Book Reviews

Influence by Robert Cialdini -Book Notes, Summary, and Review

4. Influence - Robert Cialdini

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Rating: 8/10

Date of reading: 3rd -15th of January, 2017

Description: How to influence people by using six psychological principles of reciprocity, consistency, social proof, likeability, authority, and scarcity.

My notes:

 

Chapter 1
WEAPONS OF INFLUENCE

 

“consistency, reciprocation, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity—” ( :8)

“mother turkey, a polecat is a natural enemy whose approach is to be greeted with squawking, pecking, clawing rage. Indeed, the experimenters found that even a stuffed model of a polecat, when drawn by a string toward a mother turkey, received an immediate and furious attack. When, however, the same stuffed replica carried inside it a small recorder that played the “cheep-cheep” sound of baby turkeys, the mother not only accepted the oncoming polecat but gathered it underneath her. When the machine was turned off, the polecat model again drew a vicious attack.” ( :11)

“ture. The experiments of ethologists have shown, for instance, that a male robin, acting as if a rival robin had entered its territory, will vigorously attack nothing more than a clump of robin-redbreast feathers placed there. At the same time, it will virtually ignore a perfect stuffed replica of a male robin without red breast feathers; similar results have been found in another species of bird, the bluethroat, where it appears that the trigger” ( :12)

“by asking a small favor of people waiting in line to use a library copying machine: Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush? The effectiveness of this request-plus-reason was nearly total: Ninety-four percent of those asked let her skip ahead of them in line.” ( :12)

“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” ( :13)

“The customers, mostly well-to-do vacationers with little knowledge of turquoise, were using a standard principle—a stereotype—to guide their buying: “expensive = good.” Thus the vacationers, who wanted “good” jewelry, saw the turquoise pieces as decidedly more valuable and desirable when nothing about them was enhanced but the price. Price alone had become a trigger feature for quality; and a dramatic increase in price alone had led to a dramatic increase in sales among the quality-hungry buyers. Click, whirr!” ( :13)

“Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 5 utomobile-tire company. Mailed-out coupons that—because of a printing error—offered no savings to recipients produced just as much customer response as did error-free coupons that offered substantial” ( :14)

“savings.” ( :15)

“the big fish’s teeth or gills. It is a beautiful arrangement: The big grouper gets cleaned of harmful pests, and the cleaner fish gets an easy dinner. The larger fish normally devours any other small fish foolish enough to come close to it. But when the cleaner approaches, the big fish suddenly stops all movement and floats open-mouthed and nearly immobile in response to an undulating dance that the cleaner performs. This dance appears to be the trigger feature of the cleaner that activates” ( :16)

“the back of the room, “Harry, how much for this suit?” Looking up from his work—and greatly exaggerating the suit’s true price—Harry would call back, “For that beautiful all-wool suit, forty-two dollars.” Pretending not to have heard and cupping his hand to his ear, Sid would ask again. Once more Harry would reply, “Forty-two dollars.” At this point, Sid would turn to the customer and report, “He says twenty-two dollars.” Many a man would hurry to buy the suit and scramble out of the shop with his “expensive = good” bargain before Poor Sid discovered the “mistake.”” ( :17)

“There is a principle in human perception, the contrast principle, that affects the way we see the difference between two things that are presented one after another.” ( :18)

“and applies to all sorts of perceptions besides weight. If we are talking to a beautiful woman at a cocktail party and are then joined by an unattractive one, the second woman will strike us as less attractive than she actually is. In fact, studies done on the contrast principle at Arizona” ( :18)

“member of the opposite sex as less attractive if they had first looked through the ads in some popular magazines. In another study, male college-dormitory residents rated the photo of a potential blind date. Those who did so while watching an episode of the Charlie’s Angels TV series viewed the blind date as a less attractive woman than those who rated her while watching a different show. Apparently it was the uncommon beauty of the Angels female stars that made the blind date seem less attractive.” ( :18)

“the hot water, the student is told to place both in the lukewarm water simultaneously. The look of amused bewilderment that immediately registers tells the story: Even though both hands are in the same bucket, the hand that has been in the cold water feels as if it is now in hot water, while the one that was in the hot water feels as if it is now in cold water.” ( :18)

“sweaters, even expensive ones, their prices will not seem as high in comparison. A man might balk at the idea of spending $95 for a sweater, but if he has just bought a $495 suit, a $95 sweater does not seem excessive. The same principle applies to a man who wishes to buy the accessories (shirt, shoes, belt) to go along with his new suit. Contrary to the commonsense view, the evidence supports the contrast-principle prediction.” ( :19)

“fail to do so will also cause the principle to work actively against them. Presenting an inexpensive product first and following it with an expensive one will cause the expensive item to seem even more costly as a result—hardly a desirable consequence for most sales organizations.” ( :19)

“The trick is to bring up the extras independently of one another, so that each small price will seem petty when compared to the already-determined much larger one.” ( :20)

“Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 11 READER’S REPORT From the Parent of a College Coed Dear Mother and Dad: Since I left for college I have been remiss in writing and I am sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down, okay? Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out the window of my dormitory when it caught on fire shortly after my arrival here is pretty well healed now. I only spent two” ( :20)

“weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day. Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory, and my jump, was witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me in the hospital and since I had nowhere to live because of the burntout dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It’s really a basement room, but it’s kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven’t got the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me” ( :21)

“grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has a minor infection which prevents us from passing our pre-marital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I am not infected, and there is no boyfriend. However, I am getting a “D” in American History, and an “F” in Chemistry and I want you to see those marks in their proper perspective. Your loving daughter, Sharon Sharon may be failing chemistry, but she gets an “A” in psychology.” ( :21)

 

Chapter 2
RECIPROCATION

 

“The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” ( :22)

“”We are human because our ancestors learned to share their food and their skills in an honored network of obligation,”” ( :23)

“Native officials of the Ethiopian Red Cross had decided to send the money to help the victims of that year’s earthquakes in Mexico City.” ( :23)

“by Italy. So informed, I remained awed, but I was no longer puzzled. The need to reciprocate had transcended great cultural differences, long distances, acute famine, and immediate self-interest. Quite simply, a half century later, against all countervailing forces, obligation triumphed.” ( :24)

“Although highly effective as a technique for gaining attention, this form of fund-raising did not work especially well.” ( :26)

“Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 17 ic places with much pedestrian traffic (airports are a favorite), but now, before a donation is requested, the target person is given a “gift”—a book (usually the Bhagavad Gita), the Back to Godhead” ( :26)

“magazine of the Society,” ( :27)

“This benefactor-before-beggar strategy has been wildly successful for the Hare Krishna Society, producing large-scale economic gains and funding the ownership of temples, businesses, houses, and property in 321 centers in the United States and overseas.” ( :27)

“by Charles H. Keating, Jr., who was later convicted on multiple counts of fraud in this country’s savings and loan disaster. Addressing the question of whether a connection existed between the $1.3 million he had contributed to the campaigns of five U.S. senators and their subsequent actions in his behalf against federal regulators, he asserted, “I want to say in the most forceful way I can: I certainly hope so.”” ( :28)

“During the 1992 presidential primary campaign, actress Sally Kellerman was asked why she was lending her name and efforts to the candidacy of Democratic hopeful Jerry Brown. Her reply: “Twenty years ago, I asked ten friends to help me move. He was the only one who showed up.”” ( :28)

