Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu declared, “Every battle is won before it is fought.” (Location 128)

Tags: preparation, quotes

The highest achievers spent more time crafting what they did and said before making a request. (Location 154)

the psychological frame in which an appeal is first placed can carry equal or even greater weight. (Location 159)

before introducing their message, they arranged to make their audience sympathetic to (Location 162)

The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion—the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. To persuade optimally, then, it’s necessary to pre-suade optimally. (Location 164)

what we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next. (Location 166)

Instead, after his standard presentation and just before declaring his ($75,000) fee, he joked, “As you can tell, I’m not going to be able to charge you a million dollars for this.” (Location 174)

Researchers have found that the amount of money people said they’d be willing to spend on dinner went up when the restaurant was named Studio 97, as opposed to Studio 17; (Location 180)

Trust is one of those qualities that leads to compliance with requests, provided that it has been planted before the request is made. (Location 207)

he only had to first become associated with the concept of trust, the (intensely positive) other associations of which would then become linked to him and his advice. (Location 228)

All told, there are any of a number of first steps, besides establishing trust, persuaders can take that will make audiences more receptive to the case they intend to present. (Location 233)

The steps can take multiple forms, and, accordingly, they’ve been given multiple labels by behavioral scientists. They can be called frames or anchors or primes or mindsets or first impressions. (Location 234)

Whether operating as a moment monitor or a moment maker, the individual who knows how to time a request, recommendation, or proposal properly will do exceedingly well. (Location 306)

in deciding whether a possibility is correct, people typically look for hits rather than misses; for confirmations of the idea rather than for disconfirmations. It is easier to register the presence of something than its absence. (Location 465)

If I inquired whether you were unhappy in, let’s say, the social arena, your natural tendency to hunt for confirmations rather than for disconfirmations of the possibility would lead you to find more proof of discontent than if I asked whether you were happy there. (Location 476)

Much better are those that use two-sided questions: “How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with this brand?” “Are you happy or unhappy with the mayor’s performance in office?” (Location 483)

Tags: survey

They stopped a second sample of individuals and began the interaction with a pre-suasive opener: “Do you consider yourself a helpful person?” Following brief reflection, nearly everyone answered yes. In that privileged moment—after subjects had confirmed privately and affirmed publicly their helpful natures—the researchers pounced, requesting help with their survey. Now 77.3 percent volunteered. (Location 513)

frequently the factor most likely to determine a person’s choice in a situation is not the one that counsels most wisely there; it is one that has been elevated in attention (and, thereby, in privilege) at the time of the decision. (Location 519)

Note: That which gets elevated to attention at decision greatly influences choice selection

“Do you consider yourself to be somebody who is adventurous and likes to try new things?” Almost all said yes—following which, 75.7 percent gave their email addresses. (Location 540)

Tags: presuasion

In the English language, we are said to “pay” attention, which plainly implies that the process extracts a cost. Research on cognitive functioning shows us the form of the fee: when attention is paid to something, the price is attention lost to something else. Indeed, because the human mind appears able to hold only one thing in conscious awareness at a time, the toll is a momentary loss of focused attention to everything else. (Location 567)

The best we can do to handle multiple channels of information is to switch back and forth among them, opening and closing the door of mindfulness to each in turn. This skill allows for multitasking, the ability to focus on several activities in the same time frame—perhaps talking on the phone while reading an email message. Although it might seem that we are concentrating on more than one thing simultaneously, that’s an illusion. We are just rapidly alternating our focus. (Location 577)

However, just as there is a price for paying attention, there is a charge for switching it: For about a half second during a shift of focus, we experience a mental dead spot, called an attentional blink, when we can’t register the newly highlighted information consciously. (Location 580)

Tags: multitasking, attention

people assign more significance to the things they see themselves choosing to move toward, as plenty of research shows that reducing the distance to an object makes it seem more worthwhile. (Location 601)

anything that draws focused attention to itself can lead observers to overestimate its importance. (Location 625)

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” (Location 649)

a communicator who gets an audience to focus on a key element of a message pre-loads it with importance. (Location 653)

