The Science of Influence: Learn the Principles Behind the Art of Persuasion

By Reagan, Karyn | Success, August 2011 | Go to article overview

The Science of Influence: Learn the Principles Behind the Art of Persuasion


Reagan, Karyn, Success


Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career learning and teaching the science of influence. His book Influence: Science and Practice has sold more than 2 million copies and can be found in 26 languages. Cialdini's immense knowledge of the subject has earned him the title of "The Godfather of Influence," and he is one of the most cited living social psychologists in the world. Cialdini is currently regents' professor emeritus of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University and president of Influence at Work, an international consulting, strategic planning and training organization.

SUCCESS: How did you start studying the psychology of influence?

Robert Cialdini: The very beginning was the realization that I was the characteristic patsy; I was easily swindled and bought things I did not want and contributed to organizations I'd never heard of. As an avid student of what makes people do what they do, I became curious as to how we are influenced. Upon further investigation, I discovered that there was no systematic scientific approach that modeled influence. There were no universal features of the influence process that. if incorporated into a request, proposal or recommendation, inclined people toward saying yes.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Can everyone benefit from the principles of influence you have defined?

RC: Due to the fact that the principles are based on scientific laws, they are both teachable and learnable, and therefore beneficial to everyone. It used to be that we thought of the ability to be persuasive as an art bestowed upon a chosen few. There are those who seem to be gifted. But influence is not just an art; it is a science based on principles and facts.

In your profession, you can become more successful agents of influence by learning and applying the principles while being entirely ethical. This is not a lesson in manipulation, but a guide to detecting authentic desires within a person and bringing them to the surface-Becoming a detective of influence is both ethical and effective.

Would you explain some of the principles of influence you have uncovered?

RC: The first is reciprocation. People will be ready and eager to help you when you have first done something for them. This principle suggests that to be successful one must be proactive in their approach instead of reactive. Give first, and then receive, not the opposite. Actually, it is a maxim that is embedded in every major religion. Christianity calls it the Golden Rule.

As an example of its effectiveness, there was a study done on tip amounts given to servers at restaurants. The study proved that applying reciprocity can significantly increase tips when used at the moment patrons are deciding the tip amount. When a mint was given on the tray holding the check, tips went up 3.3 percent. If two mints were on the tray for each diner, tips increased by 14 percent. Receiving two mints was unexpected by the diners, causing them to want to give back.

In this day and age, one of the most valuable assets you can give someone to help them do their job better and be more successful is information. Giving information first can generate a feeling of gratitude causing one to want to reciprocate.

The second is commitment or consistency. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Science of Influence: Learn the Principles Behind the Art of Persuasion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.