“A highly effective variation on this marketing procedure is illustrated in the case, cited by Vance Packard in The Hidden Persuaders, of the Indiana supermarket operator who sold an astounding one thousand pounds of cheese in a few hours one day by putting out the cheese and inviting customers to cut off slivers for themselves as free samples.” ( :29)

“Unbelievable! We’ve never seen such excitement. Product is moving at an unbelievable rate, and we’ve only just begun…. [Local] distributors took the BUGS, and we’ve had an unbelievable increase in sales [from Illinois distributor]. The most fantastic retail idea we’ve ever had!…On the average, customers purchased about half the total amount of the BUG when it is picked up…. In one word, tremendous! We’ve never seen a response within our entire organization like this [from Massachusetts distributor].” ( :30)

“An equally compelling point regarding the power of reciprocity comes from an account of a woman who saved her life not by giving a gift as did the captured soldier, but by refusing a gift and the powerful obligations that went with it. The woman, Diane Louie, was an inhabitant of Jonestown, Guyana, in November of 1978 when its leader, Jim Jones, called for the mass suicide of all residents, most of whom compliantly drank and died from a vat of poison-laced Kool-Aid. Diane Louie, however, rejected Jones’s command and made her way out of Jonestown and into the jungle. She attributes her willingness to do so to her earlier refusal to accept special favors from him when she was in need. She turned down his offer of special food while she was ill because “I knew once he gave me those privileges, he’d have me. I didn’t want to owe him nothin’.”” ( :31)

“For instance, the Disabled American Veterans organization reports that its simple mail appeal for donations produces a response rate of about 18 percent. But when the mailing also includes an unsolicited gift (gummed, individualized address labels), the success rate nearly doubles to 35 percent.” ( :31)

“”There is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and 6 an obligation to repay.”” ( :32)

“The extent to which even an unwanted favor, once received, can produce indebtedness is aptly illustrated in the soliciting technique of the Hare Krishna Society.” ( :32)

“his pocket and comes up with a dollar or two that is graciously accepted. Now he can walk away freely, and he does, “gift” in hand, until he encounters a waste container—where he throws the flower.” ( :33)

“A 500 percent return on investment is respectable indeed!” ( :34)

“About one year ago, I couldn’t start my car. As I was sitting there, a guy in the parking lot came over and eventually jump-started the car. I said thanks, and he said you’re welcome; as he was leaving, I said that if he ever needed a favor to stop by. About a month later, the guy knocked on my door and asked to borrow my car for two hours as his was in the shop. I felt somewhat obligated but uncertain, since the car was pretty new and he looked very young. Later, I found out that he was underage and had no insurance. Anyway, I lent him the car. He totaled it.” ( :34)

“But there is another reason as well. A person who violates the reciprocity rule by accepting without attempting to return the good acts of others is actively disliked by the social group.” ( :35)

“”After learning the hard way, I no longer let a guy I meet in a club buy my drinks because I don’t want either of us to feel that I am obligated sexually.”” ( :35)

“Well,” he said, “if you don’t want to buy any tickets, how about buying some of our big chocolate bars?” ( :36)

“about buying some of our big chocolate bars? They’re only a dollar each.” I bought a couple and, right away, realized that something noteworthy had happened. I knew that to be the case because: (a) I do not like chocolate bars; (b) I do like dollars; (c) I was standing there with two of his chocolate bars; and (d) he was walking away with two of my dollars.” ( :36)

“As we have seen, there was such a concession: I changed from noncompliant to compliant when he changed from a larger to a smaller request, even though I was not really interested in either of the things he offered.” ( :36)

“The technique is a simple one that we can call the rejection-then-retreat technique. Suppose you want me to agree to a certain request. One way to increase your chances would be first to make a larger request of me, one that I will most likely turn down. Then, after I have refused, you would make the smaller request that you were really interested in all along. Provided that you have structured your requests skillfully, I should view your second” ( :37)

“you have structured your requests skillfully, I should view your second request as a concession to me and should feel inclined to respond with a concession of my own,” ( :37)

“After a bit of thought, we decided to try the technique on a request that we felt few people would agree to perform. Posing as representatives of the “County Youth Counseling Program,” we approached college students walking on campus and asked if they would be willing to chaperon a group of juvenile delinquents on a day trip to the zoo. The” ( :38)

“idea of being responsible for a group of juvenile delinquents of unspecified age for hours in a public place without pay was hardly an inviting one for these students. As we expected, the great majority (83 percent) refused. Yet we obtained very different results from a similar sample of college students who were asked the very same question with one difference. Before we invited them to serve as unpaid chaperons on the zoo trip, we asked them for an even larger favor—to spend two hours per week as a counselor to a juvenile delinquent for a minimum of two years. It was only after they refused this extreme request, as all did, that we made the smaller, zoo-trip request. By presenting the zoo trip as a retreat from our initial request, our success rate increased dramatically. Three times as many of the students approached in this manner volunteered to serve as zoo chaperons.” ( :39)

“Be assured that any strategy able to triple the percentage of compliance with a substantial request (from 17 percent to 50 percent in our experiment)” ( :39)

“On the Happy Days series, the biggest censorship fight was over the word “virgin.” That time, says Marshall, “I knew we’d have trouble, so we put the word in seven times, hoping they’d cut six and keep one. It worked. We used the same pattern again with 12 the word ‘pregnant.'”” ( :40)

“others in my department clustered around forty percent. I never told anyone how I did it until now.” Notice how, as is usually the case, use of the rejection-then-retreat tactic engages the action of the contrast principle as well. Not only did the $140 initial request make the $34.95 request seem like a retreat, it made that second request seem smaller too.” ( :51)

 

Chapter 3
COMMITMENT AND CONSISTENCY

 

“Friend of Sara’s returned to town after years away and called her. They started seeing each other socially and quickly became serious enough to plan a wedding. They had gone so far as to set a date and issue invitations when Tim called. He had repented and wanted to move back in. When Sara told him her marriage plans, he begged her to change her mind; he wanted to be together with her as before. But Sara refused, saying she didn’t want to live like that again. Tim even offered to marry her, but she still said she preferred the other boyfriend. Finally, Tim volunteered to quit drinking if she would only relent. Feeling that under those conditions Tim had the edge, Sara decided to break her engagement, cancel the wedding, retract the invitations, and let Tim move back in with her.” ( :53)

“atch my things,” which each of them agreed to do. Now, propelled by the rule for consistency, nineteen of the twenty subjects became virtual vigilantes, running after and stopping the thief, demanding an explanation, and often restraining the thief physically or snatching the radio away.” ( :54)

“”Well, yes, I did. Christopher had seen a bunch of ads for them on the Saturday morning cartoon shows and said that was what he wanted for Christmas. I saw a couple of the ads myself and it looked like fun, so I said okay.” “Strike one,” he announced. “Now for my second question. When you went to buy one, did you find all the stores sold out?” “That’s right, I did! The stores said they’d ordered some but didn’t know when they’d get any more in. So I had to buy Christopher some other toys to make up for the road-race set. But how did you know?” “Strike two,” he said. “Just let me ask one more question. Didn’t this same sort of thing happen the year before with the robot toy?” “Wait a minute…you’re right. That’s just what happened. This is incredible. How did you know?”” ( :59)

“”Where,” I said, beginning to seethe now, “they meet other parents they haven’t seen for a year, falling for the same trick, right?” “Right. Uh, where are you going?”” ( :59)

“”Right. Uh, where are you going?” “I’m going to take that road-race set right back to the store.” I was so angry I was nearly shouting.” ( :59)

