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Old 12-22-2009, 03:44 AM   #1
midwesternerr's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default Proven factors of influence: Part I


Obviously, as wildlife advocates we would like to (ethically) persuade others to engage in activities that benefit wildlife. Getting others to realize most change that benefits wildlife is worthwhile and mutually beneficial to humans can sometimes be difficult. Therefore, it's beneficial to be armed with some of the best tools of the trade for effective social influence.

Basic assumptions

Humans respond predictably to certain triggers. Much like many birds respond to certain songs and breast colors automatically, humans respond automatically under certain conditions, too. More and more of these triggers are being discovered all the time. In comparison to lower animals, more of our automatic responses are learned than inborn, but we have actually end up with more of them.

We are assaulted with so many daily choices and events, it would be impossible to get anything done without these shortcuts or automatic responses. Imagine if every time you entered a restaurant the process worked randomly and completely different. You'd have no idea how to respond or what to expect. Imagine if you really paused and did a critical analysis of the past 24 hours each time someone asked "How are you?".

Trigger #1: The Rule of Contrast

Our Judgments are impacted by what came immediately before
Imagine that you lift a small, thin board immediately before lifting a thicker board. The thicker board will seem lighter in comparison.

Try the following experiment:
  • Fill a bowl half way with water and lit it sit for a few hours
  • Fill another bowl with cold water. Add some ice cubes
  • Places your hand in the cold water for 30 seconds
  • Immediately move your hand to the room temperature water
  • After a few seconds put your other hand in the room temp. water
What happened and why?

Long ago sales were found to be effected by order. For example, an accessory seems inexpensive compared to the cost of a suit. Once the customer commits to purchasing the suit, the cost of the belt seems like nothing. Why not add one on? This principle can also be used to secure donations. 5$ seems pretty insignificant next to the 100$ check box.(this also appeals to a since of compromise). This is known as the door in face technique when used to secure a purchase by initially offering an inflated price to make the actual target response (5$) seem incredibly reasonable.

Persuasive Speaking

O no, do I have to talk in front of people

  1. Use of keyword outlines, not scripts.
  2. Rehearse at least 3x out loud before "going live"
  3. Audience eye contact, only glancing at notes occasionally
  4. No turning to read a power point. Have note cards or podium.
  5. Power point should not include excessive details, the speaker should provide the details. The speaker is speaking, not the power point.
  6. Handouts should be given out at the end unless they are needed during speech (distractions, may still be circulating as you talk so plan to avoid this)
  7. Show up early, make sure all technology works as expected beforehand, have a backup plan in case it does not.
  8. Mentally rehearse presentation going well.
  9. Support arguments with facts, credible sources (orally cited), testimonials (consider audience), personal experiences/communications, and visual aids.
  10. Consider Audience and plan for them.
  • Those with high motivation & ability to understand topic are moved by strong arguments and facts.
  • Those with low motivation and ability to understand are moved by expert status, credentials, attractiveness.

Cialdini, R. (2001). (4th eds.). Influence: Science and Practice.
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