Why Cialdini’s six work...

I talked about this imaginary friend, a fishing buddy, that tells you he only liked fishing yesterday. Being a holistic individual is of great importance to us. We count on it that our friends will be the same friends we know tomorrow and the day after that. We also plan what we want to do in future times. If our goals and ideas stay the same, it would be hard to understand that our behavior would change all of the time. Caring and being one person Philosophers like Bratman and Frankfurt talk about this aspect of human being and the importance of being one and the same person. Not only is it important for us to care about something, it also makes us whole and gives us goals in life. The impact of the need to be holistic is not only visible in the principle of commitment, it also means we want to be right. Being wrong might mean you have to change your opinion later on. That is why we are vulnerable to other people’s opinion (social proof) and experts (authority). Even scarcity can be explained through this principle, since scarce items are wanted by other people too. Liking yourself: positive self-concept We do not only want to be one (and not many) persons, we also want to like ourselves. This is most visible in the principle of reciprocity where we share and give back because we want others (and ourselves) to think positive about us. The principle of liking is, of course, also tightly connected to liking ourselves. Why else would we like others that are like us? Shortcuts The principles Cialdini describes work most of the time unconsciously. A lot of times they also make sense...

Forcing yourself – commitment...

Consistency can be a deadly weapon, threatening you to drive you into directions you don’t want to go. Everything you did earlier will force you to behave the same. We desire to be consistent with whom we are and what we did. Other people also expect you to be the same. They don’t expect you to be a different personality tomorrow. They want you to like apples yesterday, today and tomorrow. So there is a lot of pressure to respond and behave in line with our earlier actions and decisions (Fazio et al). A good one mostly, since consistency is highly valued as a personality trait. I imagine this fishing buddy saying: “no… I don’t feel like fishing, that only was my hobby before! Today I have a new hobby, let’s go paintballing.” That would be weird, right? It wouldn’t suit in the picture of your friend. Consistency fooling us We like to be consistent so much, that when our thoughts and beliefs are inconsistent with what we did and said before, we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking otherwise (Briñol et al). We also like to be consistent to the extend that we can be driven to actions we don’t like, simply because they are in line with what we did before, not with what we want to do (Asch). Commitment drawing us in The moment we take a stance is the moment we proclaim commitment to certain thoughts and behaviors (Brownstein). It doesn’t matter if you have thought through what you say. It even doesn’t matter if you are paid to say it, or forced. As long as it is your decision in the end. Letting people predict if they will vote, will raise the chances they actually...