How to Use Psychology to Persuade and Manipulate People

In this video I’ll show you six universal principles that allows you to ethically manipulate and persuade people that will benefit you. I’m not only going to cover these principles, but I’ll also show you how you can use them in your life to persuade and convince people to your way of thinking without them realizing you had anything to do with it.

But before I show you these highly effective persuasion techniques I would like you to promise that will only use them with good intentions. However with that being said I doubt anyone with bad intentions will close this video because of that statement but it’s worth pointing out. So here are 6 methods you can use to persuade people to get what you want.

1. Reciprocity

The first principle is reciprocity which is playing with that uncomfortable feeling of being indebted to someone, or to repay what another person has provided you. And you’ll see this a lot in supermarkets where a happy guy offers free samples on some special sausage that just came to the store and who are you to turn this great offer down?

Now unless it tastes like crap or you’re just heartless douche you’ll feel inclined to buy their products to give back and balance that little debt out. This is a super effective way to increase sales and those free samples will eventually generate a lot more than it cost to give away.

And you can really use this principle to your advantage if you want to earn more tips as a waiter. So by giving small, inexpensive gifts such as candy along with the bill when it’s time to pay, you are likely to be tipped more, however not very much if that’s all you do. But there’s a method that will absolutely skyrocket the amount of tip you’ll receive which is called the 1+1 method. This is how you do it. You provide the guests their one candy along with the bill and start to walk away from the table. Only to turn around, smile and say something to make them feel a bit special, such as “For you great people, here’s another one”. You’re seemingly spontaneous act of generosity will make people want to make it up to you which results in tips increasing with more than 20% the average amount.

2. Commitment and Consistency

The second principle is Commitment and Consistency. Imagine that you’re attending a horse race for the first time and for the sake of it you place a bet on one of the horses. You’re completely clueless of the outcome but you do a quick check on the horses and decide to gamble a little to make it more exciting. Now when your bet is secured, you’ll feel increasingly confident that your bet is the winning one and your hopes go up. You’re justifying your commitment and you’re staying consistent with that choice, even though you really know nothing about it, because after all you made that decision and you’re a pretty smart person right?

So we act in ways that are consistent with our previous behavior and it’s pretty easy to manipulate people’s behavior by taking advantage of this. And one method that does just that is the foot-in-the-door technique. Simply get people to agree to a tiny request and eventually they will feel compelled to agree with larger relative requests to stay true to their identity. For example, one study found that asking students for help saving a document as an RTF file via email increased their compliance to complete an online survey sent to them in the following email versus not asking them anything before requesting them to complete the survey.

3. Social Proof

The third principle is social proof. People are subconsciously influenced by what other people do, and will many times act in a similar way due to the social proof method. You know those laugh machines they use in comedy shows to emphasize a bad joke so it doesn’t fly over our heads. You might think those canned laughs are annoying and ruining the show, however psychology proves different. Experiments have shown that the use of canned laughter make the viewers laugh longer and more often when humorous material is shown as well as rate the material as funnier.

And the social proof technique is also popular among people who collect tips and donations, as they do in some churches. And they will sometimes have a carefully placed stooge at the start that donates a lot of money to influence people behind to get the ball rolling. And you don’t want to look like that one asshole who doesn’t donate do you?

So next time you want a certain action from people, have a stooge ready to take the initiative and enjoy watching people mindlessly follow that behavior due to social proof.

4. Liking

The fourth principle is liking. Just imagine you’re traveling abroad and you want to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. There are several taxi drivers waiting outside the airport ready to drive you. One is substantially older than you, overweight and with a bad posture. The other is much younger than you and is wearing socks and crocs while the third is wearing a shirt with your countries colors, is roughly the same age and to top it off is also a good looking bastard. I know this is an extreme example but psychology says you are more inclined to say yes to the last option, even though important factors such as price is still uncertain, it doesn’t really matter because you already trust and like this person more than the competition.

This principle says that we prefer to say yes to people we like over people we don’t like, even when we don’t know them personally. And so the initial key traits that determines if we like them or not are attractiveness, similarity, compliments and association amongst others. Just be a sexy son of a bitch and share the same interests, beliefs and values sprinkled with a compliment or two and people will have a really hard time turning you down.

5. Authority

The fifth principle is Authority. If you’re familiar with the milgram experiment you’ll have a decent understanding of just how powerful it is to act from an authority standpoint to get people to do what you want. I’m not gonna ramble on and explain the whole experiment, but in short, people are willing to give lethal shocks and kill another person simply because an authority figure dressed in a white coat demands it because their experiment has to continue. Originally the scientists behind the experiment predicted that one tenth of one percent would follow through all the way and give lethal shocks up to 450 volts and seemingly kill the other person. They were wrong in their predictions as more than a whopping 60 % followed through because a guy in a white coat told them to.

So this principle suggests that the greater perceived authority one has, the more likely people are to comply. People have taken advantage of this principle by dressing up as parking attendants to charge people for parking on free parking spots, and most people don’t bat an eye but comply without doubting the credibility. Just to clarify here, I don’t recommend you to do this.

6. Scarcity

So the last principle is Scarcity. An item low in stock is more desirable than an item that is freely available. This is why a one dollar bill with a printed error on it is worth much more than the one dollar it’s ought to be worth, and people make fortunes selling faulty bills at a price point well exciting it’s printed worth. Because they are so rare. This is also why items can be sold at elevated prices at auctions. People fear losing out to another person and the chance of buying that item might not come again and naturally the price point becomes higher. The scarcity principle can be used to persuade and sell an item to someone that is hesitant to get it. Let’s say a customer is looking to buy a TV but is still unsure. By stating that this particular TV is in high demand and all sold out to your knowledge, will make it more desirable. But of course you can make an effort to see if there might be one left in the back storage room. Now make a reassuring question and tell him that “I understand that this is the model you want and if I can get it for for you at that price, you’ll take it?” Ask them to commit to the purchase at this stage, when it seems the least available but also most desirable.

So there you have it. These methods are from Robert Cialdini and his fantastic book called influence, and is a book that everyone involved with marketing should read and I link it below.

Influence on Amazon


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