“”Wait. Think for a minute first. Why did you buy it this morning?” “Because I didn’t want to let Christopher down and because I wanted to teach him that promises are to be lived up to.” “Well, has any of that changed? Look, if you take his toy away now, he won’t understand why. He’ll just know that his father broke a promise to him. Is that what you want?” “No,” I said, sighing, “I guess not. So, you’re telling me that they doubled their profit on me for the past two years, and I never even knew it; and now that I do, I’m still trapped—by my own words. So, what you’re really telling me is, ‘Strike three.'” He nodded, “And you’re out.”” ( :60)

“If I can get you to make a commitment (that is, to take a stand, to go on record), I will have set the stage for your automatic and ill-considered consistency with that earlier commitment. Once a stand is taken, there is a natural tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly consistent with the stand.” ( :60)

“superficial comment of your own: “Just fine” or “Real good” or “I’m doing great, thanks.” Once you have publicly stated that all is well, it becomes much easier for the solicitor to corner you into aiding those for whom all is not well: “I’m glad to hear that, because I’m calling to ask if you’d be willing to make a donation to help out the unfortunate victims of…”” ( :61)

“customary favorable reply (“Good,” “Fine,” “Real well,” etc.). Second, 32 percent of the people who got the “How are you feeling tonight” question agreed to receive the cookie seller at their homes, nearly twice the success rate of the standard solicitation approach. Third, true to the consistency principle, almost everyone who agreed to such a visit did, in fact, make a cookie purchase when contacted at home (89 percent).” ( :61)

“Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 53 An examination of the Chinese prison-camp program shows that its personnel relied heavily on commitment and consistency pressures to” ( :62)

“gain the desired compliance from prisoners.” ( :63)

“The Chinese answer was elementary: Start small and build.” ( :63)

“For instance, prisoners were frequently asked to make statements so mildly anti-American or pro-Communist as to seem inconsequential (“The United States is not perfect.” “In a Communist country, unemployment is not a problem.”). But once these minor requests were complied with, the men found themselves pushed to submit to related yet more substantive requests. A man who had just agreed with his Chinese interrogator that the United States is not perfect might then be asked to indicate some of the ways in which he thought this was the case. Once he had so explained himself, he might be asked to make a list of these “problems with America” and to sign his name to it. Later he might be asked to read his list in a discussion group with other prisoners. “After all, it’s what you really believe, isn’t it?” Still later he might be asked to write an essay expanding on his list and discussing these problems in greater detail.” ( :63)

“This was particularly effective in eliciting confessions, self-criticism, and information 3 during interrogation.”” ( :63)

“For the salesperson, the strategy is to obtain a large purchase by starting with a small one. Almost any small sale will do, because the purpose of that small transaction is not profit. It is commitment.” ( :63)

“The general idea is to pave the way for full-line distribution by starting with a small order…. Look at it this way—when a person has signed an order for your merchandise, even though the profit is so small it hardly compensates for the time and effort of making 4 the call, he is no longer a prospect—he is a customer.” ( :64)

“the foot-in-thedoor technique.” ( :64)

“house, the view of which was almost completely obscured by a very large, poorly lettered sign reading DRIVE CAREFULLY. Although the request was normally and understandably refused by the great majority (83 percent) of the other residents in the area, this particular group of people reacted quite fa” ( :64)

“A different volunteer worker had come to their doors and asked them to accept and display a little three-inch-square sign that read DRIVER. BE A SAFE” ( :64)

“and asked them to accept and display a little three-inch-square sign that read DRIVER. It was such a BE A SAFE trifling request that nearly all of them had agreed to it. But the effects of that request were enormous. Because they had innocently complied with a trivial safe-driving request a couple of weeks before, these homeowners became remarkably willing to comply with another such request that was massive in size.” ( :64)

“Approximately half of these people consented to the installation of the billboard, even DRIVE CAREFULLY though the small commitment they had made weeks earlier was not to driver safety but to an entirely different public-service topic, state beautification.” ( :65)

“What may occur is a change in the person’s feelings about getting involved or taking action. Once he has agreed to a request, his attitude may change, he may become, in his own eyes, the kind of person who does this sort of thing, who agrees to requests made by strangers, who takes action on things he believes in, who co- 6 operates with good causes.” ( :65)

“Not all commitments affect self-image, however. There are certain conditions that should be present for a commitment to be effective in this way. To discover what they are, we can once again look to the American experience in the Chinese prison camps of Korea. It is important to understand that the major intent of the Chinese was not simply to extract information from their prisoners. It was to indoctrinate them, to change their attitudes and percep-tions of themselves, of their political system, of their country’s role in the war, and of communism. And there is evidence that the program often worked alarmingly well.” ( :66)

“Many expressed antipathy toward the Chinese Communists but at the same time praised them for “the fine job they have done in China.” Others stated that “although communism won’t work in 7 America, I think it’s a good thing for Asia.”” ( :66)

“A further technique was to have the man write out the question and then the [pro-Communist] answer. If he refused to write it voluntarily, he was asked to copy it from the notebooks, which must have seemed like a harmless enough concession.” ( :67)

“Jones and James Harris, who showed people an essay that was favorable to Fidel Castro and asked them to guess the 8 true feelings of its author. Jones and Harris told some of these people that the author had chosen to write a pro-Castro essay; and they told the other people that the author had been required to write in favor of Castro. The strange thing was that even those people who knew that the author had been assigned to do a pro-Castro essay guessed that he liked Castro. It seems that a statement of belief produces a click, whirr response in those who view it. Unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, observers automatically assume that someone who makes such a statement means it.” ( :68)

“One final tip before you get started: Set a goal and write it down. Whatever the goal, the important thing is that you set it, so you’ve got something for which to aim—and that you write it down. There is something magical about writing things down. So set a goal and” ( :69)

“write it down. When you reach that goal, set another and write 10 that down. You’ll be off and running.” ( :70)

“number of such cancellations drastically. They merely have the customer, rather than the salesman, fill out the sales agreement. According to the sales-training program of a prominent encyclopedia company, that personal commitment alone has proved to be “a very important psychological aid in preventing customers from backing out of their contracts.” Like the Amway Corporation, then, these organizations have found that something special happens when people personally put their commitments on paper: They live up to what they have written down.” ( :70)

“I am no longer puzzled. The purpose behind the testimonial contests is the same as the purpose behind the political essay contests of the Chinese Communists. In both instances, the aim is to get as many people as possible to go on record as liking the product.” ( :70)

“process is the same. Participants voluntarily write essays for attractive prizes that they have only a small chance to win. But they know that for an essay to have any chance of winning at all, it must include praise for the product. So they find praiseworthy features of the product and describe them in their essays. The result is hundreds of men in Korea or hundreds of thousands of people in America who testify in writing to the product’s appeal and who, consequently, experience that “magical” pull to believe what they have written.” ( :71)

“The results were quite clear. The students who had never written down their first choices were the least loyal to those choices. When new evidence was presented that questioned the wisdom of decisions that had never left their heads, these students were the most influenced by the new information to change what they had viewed as the “correct” decision. Compared to these uncommitted students, those who had merely written their decisions for a moment on a Magic Pad were significantly less willing to change their minds when given the chance. Even though they had committed themselves under the most anonymous of circumstances, the act of writing down their first judgments caused them to resist the influence of contradictory new data and to remain consistent with the preliminary choices. But Deutsch and Gerard found that, by far, it was the students who had publicly recorded their initial positions who most resolutely refused to shift from those positions later. Public commitment had hardened them into the most stubborn of all.” ( :72)