This form of pre-suasion accounts for what many see as the principle role (labeled agenda setting) that the news media play in influencing public opinion. (Location 654)

The central tenet of agenda-setting theory is that the media rarely produce change directly, by presenting compelling evidence that sweeps an audience to new positions; they are much more likely to persuade indirectly, by giving selected issues and facts better coverage than other issues and facts. It’s this coverage that leads audience members—by virtue of the greater attention they devote to certain topics—to decide that these are the most important to be taken into consideration when adopting a position. (Location 655)

Tags: media, news

“The press may not be successful most of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling them what to think about.” (Location 659)

Clearly, the amount of news coverage can make a big difference in the perceived significance of an issue among observers as they are exposed to the coverage. (Location 677)

Thus, the persuader who artfully draws outsize attention to the most favorable feature of an offer becomes a successful pre-suader. (Location 701)

draw website visitors’ attention to the goal of comfort merely by placing fluffy clouds on the background wallpaper of the site’s landing page. That maneuver led those visitors to assign elevated levels of importance to comfort when asked what they were looking for in a sofa. (Location 733)

Relevant here is Bernard Cohen’s observation about press coverage—that it doesn’t so much tell people what to think as what to think about. (Location 780)

Some impressive research demonstrates that merely engaging in a single-chute evaluation of one of several established hotel and restaurant chains, consumer products, and even charity organizations can automatically cause people to value the focused-upon entity more and become more willing to support it financially. (Location 808)

Thus, to receive the benefits of focused attention, the key is to keep the focus unitary. (Location 808)

Some of that same research demonstrates that if people fail to direct their attention to a topic, they presume that it must be of relatively little importance. (Location 901)

Thus, when Harvard Business School economist Felix Oberholzer-Gee approached people waiting in line at several different venues and offered them money to let him cut in, he recognized that a purely economics-based model would predict that the more cash he offered, the more people would agree to the exchange. And that’s what he found: half of everyone offered $1 let him cut in line; 65 percent did so if offered them $3, and acceptance rates jumped to 75 percent and 76 percent when he proposed the larger sums of $5 and $10. (Location 931)

almost no one took the money. (Location 938)

although bigger cash incentives upped compliance with the line cutter’s wish, they didn’t increase acceptance of the payment; (Location 941)

The obligation comes from the helping norm, which behavioral scientists sometimes call the norm of social responsibility. It states that we should aid those who need assistance in proportion to their need. (Location 944)

The payment offers stimulated compliance because they alerted recipients to the amount of need present in the situation. (Location 947)

Our previous analysis offers one answer: Because of all the publicity surrounding them, they had become focal in attention; and what is focal is seen to have causal properties—to have the ability to make events occur. (Location 978)

All the observers were then asked to judge who had more influence in the discussion, based on tone, content, and direction. The outcomes were always the same: whomever’s face was more visible was judged to be more causal. (Location 996)

Leaders, for example, are accorded a much larger causal position than they typically deserve in the success or failure of the teams, groups, and organizations they head. Business performance analysts have termed this tendency “the romance of leadership (Location 1173)

As a rule, communications that present the most frightening consequences of poor health habits work better than milder messages or messages that present the positive consequences of good habits. (Location 1269)

Note: Highlighting the terrible consequences of poor health are most effective in changing habits

We also realized that these two contrary motivations, to fit in and to stand out, map perfectly onto a pair of longtime favorite commercial appeals. One, of the “Don’t be left out” variety, urges us to join the many. The other, of the “Be one of the few” sort, urges us to step away from the many. (Location 1303)

Put people in a wary state of mind via that opener, and, driven by a desire for safety, a popularity-based appeal will soar, whereas a distinctiveness-based appeal will sink. (Location 1318)

But use it to put people in an amorous state of mind, and, driven by a consequent desire to stand out, the reverse will occur. (Location 1319)

