Attention! Manipulation ahead

manipulation_aheadHello everyone,

  • Have you ever felt that somehow you made that decision of buying this or that faster than you wanted?
  • Have you ever wondered why you’ve seen that recent best-seller just to find out it was not so best?
  • Have you wondered why every ad looks the same and uses same language tricks?

Since there are infinite number of posts these days and we as finite creatures have finite amount of time I’ll try to be as much helpful and concise as possible in my post.

Today’s post I wanted to write quite for a long time. Its topic is manipulation, kinds of manipulation and what is the difference between influence and manipulation.

At first that’s define for the sake of this post a number of terms. That’s define an influence as an evident way of affecting a person’s behavior, thinking etc. Since this act is evident to the person that’s assume that he or she can deduce if this influence is positive or negative.

And then that’s define manipulation as a hidden way of affecting a person which is unaware of this process. This definition does not state that manipulation is negative or positive. It depends on the one who is manipulating. Though according to Wikipedia it is obvious that it is negative.

Now I want to share with you templates that are used almost at any online site that tries to sell, promote any kind of product or service. What will help us to tell that there is a manipulation ahead is an interesting and educational book by Robert CialdiniInfluence: The Psychology of Persuasion‘ first edition dating back in 1984.

In his book Mr. Cialdini describes in concise and useful way with real examples a number of types of manipulations. Or as Cialdini puts it there are 6 principles of influence that seem quite reasonable.

  1. Reciprocity – People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. For example, have you ever felt to give back when got a gift from someone meaningful to you?
  2. Commitment and Consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image. For example, try once to write your current tasks or goals in a notepad and later check how many of them came true.
  3. Social Proof – People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, have you ever heard that millions of people already using this wonderful product?
  4. Authority – People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. For example, titles have a magic force to them such as PhD in any kind of X-phaty etc.
  5. Liking – People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. For example, have you ever recruited one who you liked during the interview though he or she was not a perfect fit but you’ve got the intuition?
  6. Scarcity – Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, have you heard that the selling will only last for a few days (actually lasting a century)?

OK. Now that we know how to tell a manipulation that’s practice it on a real example.

1-Reciprocity

2-Commitment

3-Social_Proof

4-Authority

5-Liking

6-Scarcity

 Main point is to tell manipulation from influence and be aware that manipulation is ahead! That’s it for today.

Thanks for your time.

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