“The Deutsch and Gerard finding that we are truest to our decisions if we have bound ourselves to them publicly can be put to good use. Consider the organizations dedicated to helping people rid themselves of bad habits. Many weight-reduction clinics, for instance, understand that often a person’s private decision to lose weight will be too weak to withstand the blandishments of bakery windows, wafting cooking scents, and late-night Sara Lee commercials.” ( :72)

“I remember it was after I heard about another scientific study showing that smoking causes cancer. Every time one of those things came out, I used to get determined to quit, but I never could. This time, though, I decided I had to do something. I’m a proud person. It matters to me if other people see me in a bad light. So I thought, “Maybe I can use that pride to help me dump this damn habit.” So I made a list of all the people who I really wanted to respect me. Then I went out and got some blank business cards and I wrote on the back of each card, “I promise you that I will never smoke another cigarette.”” ( :73)

“64 / Influence Yet another reason that written commitments are so effective is that they require more work than verbal ones. And the evidence is clear that” ( :73)

“the more effort that goes into a commitment, the greater is its ability to influence the attitudes of the person who made it.” ( :74)

“When a boy is somewhere between 10 and 16 years of age, he is sent by his parents to “circumcision school,” which is held every 4 or 5 years. Here in company with his age-mates he undergoes severe hazing by the adult males of the society. The initiation begins when each boy runs the gauntlet between two rows of men who beat him with clubs. At the end of this experience he is stripped of his clothes and his hair is cut. He is next met by a man covered with lion manes and is seated upon a stone facing this “lion man.” Someone then strikes him from behind and when he turns his head to see who has struck him, his foreskin is seized and in two movements cut off by the “lion man.” Afterward he is secluded for three months in the “yard of mysteries,” where he can be seen only by the initiated.” ( :74)

“During the course of his initiation, the boy undergoes six major trials: beatings, exposure to cold, thirst, eating of unsavory foods, punishment, and the threat of death. On the slightest pretext, he may be beaten by one of the newly initiated men, who is assigned to the task by the older men of the tribe. He sleeps without covering and suffers bitterly from the winter cold. He is forbidden to drink a drop of water during the whole three months. Meals are often made nauseating by the half-digested grass from the stomach of an antelope, which is poured over his food. If he is caught breaking any important rule governing the ceremony, he is severely punished. For example, in one of these punishments, sticks are placed between the fingers of the offender, then a strong man closes his hand around that of the novice, practically crushing his fingers. He is frightened into submission by being told that in former times boys who had tried to escape or who had revealed the secrets to women or to the uninitiated were hanged and their 12 bodies burned to ashes.” ( :74)

“ernities are known for their willingness to engage in beneficial community projects for the general social good. What they are not willing to do, however, is substitute these projects for their initiation ceremonies. One survey at the University of Washington found that, of the fraternity chapters examined, most had a type of Help Week tradition but that this community service was in addition to Hell Week. In only one case was such service directly related to initiation proced- 14 ures.” ( :77)

“My own view is that the answer appeared in 1959 in the results of a study little known outside of social psychology. A pair of young researchers, Elliot Aronson and Judson Mills, decided to test their observation that “persons who go through a great deal of trouble or pain to attain something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain the same thing with a minimum of effort.”” ( :77)

“through a great deal of trouble or pain to attain something tend to value it more highly than persons who attain the same thing with a minimum of effort.” The real stroke of inspiration came in their choice of the initiation ceremony as the best place to examine this possibility. They found that college women who had to endure a severely embarrassing initiation ceremony in order to gain access to a sex discussion group convinced themselves that their new group and its discussions were extremely valuable, even though Aronson and Mills had previously rehearsed the other group members to be as “worthless and uninteresting” as possible.” ( :77)

“68 / Influence Additional research showed the same results when” ( :77)

“coeds were required to endure pain rather than embarrassment to get into a group.” ( :78)

“group. The more electric shock a woman received as part of the initiation ceremony, the more she later persuaded herself that her new 15 group and its activities were interesting, intelligent, and desirable.” ( :78)

“The loyalty and dedication of those who emerge will increase to a great degree the chances of group cohesiveness and survival. Indeed, one study of fifty-four tribal cultures found that those with the most dramatic and stringent initiation ceremonies were those with the greatest 16 group solidarity.” ( :78)

“Military groups and organizations are by no means exempt from these same processes. The agonies of “boot camp” initiations to the armed services are legendary.” ( :78)

“”There is no ex-Marine of my acquaintance, regardless of what direction he may have taken spiritually or politically after those callow gung-ho days, who does not view the training as a crucible out of which he emerged in some way more resilient, simply braver and better for the wear.”” ( :78)

“His offense was that he would not expose the newcomers to what he felt was “absurd and dehumanizing” treatment.” ( :79)

“Although the settings are quite different, the surveyed fraternities refused to allow civic activities into their initiation ceremonies for the same reason that the Chinese withheld large prizes in favor of less powerful inducements: They wanted the men to own what they had done.” ( :80)

“done. No excuses, no ways out were allowed. A man who suffered through an arduous hazing could not be given the chance to believe he did so for charitable purposes. A prisoner who salted his political essay with a few anti-American comments could not be permitted to shrug it off as motivated by a big reward. No, the fraternity chapters and Chinese Communists were playing for keeps. It was not enough to wring commitments out of their men; those men had to be made to take inner responsibility for their actions.” ( :80)

“Social scientists have determined that we accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of strong outside pressures. A large reward is one such external pressure. It may get us to perform a certain action, but it won’t get us to accept inner responsibility for the act. Consequently, we won’t feel committed to it. The same is true of a strong threat; it may motivate immediate compliance, but it is unlikely to produce long-term commitment.” ( :80)

“eavily bribe or threaten our children to do the things we want them truly to believe in.” ( :81)

“72 / Influence toy, 77 percent” ( :81)

“chose to play with the robot that had been forbidden to them earlier. Freedman’s severe threat, which had been so successful six weeks before,” ( :82)

“with the robot that had been forbidden to them earlier. Freedman’s severe threat, which had been so successful six weeks before, was almost totally unsuccessful when he was no longer able to back it up with punishment.” ( :82)

“difference between the two samples of boys came six weeks later, when they had a chance to play with the toys while Freedman was no longer around. An astonishing thing happened with the boys who had earlier been given no strong threat against playing with the robot: When given the freedom to play with any toy they wished, most avoided the robot, even though it was by far the most attractive of the five toys available (the others were a cheap plastic submarine, a child’s baseball glove without a ball, an unloaded toy rifle, and a toy tractor). When these boys played with one of the five toys, only 33 percent chose the robot.” ( :82)

“disobey him. There were two important results. First, Freedman’s instruction alone was enough to prevent the boys from operating the robot while he was briefly out of the room. Second, the boys took personal responsibility for their choice to stay away from the robot during that time. They decided that they hadn’t played with it because they didn’t want to.” ( :82)

“when Freedman was nowhere around, they still ignored the robot because they had been changed inside to believe that they did not want 17 to play with it.” ( :83)

“But the effort should pay off. It is likely to mean the difference between short-lived compliance and long-term commitment.” ( :83)

“There is yet another attraction in commitments that lead to inner change—they grow their own legs.” ( :83)

“The advantage to an unscrupulous compliance professional is tremendous. Because we build new struts to undergird choices we have committed ourselves to, an exploitative individual can offer us an inducement for making such a choice, and after the decision has been made, can remove that inducement, knowing that our decision will probably stand on its own newly created legs.” ( :84)