Whenever we first register a change around us, our attention flies to it. We are not alone in this regard. The reaction appears widely across the animal kingdom. It is so basic that it was able to overpower the most renowned behavior patterns of perhaps the most renowned group of animals in the history of psychological science: Pavlov’s dogs. (Location 1336)

distinctiveness, as we’ve seen, swings attention to the distinguishing factor, which in this instance led to cushion comfort’s greater perceived importance. (Location 1415)

There is no question that information about the self is an exceedingly powerful magnet of attention. (Location 1429)

Here, then, is another lesson in pre-suasion available for your use: when you have a good case to make, you can employ—as openers—simple self-relevant cues (such as the word you) to predispose your audience toward a full consideration of that strong case before they see or hear it. (Location 1450)

next-in-line effect, (Location 1464)

That would be a mistake. Whether you offer your statement just before or after his, according to the next-in-line effect, Alex will have a hard time processing your solution, no matter how good it is. If your statement comes immediately prior to Alex’s, he’ll likely miss the specifics because he’ll be mentally rehearsing what he plans to say. If it comes immediately following Alex’s, he’ll likely miss those specifics because he’ll be internally rehashing what he just said. (Location 1471)

And unfinished tasks are the more memorable, hoarding attention so they can be performed and dispatched successfully. (Location 1496)

Tags: attention

Note: Unfinished tasks eat into your attention

Once completed, attentional resources are diverted from the undertaking to other pursuits; but while the initial activity is under way, a heightened level of cognitive focus must be reserved for it. (Location 1497)

To test this logic, Zeigarnik performed an initial set of experiments that she, Lewin, and numerous others have used as the starting point for investigating what has come to be known as the Zeigarnik effect. (Location 1499)

First (and altogether consistent with the beer garden series of events), on a task that we feel committed to performing, we will remember all sorts of elements of it better if we have not yet had the chance to finish, because our attention will remain drawn to it. Second, if we are engaged in such a task and are interrupted or pulled away, we’ll feel a discomforting, gnawing desire to get back to it. (Location 1501)

That desire—which also pushes us to return to incomplete narratives, unresolved problems, unanswered questions, and unachieved goals—reflects a craving for cognitive closure. (Location 1504)

Indeed, there were no secrets in the list of recommendations, which included tactics such as setting up a specific time to write every day, limiting distractions during that time, and rewarding oneself for a good day’s yield. (Location 1536)

a mystery story. The authors described a state of affairs that seemed perplexing and then invited the reader into the subsequent material as a way of dispatching the enigma. (Location 1564)

In the throes of this particular literary device, one is not thinking of literary devices; one’s attention is magnetized to the mystery story because of its inherent, unresolved nature. (Location 1571)

showing the rival communicator to be an untrustworthy source of information, generally. Issuing a counterargument demonstrating that an opponent’s argument is not to be believed because its maker is misinformed on the topic will usually succeed on that singular issue. (Location 1588)

counterargument that undermines an opponent’s argument by showing him or her to be dishonest in the matter will normally win that battle plus future battles with the opponent. (Location 1590)

Pose the Mystery. (Location 1595)

Deepen the Mystery. (Location 1599)

Home In on the Proper Explanation by Considering (and Offering Evidence Against) Alternative Explanations. (Location 1603)

Provide a Clue to the Proper Explanation. (Location 1611)

Resolve the Mystery. (Location 1616)

Draw the Implication for the Phenomenon Under Study. (Location 1627)

the brain’s operations arise fundamentally and inescapably from raw associations. (Location 1662)

life, associations can be called the building blocks of thought. (Location 1663)

the main purpose of speech is to direct listeners’ attention to a selected sector of reality. Once that is accomplished, the listeners’ existing associations to the now-spotlighted sector will take over to determine the reaction. (Location 1670)

He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. (Location 1714)

If SSM leaders do hold that belief, they’d be right. Multiple studies have shown that subtly exposing individuals to words that connote achievement (win, attain, succeed, master) increases their performance on an assigned task and more than doubles their willingness to keep working at (Location 1729)

Since Aristotle’s Poetics (circa 350 BCE), communicators have been advised to use metaphor to get their points across. They’ve been told that an effective way to convey a somewhat elusive concept to an audience is to describe it in terms of another concept that the audience can recognize readily. (Location 1750)

