Science of Persuasion (or how to get someone to do what you want them to do…)

December 7, 2012

Great animated video on the science (six universal principles) of persuasion, based on the research of Dr. Robert Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing, Arizona State University.


Let go of the anchor!

January 5, 2012

A thought experiment for you to try:

Below are a set of numbers. Give a friend five seconds to estimate the answer, without resorting to a calculator.

Set-A  8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1

Here’s another set of numbers. Find a second friend and give them the same instructions.

Set-B  1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8

You will find that the second person gives a smaller estimate than the first, and both will be way off the correct answer (which, rather startlingly, is 40,320).

Maybe you’re not surprised that people find it difficult to quickly multiply eight digits, but why the smaller estimate for Set-B? The answer is provided by the only psychologist to win a Nobel prize, Daniel Kahneman. Check out his ground-breaking 1974 article, written with Amos Tversky, in Science magazine.

A little clue: It’s all to do with ‘anchoring’ - a psychological effect that has a profound effect on our decision-making ability, and which in real life trips us up when we try to buy expensive things like houses or cars!

Photo credit: Scottchan/


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