“lowballing on her—this while she was signing a new-car contract giving him a huge commission. He looked hurt but managed a forgiving smile.” ( :85)

“I know full well that Sara is a lowball victim. Just as sure as I had watched buyers fall for the give-it-and-take-it-away-later strategy in the car showroom, I watched her fall for the same trick with Tim. For his part, Tim remains the guy he has always been. But because the new attractions Sara has discovered (or created) in him are quite real for her, she now seems satisfied with the same arrangement that was unacceptable before her enormous commitment.” ( :86)

“The residents who had promised to make a conservation attempt used just as much natural gas as a random sample of their neighbors who had not been contacted by an interviewer. Just good intentions coupled with information about saving fuel, then, were not enough to change habits.” ( :86)

“Those residents agreeing to save energy would have their names publicized in newspaper articles as public-spirited, fuelconserving citizens. The effect was immediate. One month later, when the utility companies checked their meters, the homeowners in this sample had saved an average of 422 cubic feet of natural gas apiece.” ( :86)

“At the end of the winter, the research team examined the effect that letter had had on the natural-gas usage of the families. Did they return to their old, wasteful habits when the chance to be in the newspaper was removed? Hardly. For each of the remaining winter months, they actually conserved more fuel than they had during the time they thought they would be publicly celebrated for it! In” ( :87)

“Once made, that commitment started generating its own support:” ( :87)

“The experiment was done in summer on Iowans whose homes were cooled by central air-conditioning. Those homeowners who were promised newspaper publicity decreased their electricity use by 27.8 percent during July, as compared to similar homeowners who were not promised any coverage or who were not contacted at all. At the end of July, a letter was sent canceling the publicity promise. Rather than reverting to their old habits, the lowballed residents increased their August energy savings to a stunning 41.6 percent.” ( :88)

“know against the weapons of influence embodied in the combined principles of commitment and consistency. Although consistency is generally good, even vital, there is a foolish, rigid variety to be shunned. It is this tendency to be automatically and unthinkingly consistent that Emerson referred to.” ( :88)

“The first sort of signal is easy to recognize. It occurs right in the pit of our stomachs when we realize we are trapped into complying with a request we know we don’t want to perform. It has happened to me a hundred times. An especially memorable instance, though, took place on a summer evening well before I began to study compliance tactics. I answered my doorbell to find a stunning young woman dressed in shorts and a revealing halter top. I noticed, nonetheless, that she was carrying a clipboard and was asking me to participate in a survey. Wanting to make a favorable impression, I agreed and, I do admit, stretched the truth in my interview answers so as to present myself in the most positive light. Our conversation went as follows:” ( :89)

“I knew I had been set up so that the need to be consistent with what I had already said would snare me.” ( :91)

“I sometimes think about how it would be if that stunning young woman of years ago were to try to sell me an entertainment-club membership now. I have it all worked out. The entire interaction would be the same, except for the end:” ( :91)

“But our language does give it a name: heart of hearts.” ( :92)

“a couple of cents below the rate of other stations in the area. But with pump nozzle in hand, I noticed that the price listed on the pump was two cents higher than the display sign price. When I mentioned the difference to a passing attendant, who I later learned was the owner, he mumbled uncon-vincingly that the rates had changed a few days ago but there hadn’t been time to correct the display. I tried to decide what to do. Some reasons for staying came to mind—”I really do need gasoline badly.” “This pump is available, and I am in sort of a hurry.” “I think I remember that my car runs better on this brand of gas.”” ( :93)

“und; however, I was caught off guard and was curious to find out what he wanted. He explained that he would receive points for a contest by getting total strangers to give him a kiss. Now I consider myself a fairly level-headed person who shouldn’t have believed his line, but he was quite persistent, and since I was almost late for my lunch appointment, I thought, ‘What the heck, I’ll give the guy a kiss and get out of here.’ So I did something totally against my common sense and pecked this total stranger on the cheek in the middle of downtown Portland!” ( :94)

“By extracting a kiss, the salesman exploited the consistency principle in two ways. First, by the time he asked for her aid in the magazine contest, his prospect had already gone on record—with that kiss—as agreeing to help him win a contest. Second, it seems only natural (i.e., congruent) that if a woman feels positively enough toward a man to kiss him, she should feel positively toward helping him out.” ( :95)

 

Chapter 4
SOCIAL PROOF

 

“the principle of social proof. It states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior. We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.” ( :97)

“Our tendency to assume that an action is more correct if others are doing it is exploited in a variety of settings. Bartenders often “salt” their tip jars with a few dollar bills at the beginning of the evening to simulate tips left by prior customers and thereby to give the impression that tipping with folding money is proper barroom behavior.” ( :98)

“”Since 95 percent of the people are imitators and only 5 percent initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer.”” ( :99)

“wn how people suffering from phobias can be rid of these extreme fears in an amazingly simple fashion. For instance, in an early study nursery-school-age children chosen because they were terrified of dogs merely watched a little boy playing happily with a dog for twenty minutes a day. This exhibition produced such marked changes in the reactions of the fearful children that after only four days, 67 percent of them were willing to climb into a playpen with a dog and remain confined there, petting and scratching it while everyone else left the room.” ( :99)

“confined there, petting and scratching it while everyone else left the room. Moreover, when the researchers tested the children’s fear levels again one month later, they found that the improvement had not evaporated during that time; in fact, the children were more willing than ever to interact with dogs.” ( :99)

“90 / Influence type of clips were those depicting not one but a variety of other children” ( :99)

“interacting with their dogs; apparently the principle of social proof works best when the proof is provided by the actions of a lot of other 3 people.” ( :100)

“pattern, O’Connor made a film containing eleven different scenes in a nursery-school setting. Each scene began by showing a different solitary child watching some ongoing social activity and then actively joining the activity, to everyone’s enjoyment. O’Connor selected a group of the most severely withdrawn children from four preschools and showed them his film. The impact was impressive. The isolates immediately began to interact with their peers at a level equal to that of the normal children in the schools. Even more astonishing was what O’Connor found when he returned to observe six weeks later. While the withdrawn children who had not seen O’Connor’s film remained as isolated as ever, those who had viewed it were now leading their schools in amount of social activity. It seems that this twenty-three-minute movie, viewed just once, was enough to reverse a potential pattern of lifelong maladaptive behavior. Such is 4 the potency of the principle of social proof.” ( :100)

“These four minutes passed in complete silence except for a single utterance. When the [slower] clock on the mantel showed only one minute remaining before the guide to the saucer was due, Marian exclaimed in a strained, high-pitched voice: “And not a plan has gone astray!” The clock chimed twelve, each stroke painfully clear in the expectant hush. The believers sat motionless.” ( :104)

“”The little group, sitting alone all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.”” ( :105)

“They found her at the telephone deep in a discussion of flying saucers with a caller whom, it later turned out, she believed to be a spaceman. Eager to continue talking to him and at the same time anxious to keep her new guests, Marian simply included them in the conversation and, for more than an hour, chatted alternately with her guests in the living room and the “spaceman” on the other end of the telephone. So intent was she on proselyting that she seemed unable to let any opportunity go by.” ( :106)

“I have to believe the flood is coming on the twenty-first because I’ve spent all my money. I quit my job, I quit computer school…. I have to believe.” ( :106)

“They had to establish another type of proof for the validity of their beliefs: social proof.” ( :107)