Tags: metaphor

Recall that new psycholinguistic analysis suggests that the main function of language is not to express or describe but to influence—something it does by channeling recipients to sectors of reality pre-loaded with a set of mental associations favorable to the communicator’s view. (Location 1762)

In his portrayal of life’s end, for instance, people didn’t die, they “walked out” of life—a (Location 1800)

For instance, in English and many other languages, the concept of weight—heaviness—is linked metaphorically to the concepts of seriousness, importance, and effort. (Location 1806)

Comparable findings have appeared in studies of another arena of human judgment: personal warmth, where individuals who have held a warm object briefly—for example, a cup of hot (versus iced) coffee— immediately feel warmer toward, closer to, and more trusting of those around them. Hence, they become more giving and cooperative in the social (Location 1812)

information technology providers are counseled against telling customers the “cost” or “price” of their offerings, which are terms associated with the loss of resources; rather, they are to speak of the “purchase” or “investment” amount involved—terms that make contact with the concept of gain. (Location 1823)

Finally, researchers studying this general tendency to value entities linked to the self (called implicit egoism) have found that individuals prefer not just people but also commercial products—crackers, chocolates, and teas—with names that share letters of the alphabet with their own names. (Location 1844)

believe. Researchers in the field of cognitive poetics have even found that the fluency-producing properties of rhyme lead to enhanced persuasion. The statement “Caution and measure will win you riches” is seen as more true when changed to “Caution and measure win you treasure.” There’s a mini-lesson here for persuasive success: to make it climb, make it rhyme. (Location 1881)

Note: To make it climb, make it ryhme

Within the domain of general attraction, observers have a greater liking for those whose facial features are easy to recognize and whose names are easy to pronounce. Tellingly, when people can process something with cognitive ease, they experience increased neuronal activity in the muscles of their face that produce a smile. (Location 1883)

To do the best job of developing employee incentive programs, I suspected that she and her team needed ongoing visual exposure to employees who would be covered by the programs. It had been true for me: I needed present reminders of my prospective audience members to keep my writing aligned with their interests and communication styles. That was why I’d decided to write my book exclusively in the space that provided those reminders. (Location 1954)

Before traveling to any working meeting, the team now downloads photos of program-eligible employees from the client’s website and internal publications. They then enlarge the pictures, put them on big poster boards, and lean them against the walls in whichever conference room they work. The clients reportedly love the idea because they appreciate “the personalized touch” the consultants bring to the job. (Location 1968)

go. They believe they’ve found that action shots of employees at work produce better results for the program design team than simple headshots. (Location 1975)

After considering several possibilities, one set of investigators, led by the psychologist Laura Carstensen, hit upon a surprising answer: when it comes to dealing with all the negativity in their lives, seniors have decided that they just don’t have time for it, literally. (Location 2039)

experiences. To a greater extent than younger individuals, seniors recall positive memories, entertain pleasant thoughts, seek out and retain favorable information, search for and gaze at happy faces, and focus on the upsides of their consumer products. (Location 2043)

Count your blessings and gratitudes at the start of every day, and then give yourself concentrated time with them by writing them down. (Location 2073)

Cultivate optimism by choosing beforehand to look on the bright side of situations, events, and future possibilities. (Location 2075)

Negate the negative by deliberately limiting time spent dwelling on problems or on unhealthy comparisons with others. (Location 2076)

found that the elderly have decided to prioritize emotional contentment as a main life goal and, therefore, to turn their attentions systematically toward the positive. (Location 2086)

tribulations. To serve our principal aims at those times, we need to be receptive to the real presence of negatives in order to learn from and deal with them. The problem arises when we allow ourselves to become mired in the emotions they generate; (Location 2090)

“You can’t think straight when you’re scared,” he reminded me, “plus, you’re much more persistent when you’re confident in your abilities.” (Location 2123)

