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The science of persuasion: The 6 laws of the influence of Robert Cialdini

The science of persuasion: The 6 laws of the influence of Robert Cialdini

May 6, 2021

Let's face it, information and communication are the order of the day. The news is left to publish daily and go to be launched at the time they occur, updating automatically 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Among all this amount of information that is generated, societies are increasingly pushed to improve the noble art of oratory and persuasion. Either to conquer that person we like so much or to win a general election. It's not on a whim, in democratic societies, persuasion and mass influence turn out to be the most effective tools that we possess the people to come to power.


The importance of influencing and convincing others

Much has been said about the influence and the different ways of modifying or changing the behavior and attitudes of people and what is the best way to achieve it. But only a reputed American psychologist named Robert Cialdini has managed to discover what are the principles behind any kind of persuasive strategy.

In his book "Influence, the psychology of persuasion", Cialdini postulates the 6 laws of influence that lie behind any attempt at persuasion , and are used to achieve the compliance of the receiver.

The 6 laws of influence

We are going to know the different laws of influence that Cialdini describes in his book. A good opportunity to improve our communication skills and the ability to influence others.


1. Law of reciprocity

is defined as the tendency to return the favor to someone who has done us a previous favor by creating a sense of obligation . The feeling of being in debt to someone who has done something for us before, makes this person predisposed to accept our requests.

The most important thing for the success of this law, is always to be the first to do the favor, the more valuable, personal and unexpected is given, the greater the feeling of favor, that does not know that it is being manipulated. For example if you flatter someone suddenly and immediately ask for a favor or if you make breakfast to your parents and then ask for a favor, the manipulation is very evident. You must not relate the delivery with the favor you ask, so do not wait until the last moment to create the feeling of obligation.

2. Law of commitment or consistency

This law declares that people who have previously agreed to a small request are likely to finally accede to a larger request . By this law, the client accesses our request to be consistent with a series of principles, values ​​and beliefs expressed in a prior commitment. The human tendency to be consistent with what we have already done, chosen or decided, in case of breaking this consistency we feel cognitive dissonance expressed in the form of a rather unpleasant feeling for the human being.


For this reason, based on small commitments, consistency is created with the issuer or the product and it will tend to be consistent with that commitment in the following occasions.

3. Law of social proof

This principle is based on the human tendency of consider that a behavior is correct when we see other people carrying it out or when other people think the same.

When we look closely at the videos, songs or any content that is in the top 10 of a ranking of the most sold, downloaded or heard. When we see a crowd watching a street performance and we can not resist the temptation to see what happens. All are samples of the law of social proof in action. Waiters who place a tip jar know that if they initially put a few bills or coins at the beginning of the night, they will receive more money at the end, as more people will think that tipping is the right behavior because "other people" have done it previously. "More than 2,000 people have already tried it" "more than 2,000 people are already partners" are common phrases and known for their effect.

We already know why it is common to buy followers of new leaders and referents that are thrown into the race of power, a greater number of followers, greater truth and attractiveness of that person's tweets.

4. Law of the authority

People who reach a high position in the hierarchies are attributed more knowledge and experience than the rest so what they recommend or sell is good.

The most common example we see when large-scale events such as an earthquake, a new epidemic or a terrorist attack happen, we hope to hear the interpretation of world authorities such as the president of the United States, the Pope or a Nobel Prize for Literature. This is a sign that for an idea or service to be accepted by a large number of people, it is only necessary to convince experts and people of high status.

5. Law of liking or social attractiveness

The law of liking tells us that we are more predisposed to let ourselves be influenced by people we like , and less by people who produce rejection, a simple but highly specific logics of our human condition.Physically attractive people are unconsciously attributed other positive values, such as honesty, transparency and success. However, attractiveness does not necessarily emanate from beauty, it can be given by familiarity, similarity of opinions and groups of belonging or the effect of praise.

Now you can understand the success of Nespresso advertising campaigns by incorporating the face of George Clooney as a brand image, right?

6. Law of scarcity

Sure you are familiar with the posters "offer for a limited time", "latest articles", "run, fly" ... All these phrases and slogans are based on the principle of scarcity. For this principle, we are more willing to approach something if we notice that it is scarce or difficult to achieve .

Now that you know the six forms of persuasion most accepted by the scientific community today, you can easily detect when you are under the effect of one of them and, why not, use them for your noble causes.


Science Of Persuasion (May 2021).


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