“The principle of social proof says so: The greater the number of people who find any idea correct, the more the idea will be correct. The group’s assignment was clear; since the physical evidence could not be changed, the social 6 evidence had to be. Convince and ye shall be convinced!” ( :107)

“98 / Influence Those people are probably examining the social evidence, too. Especially in an ambiguous situation, the tendency for everyone to be looking to see what everyone else is doing can lead to a fascinating” ( :107)

“phenomenon called “pluralistic ignorance.”” ( :108)

“long, loud, tortured, public event. Her assailant had chased and attacked her in the street three times over a period of thirty-five minutes before his knife finally silenced her cries for help. Incredibly, thirty-eight of her neighbors watched the events of her death unfold from the safety of their apartment windows without so much as lifting a finger to call the police.” ( :108)

“e Times published a long, page 1 article that was to create a swirl of controversy and speculation. The first few paragraphs of that report provide the tone and focus of the burgeoning story:” ( :108)

“For more than half an hour thirty-eight respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens. Twice the sound of their voices” ( :108)

“New York-based psychology professors, Bibb Latané and John Darley.” ( :110)

“The first reason is fairly straightforward. With several potential helpers around, the personal responsibility of each individual is reduced: “Perhaps someone else will give or call for aid, perhaps someone else already has.” So with everyone thinking that someone else will help or has helped, no one does.” ( :110)

“someone else will help or has helped, no one does. The second reason is the more psychologically intriguing one; it is founded on the principle of social proof and involves the pluralistic ignorance effect. Very often an emergency is not obviously an emergency. Is the man lying in the alley a heart-attack victim or a drunk sleeping one off? Are the sharp sounds from the street gunshots or truck backfires? Is the commotion next door an assault requiring the police or an especially loud marital spat where intervention would be inappropriate and unwelcome?” ( :110)

“This, according to Latané and Darley, is the state of pluralistic ignorance “in which each person decides that since nobody is concerned, nothing is wrong. Meanwhile, the danger may be mounting to the point where a single individual, uninfluenced by the seeming calm of others, would 8 react.”” ( :111)

“y a group of people. They then recorded the number of times the emergency victim received help under those circumstances. In their first experiment, a New York college student who appeared to be having an epileptic seizure received help 85 percent of the time when there was a single bystander present but only 31 percent of the time with five bystanders present. With almost all the single bystanders helping, it becomes difficult to argue that ours is “The Cold Society” where no one cares for suffering others. Obviously it was something about the presence of other bystanders that reduced helping to shameful levels.” ( :111)

“f the time. The smallest number of bystanders took action, though, when the three-person groups included two individuals who had been coached to ignore the smoke; under those conditions, the leaks were reported only 10 percent of the time.” ( :111)

“”You, sir, in the blue jacket, I need help. Call an ambulance.”” ( :114)

“man who had tried to do so was similar to them. The answer was plain: Only 33 percent of the wallets were returned when the first finder was seen as dissimilar, but fully 70 percent were returned when he was thought to be a similar other.” ( :117)

“but fully 70 percent were returned when he was thought to be a similar other. These results suggest an important qualification of the principle of social proof. We will use the actions of others to decide on proper behavior for ourselves, especially when we view those others as similar to ourselves.” ( :117)

“Looking somewhat embarrassed because his father seemed to be raving while inexplicably soaking his socks in a small puddle and waving his shoes around, Chris explained: “Well, I’m three years old, and Tommy is three years old. And Tommy can swim without a ring, so that means I can too.”” ( :118)

“According to this “social conditions” interpretation, then, some of the same societal factors that cause intentional deaths also cause accidental ones, and that is why we find so strong a connection between suicide stories and fatal crashes.” ( :119)

“where the suicide has been highly publicized. Other places, existing under similar social conditions, whose newspapers have not publicized the story, have shown no comparable jump in such fatalities. Furthermore, within those areas where newspaper space has been allotted, the wider the publicity given the suicide, the greater has been the rise in subsequent crashes. Thus it is not some set of common societal events that stimulates suicides on the one hand, and fatal accidents on the other. Instead it is the publicized suicide story itself that produces the car and plane wrecks.” ( :119)

“His name is David Phillips, and he points a convincing finger at something called the “Werther effect.”” ( :119)

“Phillips got his evidence for the modern-day Werther effect by examining the suicide statistics in the United States between 1947 and 1968. He found that within two months after every front-page suicide story, an average of fifty-eight more people than usual killed themselves. In a sense, each suicide story killed fifty-eight people who otherwise” ( :120)

“story, an average of fifty-eight more people than usual killed themselves. In a sense, each suicide story killed fifty-eight people who otherwise would have gone on living. Phillips also found that this tendency for suicides to beget suicides occurred principally in those parts of the country where the first suicide was highly publicized and that the wider the publicity given the first suicide, the greater the number of later suicides.” ( :120)

“people decide that suicide is an appropriate action for themselves as well. Some of these individuals then proceed to commit the act in a straightforward, no-bones-about-it fashion, causing the suicide rate to jump.” ( :120)

“Thus the alarming climb in crash fatalities we find following front-page suicides is, according to Dr. Phillips, most likely due to the Werther effect secretly applied.” ( :121)

“This last statistic is the crusher for me. I am left wholly convinced and, simultaneously, wholly amazed by it. Evidently, the principle of social proof is so wide-ranging and powerful that its domain extends to the fundamental decision for life or death.” ( :122)

“When such a match was lost by a black fighter, the homicide rate during the following ten days rose significantly for young black male victims but not young white males.” ( :123)

“The first response was that of a young woman who calmly approached the now famous vat of strawberry-flavored poison, administered one dose to her baby, one to herself, and then sat down in a field, where she and her child died in convulsions within four minutes. Others followed steadily in turn. Although a handful of Jonestowners escaped rather than comply and a few others are reported to have resisted, the survivors claim that the great majority of the 910 people who died did so in an orderly, willful fashion.” ( :123)

“Ah, uncertainty—the right-hand man of the principle of social proof. We have already seen that when people are uncertain, they look to the actions of others to guide their own actions.” ( :125)

“force of one man’s personality, could be changed from a following into a herd. As slaughterhouse operators have long known, the mentality of a herd makes it easy to manage. Simply get some members moving in the desired direction and the others—responding not so much to the lead animal as to those immediately surrounding them—will peacefully and mechanically go along.” ( :126)

“unacceptable corner by those who would undermine one of my hedges against the decisional overload of modern life. And I get a genuine sense of righteousness by lashing out when they try. If you are like me, so should you.” ( :131)

“The patrolman’s account provides certain insights into the way we respond to social proof. First, we seem to assume that if a lot of people are doing the same thing, they must know something we don’t. Especially when we are uncertain, we are willing to place an enormous amount of trust in the collective knowledge of the crowd. Second, quite frequently the crowd is mistaken because they are not acting on the basis of any superior information but are reacting, themselves, to the principle of social proof.” ( :132)

“observer to such a hunt described the deadly outcome of the buffalo’s obsessive trust in collective knowledge. In this way, it was possible to decoy a herd toward a precipice, and cause it to plunge over en masse, the leaders being thrust over by 16 their followers and all the rest following of their own free will.” ( :133)

“Once again we can see that social proof is most powerful for those who feel unfamiliar or unsure in a specific situation and who, consequently, must look outside of themselves for evidence of how best to behave there.” ( :134)

 

Chapter 5
LIKING

 

“remarkable. It was recently estimated that Tupperware sales exceed $2.5 million a day!” ( :136)