The basic idea of pre-suasion is that by guiding preliminary attention strategically, it’s possible for a communicator to move recipients into agreement with a message before they experience it. The key is to focus them initially on concepts that are aligned associatively with the yet-tobe-encountered information. (Location 2187)

suasively. The statements have various names in scholarly usage, but I’m going to call them if/when-then plans. They are designed to help us achieve a goal by readying us (1) to register certain cues in settings where we can further our goal, and (2) to take an appropriate action spurred by the cues and consistent with the goal. Let’s say that we aim to lose weight. An if/when-then plan might be “If/when, after my business lunches, the server asks if I’d like to have dessert, then I will order mint tea.” (Location 2293)

The “if/when-then” wording is designed to put us on high alert for a particular time or circumstance when a productive action could be performed. (Location 2310)

We become prepared, first, to notice the favorable time or circumstance and, second, to associate it automatically and directly with desired conduct. (Location 2311)

“If/when I see chocolate displayed in the supermarket, then I will think of my diet.” Especially for goals we are highly committed to reaching, we’d be foolish not to take advantage of the pre-suasive leverage that if/when-then plans can provide. (Location 2328)

Tags: if then rule, diet

Note: Use if/then rule to overcome temptation

To this point, we’ve covered a lot of data showing that (1) what is more accessible in mind becomes more probable in action, and (2) this accessibility is influenced by the informational cues around us and by our raw associations to them. (Location 2332)

Indeed, such foolish tendencies are likely to predominate when a person is rushed, overloaded, preoccupied, indifferent, stressed, distracted, or, it seems, a conspiracy theorist. (Location 2422)

If we want them to buy a box of expensive chocolates, we can first arrange for them to write down a number that’s much larger than the price of the chocolates. If we want them to choose a bottle of French wine, we can expose them to French background music before they decide. If we want them to agree to try an untested product, we can first inquire whether they consider themselves adventurous. If we want to convince them to select a highly popular item, we can begin by showing them a scary movie. If we want them to feel warmly toward us, we can hand them a hot drink. If we want them to be more helpful to us, we can have them look at photos of individuals standing close together. If we want them to be more achievement oriented, we can provide them with an image of a runner winning a race. If we want them to make careful assessments, we can show them a picture of Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker. (Location 2458)

In one study, shoppers at a candy store became 42 percent more likely to make a purchase if they’d received a gift piece of chocolate upon entry. (Location 2496)

Tags: consistency

It makes sense to inquire, then, if there are specific features of an initial gift or favor that increase significantly the chance that it will be returned at high levels of recompense. (Location 2515)

There are three main features of this sort: in order to optimize the return, what we give first should be experienced as meaningful, unexpected, and customized. (Location 2517)

Note: Give people meaningful, customised and unexpected gifts

But by far, two specific ways to create positive feelings got the most attention. We were instructed to highlight similarities and provide compliments. There’s good reason why these two practices would be emphasized: each increases liking and assent. (Location 2567)

Similarities. We like those who are like us. It’s a tendency that’s part of the human experience almost from the start: (Location 2569)

Note: We like those who are like us

The factor that plays the largest role in the success of youth mentoring programs is the initial similarity of interests between student and mentor. (Location 2576)

Waitresses coached to mimic the verbal style of customers doubled their tips. Negotiators coached to do the same with their opponents got significantly better final outcomes. (Location 2577)

Similarities and compliments cause people to feel that you like them, and once they come to recognize that you like them, they’ll want to do business with you. That’s because people trust that those who like them will try to steer them correctly. So by my lights, the number one rule for salespeople is to show customers that you genuinely like them. There’s a wise adage that fits this logic well: people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. (Location 2599)

proof. The principle asserts that people think it is appropriate for them to believe, feel, or do something to the extent that others, especially comparable others, are believing, feeling, or doing it. (Location 2608)

Two components of that perceived appropriateness—validity and feasibility—can drive change. (Location 2609)

A great strength of social-proof information is that it destroys the problem of uncertain achievability. If people learn that many others like them are conserving energy, there is little doubt as to its feasibility. It comes to seem realistic and, therefore, implementable. (Location 2655)

