisms of persuading and influencing, to help us avoid the pitfalls, and even to be able to gain the advantage.
Many useful tips to:
- Stop being thought of as naïve.
- Understand the techniques of persuasion.
- Use the “powers of persuasion” to your advantage.
All animals, including humans, let themselves be fooled by their instincts
Female turkeys are excellent mothers…as long as their little ones keep chirping. If they don’t make this sound, the chicks are treated badly and sometimes even killed. To prove this, scientists hid a voice recorder inside a stuffed skunk (a turkey’s arch enemy) that made the same “cheep” sound that turkey chicks make, and the mother turkey looked after it. To us, it probably seems utterly ridiculous to be fooled by a sound! Yet we humans also have our own fixed patterns: our world is bursting with stimuli and we need our mental shortcuts to be able to cope with them. Obviously, stereotypes don’t always work; but the mistakes that we make because of them are widely accepted, because the benefits of using them seem to be greater than not using them.
The problem with automatic behaviour is not so much the lack of accuracy, as our pervasive ignorance, which makes us vulnerable to anyone who understands how it works. So we need to learn to recognise our basic behaviour patterns, to avoid being tricked, and maybe even learning to use them to our advantage.
The key ideas of "Influence"
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