“It’s gotten to the point now where I hate to be invited to Tupperware parties. I’ve got all the containers I need; and if I wanted any more, I could buy another brand cheaper in the store. But when a friend calls up, I feel like I have to go. And when I get there, I feel like I have to buy something. What can I do? It’s for one of my friends.” ( :136)

“The Shaklee Corporation, which specializes in door-to-door sales of various home-related products, advises its salespeople to use the “endless chain” method for finding new customers. Once a customer admits to liking a product, he or she can be pressed for the names of friends who would also appreciate learning about it. The individuals on that list can then be approached for sales and a list of their friends, who can serve as sources for still other potential customers, and so on in an endless chain. The key to the success of this method is that each new prospect is visited by a salesperson armed with the name of a friend “who suggested I call on you.” Turning the salesperson away under those circumstances is difficult; it’s almost like rejecting the friend. The Shaklee sales manual insists that employees use this system without fail:” ( :137)

“in Detroit, Joe Girard, who specialized in using the liking rule to sell Chevrolets. He became wealthy in the process, making more than two hundred thousand dollars a year. With such a salary, we might guess that he was a high-level GM executive or perhaps the owner of a Chevrolet dealership. But no. He made his money as a salesman on the showroom floor. At what he did, he was phenomenal. For twelve years straight, he won the title as the “number one car salesman”; he averaged more than five cars and trucks sold every day he worked; and he has been called the world’s “greatest car salesman” by the Guinness Book of World Records.” ( :137)

“ike all click, whirr reactions, it happens automatically, without forethought. The response itself falls into a category that social scientists call “halo effects.” A halo effect occurs when one positive characteristic of a person dominates the way that person is viewed by others. And the evidence is now clear that physical attractiveness is often such a characteristic.” ( :138)

“Research has shown that we automatically assign to good-looking individuals such favorable traits as talent, kindness, honesty, and intelligence.” ( :138)

“when young people tended to dress either in “hippie” or “straight” fashion, experimenters donned hippie or straight attire and asked college students on campus for a dime to make a phone call. When the experimenter was dressed in the same way as the student, the request was granted in more than two thirds of the instances; but when the student and requester were dissimilarly dressed, the dime was provided less than half the time.” ( :140)

“sales records of insurance companies found that customers were more likely to buy insurance when the salesperson was like them in such areas as age, religion, politics, and cigarette-smoking habits. Because even small similarities can be effective in producing a positive response to another and because a veneer of similarity can be so easily manufactured, I would advise special caution in the presence of requesters who claim to be “just like you.”” ( :140)

“Remember Joe Girard, the world’s “greatest car salesman,” who says the secret of his success was getting customers to like him? He did something that, on the face of it, seems foolish and costly. Each month he sent every one of his more than thirteen thousand former customers a holiday greeting card containing a personal message. The holiday greeting changed from month to month (Happy New Year or Happy Thanksgiving, etc.), but the message printed on the face of the card never varied. It read, “I like you.” As Joe explained it, “There’s nothing else on the card. Nothin’ but my name. I’m just telling ’em that I like ’em.”” ( :141)

“Positive comments produced just as much liking 8 for the flatterer when they were untrue as when they were true.” ( :141)

“9 For the most part, we like things that are familiar to us. To prove the point to yourself, try a little experiment. Get the negative of an old photograph that shows a front view of your face and have it developed into a pair of pictures—one that shows you as you actually look and one that shows a reverse image (so that the right and left sides of your face are interchanged). Now decide which version of your face you like better and ask a good friend to make the choice, too. If you are at all like a group of Milwaukee women on whom this procedure was tried, you should notice something odd: Your friend will prefer the true print, but you will prefer the reverse image. Why? Because you both will be responding favorably to the more familiar face—your friend to the one the world sees, and you to the transposed one you find in the mirror 10 every day.” ( :142)

“more interethnic interaction, research shows that becoming familiar with something through repeated contact doesn’t necessarily cause greater liking. In fact, continued exposure to a person or object under unpleasant conditions such as frustration, 14 conflict, or competition leads to less liking.” ( :143)

“Further, this teaching process guarantees that the children will not learn to like and understand each other. Conjure up your own experience. If you knew the right answer and the teacher called on someone else, you probably hoped that he or she would make a mistake so that you would have a chance to display your knowledge.” ( :143)

“hostility is emerging from the research of education specialists into the concept of “cooperative learning.” Because much of the heightened prejudice from classroom desegregation seems to stem from increased exposure to outside group members as rivals, these educators have experimented with forms of learning in which cooperation rather than competition with classmates is central. Off to camp.” ( :144)

“It didn’t take much to bring on certain kinds of ill will. Simply separating the boys into two residence cabins was enough to stimulate a “we vs. they” feeling between the groups; and assigning names to the two groups (the Eagles and the Rattlers) accelerated the sense of rivalry. The boys soon began to demean the qualities and accomplishments of the other group. But these forms of hostility were minor compared to what occurred when the experimenters purposely introduced competitive activities into the factions’ meetings with one another. Cabin against cabin treasure hunts, tugs-of-war, and athletic contests produced namecalling and physical friction. During the competitions, members of the opposing team were labeled “cheaters,” “sneaks,” and “stinkers.” Afterward, cabins were raided, rival banners were stolen and burned, threatening signs were posted, and lunchroom scuffles were commonplace. At this point, it was evident to Sherif that the recipe for disharmony was quick and easy: Just separate the participants into groups and let sit for a while in their own juices.” ( :145)

“and easy: Just separate the participants into groups and let sit for a while in their own juices. Then mix together over the flame of continued competition. And there you have it: Cross-group hatred at a rolling boil.” ( :145)

“They constructed a series of situations in which competition between the groups would have harmed everyone’s interests, in which cooperation was necessary for mutual benefit.” ( :145)

“supply, which came through pipes from a distant tank. Presented with the common crisis and realizing the need for unified action, the boys organized themselves harmoniously to find and fix the problem before day’s end.” ( :145)

“When the bus stopped at a refreshment stand, the boys of one group, with five dollars left in its treasury, decided to treat their former bitter adversaries to milkshakes!” ( :146)

“And when success resulted from the mutual efforts, it became especially difficult to maintain feelings of hostility toward those who had been teammates 16 in the triumph.” ( :146)

“The essence of the jigsaw route to learning is to require that students work together to master the material scheduled for an upcoming examination. This is accomplished by forming students into cooperating teams and giving each student only one part of the information—one piece of the puzzle—necessary to pass the test. Under this system the students must take turns teaching and helping one another. Everyone needs everyone else to do well. Like Sherif’s campers working on tasks that could be successfully accomplished only conjointly, the students became allies rather than enemies.” ( :146)

“It relates the experience of Carlos, a young Mexican-American boy, who found himself in a jigsaw group for the first time. Carlos’s job was to learn and then convey to his team information on the middle years of Joseph Pulitzer. A test on the famous newspaperman’s life would soon face each group member. Aronson tells what happened:” ( :147)

“”Okay, you can tease him if you want to,” she said, “and that might be fun for you, but it’s not going to help you learn about Joseph Pulitzer’s middle years. The exam will take place in about an hour.”” ( :148)