Notice that Elizabeth’s bridging terms, but and yet, took listeners from perceived weaknesses to counteracting strengths. (Location 2709)

This feature of the queen’s pre-suasive assertions fits with scientific research showing that the weakness-before-strength tactic works best when the strength doesn’t just add something positive to the list of pros and cons but, instead, challenges the relevance of the weakness. (Location 2712)

But the scarcity of an item does more than raise the possibility of loss; it also raises the judged value of that item. (Location 2735)

At one large grocery chain, brand promotions that included a purchase limit (“Only x per customer”) more than doubled sales for seven different types of products compared with promotions for the same products that didn’t include a purchase limit. (Location 2737)

friend. Organizations can raise the probability that an individual will appear at a meeting or event by switching from saying at the end of a reminder phone call, “We’ll mark you on the list as coming then. Thank you!” to “We’ll mark you on the list as coming then, okay? [Pause for confirmation.] Thank you.” (Location 2755)

At the first stage, the main goal involves cultivating a positive association, as people are more favorable to a communication if they are favorable to the communicator. (Location 2786)

Two principles of influence, reciprocity and liking, seem particularly appropriate to the task. Giving first (in a meaningful, unexpected, and customized fashion), highlighting genuine commonalities, and offering true compliments establish mutual rapport that facilitates all future dealings. (Location 2787)

Tags: reciprocation, psychology tricks, influence

At the second stage, reducing uncertainty becomes a priority. A positive relationship with a communicator doesn’t ensure persuasive success. Before people are likely to change, they want to see any decision as wise. Under these circumstances, the principles of social proof and authority offer the best match. (Location 2789)

Our ability to create change in others is often and importantly grounded in shared personal relationships, (Location 2830)

exchanges. The relation gets removed, leaving just the ships, passing at sea. (Location 2833)

need. The experience of unity is not about simple similarities (although those can work too, but to a lesser degree, via the liking principle). It’s about shared identities. (Location 2840)

Home. Humans as well as animals react to those present in their homes while growing up as if they are relatives. (Location 2961)

When people observe their parents caring for the needs of another in the home, they also experience a family-like feeling and become more willing to give to that other. (Location 2965)

His experience suggests a piece of advice for prospective parents who want their children to develop a broadly charitable nature: give them contact in the home with individuals from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and treat those individuals there like family. (Location 3025)

It was this strategic leveraging of existing unities that made him more than a compassionate hero. It made him an inordinately successful one as well. (Location 3054)

there is another kind of unitizing effect available to those seeking elevated influence. It comes not from being together in the same genealogy or geography but from acting together synchronously or collaboratively. (Location 3101)

When people act in unitary ways, they become unitized. The resultant feeling of group solidarity serves societies’ interests well, producing degrees of loyalty and self-sacrifice associated usually with much smaller family units. (Location 3118)

It appears, then, that groups can promote unity, liking, and subsequent supportive behavior in a variety of situations by first arranging for synchronous responding. (Location 3179)

There is a good explanation for why the presence of music stretches both from the start of human recorded history and across the breadth of human societies. Because of a unique collection of detectible regularities (rhythm, meter, intensity, pulse, and time), music possesses rare synchronizing power. (Location 3186)

Daniel Kahneman’s treatment of the distinction between System 1 and System 2 thinking. The first is fast, associative, intuitive, and often emotional, whereas the second is slower, deliberative, analytical, and rational. (Location 3204)

The far larger lesson involves the importance of matching the System 1 versus 2 character of a persuasive communication with the System 1 versus 2 mind-set of its intended audience. (Location 3239)

Recipients with nonrational, hedonistic goals should be matched with messages containing nonrational elements such as musical accompaniment, whereas those with rational, pragmatic goals should be matched with messages containing rational elements such as facts. (Location 3241)

complicated: In pairs, participants took turns reading questions to their partner, who would answer, and who would then receive their partner’s answer to the same item. Advancing through the thirty-six questions required participants to disclose progressively more personal information about themselves and, in turn, to learn more personal information about their partner. (Location 3264)

in what researchers have termed the Ikea effect, people who have built items themselves come to see “their amateurish creations as similar in value to experts’ creations.” (Location 3291)

product. I’d expected that the more involvement managers felt they’d had in generating the final product in concert with an employee, the higher they would rate its quality, (Location 3303)

