The Powers of Persuasion

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I have always thought of myself as a rather persuasive person; that is, when I need to be. I don't find it necessary to always get what you want and I see the value in everyone doing there own thing. However, when the time comes, and you need to convince people to follow you, there are specific techniques to use. When an organization is trying to get donations from people they can use a couple techniques. They can ask for a little money at first, and then later, when you are apart of their organization, they can ask for more because you will feel more responsible because you are apart of this. Another strategy is making people feel a bit guilty if they do not donate a large sum of money. This strategy would be for a company or a political figure that will need a large amount from many people. If you want me to do what I say I can do, I need to get into office first. This makes people feel guilty if the person loses and will make people donate, in theory. Anther is where you tell the person a super low price, and then when they accept, you start convincing them to add on things. This happens a lot with political campaigns. As soon as you donate, they will keep sending things to you, or when you do decide to donate, they will ask if you would like to donate more, or sign up to donate every month. These persuasive techniques play at peoples minds and can be scary to think about how vulnerable some people are.


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It is interesting that the psychological relationship between persuasion and guilt can result in a desired outcome. Guilt can be manipulated to bring about actions to relieve the guilt, when one feels like they are being persuaded into fulfilling responsibilities. This can probably vary in relation to a person's distribution of their Big 5 personality traits.

What I find most fascinating is that many people, including myself use these same techniques in everyday life. However, it wasn't like you was ever taught how to be persuasive by using these types of techniques. Instead you just learn how to use them by observing how others are persuasive, as well as trying them out for yourself in order to see if you can get what you want. After reading your examples I can see how these would be very persuasive and useful when used in a political situation.

Several of your points are very true. I have worked in retail a couple of times and find that many times you make one thing slightly cheaper and therefore people think they are getting a really good deal and buy it as they think they have to because it will save them money. Then I can mention things to add on to make a deal even cheaper, even though they will be spending more money overall they think well now I have to buy more because it will make this so much cheaper. It is amazing how people can be persuaded into doing things and even more amazing is how far some people can be persuaded.

I think that it is interesting that you use the word vulnerable because if there is one thing that we have learned in this class it's that everyone is affected by these persuasion techniques, even if we don't want to accept it. Of course, some people my be more easily persuaded than others, but it would be a fallacy to think that everyone who falls for those tricks is vulnerable because it that is the case then aren't we all vulnerable? I mean who can honestly say that they haven't be persuaded to do or buy something that they thought was ridiculous and that they would never do. It's kind of like what we talked about at the beginning of the class; people like to think that they cognitively choose to do things when all reality we decided that we choose to do things after we've already done them.

Good blog. I agree with you on the importane and presence of persuasion in our society. We are persuaded every day to do things that we might not other wise do. One way to persuade someone is to offer an incentive/ or punishment if they do not do the action that you want them to. Like blog! I know that there are a few of us who would still blog in our spare time (like me), but do we really want to? Or are we just doing it because we were persuaded for points?

Interesting blog. I am pretty indifferent about the success of the persuasion techniques that are talked about in the psychology book. I have been approached by someone who asks for a 50$ dollar donation to a charity, and then comes back and asks for a 10$ donation. I chose not to donate. I don't know if its just because i am stingy, or don't like falling prey to these persuasion tactics. Just something to think about.

I also would consider myself as persuasive and it is a double edged sword. I find that sometimes I end up bending the truth slightly to manipulate someone in to doing what I want. I also find myself telling people what they want to hear instead of the blatant truth.

I think there are some people that can persuade people in good ways but then there are those who do it more negatively. Those who can do it in a positive way I see as individuals who can be good leaders. Of course I always try to persuade in a good, positive way but I want to know what other people say about me. I would hope people would say I'm a positive person and can reflect that on others.

i think the use of guilt is never a good idea when it comes to getting what you want. i feel this way because if you're feeding off of someone's guilt to get what you want, you've put them in a very uncomfortable position. people don't like being in uncomfortable positions, so eventually things would fall through.

I also find myself as a persuasive person when I need to be. It is crazy to think about how easily companies who look for donations are able to manipulate consumers. Many companies advertise their sales in deceiving ways. For example, some television sales advertise a product "for as low as $8.00 a month!" when in reality they ask for the entire one year cost of $96 to be paid in its entirety.

I also believe that persuasion is dangerously powerful. I did not know of these techniques until psychology. And I am surprise that many people fall for them. I believe it is because both of these techniques play on people's emotions. With the foot-in-the-door technique, the people committing to something must that the other is trust able where as the door-in-face technique plays of guilt.

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This page contains a single entry by quinn318 published on April 23, 2012 9:46 PM.

Altruism: Inherent or Learned? was the previous entry in this blog.

Social Facilitation is the next entry in this blog.

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