The more the managers attributed the success of the project to themselves, the more they also attributed it to the ability of their employee. (Location 3309)

do. If co-creation causes at least a temporary merging of identities, then what applies to one partner also applies to the other, distributional logic notwithstanding. (Location 3314)

After reading the description, all the survey participants were asked for feedback. But some were asked for any “advice” they might have regarding the restaurant, whereas others were asked either for any “opinions” or “expectations” they might have. Finally, they indicated how likely they’d be to patronize a Splash! restaurant. Those participants who provided advice reported wanting to eat at a Splash! significantly more than participants who provided either of the other sorts of feedback. (Location 3337)

Note: Ask for "advice" rather than opions

This set of results also clinches for me the wisdom (and the ethicality, if done in an authentic search for useful information) of asking for advice in face-to-face interactions with friends, colleagues, and customers. (Location 3347)

The novelist Saul Bellow once observed, “When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” I’d only add on the basis of scientific evidence that, if we get that advice, we usually get that accomplice. And what better abettor to have on a project than someone in charge? (Location 3353)

A central assertion of this book is that our choice of what to say or do immediately before making an appeal significantly affects its persuasive success. (Location 3376)

First, it was written for consumers, to give them the information necessary to recognize and reject unwanted or unfair influence attempts. Second, much of the information came from the practitioners. More often than not, primarily in their training programs, they were informing me of which procedures reliably got consumers to say yes. Although they might not have appreciated the psychological factors that caused their practices to work, the majority of influence professionals knew quite well what did work for them. Consequently, I argued, the material in my book wasn’t offering any new techniques for practitioners to adopt; instead, it was balancing the equation by providing information to consumers about the tactics routinely employed on them. (Location 3393)

Throughout this book, we’ve seen that successful pre-suasion can occur when audience members’ attention is channeled temporarily to a psychological concept favorable to a follow-on message. (Location 3616)

Tags: psychology tricks

Traditionally, behavioral scientists have offered a straightforward answer to the question of how to make a person’s initially affirmative response persist: arrange for the individual to make a commitment to that response, usually in the form of an active step. (Location 3624)

A standard practice designed to reduce these no-shows involves calling patients the day before to remind them of the appointment. In a study led by my colleague Steve J. Martin and conducted in British medical clinics, such efforts reduced failures to appear by 3.5 percent. (Location 3628)

Tags: commitments, psychology tricks

happens. The receptionist writes down the time and date of the next appointment on a card and gives it to patients. If, instead, the patients are asked to fill in the card, that active step gets them more committed to keeping the appointment. When this costless procedure was tried in the British medical clinic study, the subsequent no-show rate dropped by 18 percent. (Location 3631)

After people read a happy story, their temporarily elevated mood caused them to like a painting. But five days later, only those who had actively rated it while in that elated state still felt the same way about the painting. (Location 3655)

reasons. First, it was hard to think hard in that rolling, noisy, bumpy, crowded, emotionally agitating environment, and hard thinking is the chief foe of pyramid sales systems. Second, when people can’t deliberate carefully, can’t concentrate fully, they are much more likely to respond automatically to whatever decision-making cues are present in the situation. (Location 3684)

Modern life is becoming more and more like that bus hurtling down the highway: speedy, turbulent, stimulus saturated, and mobile. As a result, we are all becoming less and less able to think hard and well about what best to do in many situations. (Location 3694)

Previous chapters offered some examples of how we might go about it: if you want to write in a way that connects with a particular audience, perhaps as you are preparing a report or presentation, surround yourself with cues linked to the group: for instance, typical audience members’ faces. (Location 3702)

It’s also a conclusion that provides a fitting close to this book: In large measure, who we are with respect to any choice is where we are, attentionally, in the moment before the choice. (Location 3777)