“Joseph Pulitzer’s middle years. The exam will take place in about an hour.” Notice how she changed the reinforcement contingencies. Now Mary doesn’t gain much from putting Carlos down, and she stands to lose a great deal. After a few days and several such experiences, it began to dawn on these kids that the only chance they had to learn about Carlos’s segment was by paying attention to what Carlos had to say. And with that realization, the kids began to develop into pretty good interviewers, sort of junior Dick Cavetts. Instead of teasing Carlos or ignoring him, they learned to draw him out, to ask the questions that made it easier for him to explain out loud what was in his head. Carlos, in turn, relaxed more, and this improved his ability to communicate. After a couple of weeks, the children concluded that Carlos wasn’t nearly as dumb as they thought he was. They saw things in him they hadn’t seen before. They began to like him more, and Carlos began to enjoy school more and think 17 of his Anglo classmates not as tormentors but as friends.” ( :148)

“144 / Influence As for the positive associations, it is the compliance professionals who teach the lesson. They are incessantly trying to connect themselves or their products with the things we like. Did you ever wonder what all those good-looking models are doing standing around in the automobile ads? What the advertiser hopes they are doing is lending their” ( :153)

“positive traits—beauty and desirability—to the cars. The advertiser is betting that we will respond to the product in the same ways we respond to the attractive models merely associated with it.” ( :154)

“And they are right. In one study, men who saw a new-car ad that included a seductive young woman model rated the car as faster, more appealing, more expensive-looking, and better designed than did men who viewed the same ad without the model. Yet when asked later, the men refused to believe that the presence of the young woman had in- 23 fluenced their judgments.” ( :154)

“The important thing for the advertiser is to establish the connection; it doesn’t have to be a logical one, just a positive one.” ( :154)

“Although a scientist of varied and elaborated talent—he had, for instance, won a Nobel Prize years earlier for his work on the digestive system—Pavlov’s most important experimental demonstration was simplicity itself.” ( :155)

“luncheon technique. Obviously, a normal reaction to food can be transferred to some other thing through the process of raw association. Razran’s insight was that there are many normal responses to food besides salivation, one of them being a good and favorable feeling. Therefore, it is possible to attach this pleasant feeling, this positive attitude, to anything (political statements being only an example) that is closely associated with good food.” ( :156)

“. It is serious, intense, and highly personal. An apt illustration comes from one of my favorite anecdotes. It concerns a World War II soldier who returned to his home in the Balkans after the war and shortly thereafter stopped speaking.” ( :157)

“no physical cause for the problem. There was no wound, no brain damage, no vocal impairment. He could read, write, understand a conversation, and follow orders. Yet he would not talk—not for his doctors, not for his friends, not even for his pleading family. Perplexed and exasperated, his doctors moved him to another city and placed him in a veterans’ hospital where he remained for thirty years, never breaking his self-imposed silence and sinking into a life of social isolation. Then one day, a radio in his ward happened to be tuned to a soccer match between his hometown team and a traditional rival. When at a crucial point of play the referee called a foul against a player from the man’s home team, the mute veteran jumped from his chair, glared at the radio, and spoke his first words in more than three decades: “You dumb ass!” he cried. “Are you trying to give them the match?” With that, he returned to his chair and to a silence he never again violated.” ( :157)

“character: It is a personal thing. Whatever fragment of an identity that ravaged, mute man still possessed was engaged by soccer play. No matter how weakened his ego may have become after thirty years of wordless stagnation in a hospital ward, it was involved in the outcome of the match. Why? Because he, personally, would be diminished by a hometown defeat. How? Through the principle of association. The mere connection of birthplace hooked him, wrapped him, tied him to the approaching triumph or failure. As distinguished author Isaac Asimov put it in describing our reactions to the contests we view, “All things being equal, you root for your own sex, your own culture, your own locality…and what you want to prove is that you are better than the other person. Whomever you root for 26 represents you; and when he wins, you win.”” ( :158)

“So we want our affiliated sports teams to win to prove our own superiority. But to whom are we trying to prove it? Ourselves, certainly; but to everyone else, too. According to the association principle, if we can surround ourselves with success that we are connected with in even a superficial way (for example, place of residence), our public prestige will rise.” ( :159)

“Are sports fans right to think that without ever throwing a block, catching a ball, scoring a goal, or perhaps even attending a game, they will receive some of the glory from a hometown championship? I believe so. The evidence is in their favor. Recall that Persia’s messengers did not have to cause the news, my weatherman did not have to cause the weather, and Pavlov’s bell did not have to cause the food for powerful effects to occur. The association was enough.” ( :159)

“Have you noticed, for example, how often after a home-team victory fans crowd into the range of a TV camera, thrust their index fingers high, and shout, “We’re number one! We’re number one!” Note that the call is not “They’re number one” or even “Our team is number one.” The pronoun is “we,” designed to imply the closest possible identity with the team.” ( :160)

“”They threw away our chance for a national champin 7 onship!”” ( :160)

“the Soviet team, scalpers were getting a hundred dollars a pair for ticket stubs. Although the desire to bask in reflected glory exists to a degree in all of us, there seems to be something special about people who would wait in the snow to spend fifty dollars apiece for the shreds of tickets to a game they had not attended, presumably to “prove” to friends back home that they had been present at the big victory. Just what kind of people are they? Unless I miss my guess, they are not merely great sports aficionados; they are individuals with a hidden personality flaw—a poor self-concept.” ( :161)

“form it takes, the behavior of such individuals shares a similar theme—the rather tragic view of accomplishment as deriving from outside the self.” ( :162)

“HOW TO SAY NO” ( :162)

“This reader is not alone in being able to testify to the power of the pressures embodied in MCI’s Calling Circle idea. When Consumer Reports magazine inquired into the practice, the MCI salesperson they interviewed was quite succinct: “It works nine out of ten times,” he said.” ( :165)

 

Chapter 6
AUTHORITY

 

“When it is their job, how much suffering will ordinary people be willing to inflict on an entirely innocent other person?” ( :168)

“Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 159 These results surprised everyone associated with the project, Milgram included. In fact, before the study began, he asked groups of colleagues, graduate students, and psychology majors at Yale University (where the experiment was performed) to read a copy of the experimental procedures and estimate how many subjects would go all the way to the last (450-volt) shock. Invariably, the answers fell in the 1 to 2 percent range. A separate group of thirty-nine psychiatrists predicted that only” ( :168)

“about one person in a thousand would be willing to continue to the end. No one, then, was prepared for the behavior patterns that the experiment actually produced.” ( :169)

“I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confident. Within twenty minutes he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering wreck who was rapidly approaching a point of nervous collapse. He constantly pulled on his earlobe and twisted his hands. At one point he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered: “Oh, God, let’s stop it.” And yet he continued to respond to every word of the experimenter and obeyed 1 to the end.” ( :170)

“” There are sobering implications of this finding for those concerned about the ability of another form of authority—government—to extract frightening levels of obed- 3 ience from ordinary citizens.” ( :171)

“Because Navy medical corpsmen at the scene refused to treat him or allow him to be taken to the hospital in their ambulance, onlookers—including Mr. Willson’s wife and son—were left to try to stanch the flow of blood for forty-five minutes until a private ambulance arrived.” ( :171)

“Notions of submission and loyalty to legitimate rule are accorded much value in each.” ( :172)

“Religious instruction contributes as well. The very first book of the Bible, for example, describes how failure to obey the ultimate authority produced the loss of paradise for Adam, Eve, and the rest of the human race.” ( :172)

“—the respectful account of Abraham’s willingness to plunge a dagger through the heart of his young son, because God, without any explanation, ordered it. We learn it this story that the correctness of an action was not adjudged by such considerations as apparent senselessness, harmfulness, injustice, or usual moral standards, but by the mere command of a higher authority. Abraham’s tormented ordeal was a test of obedience, and he—like Milgram’s subjects, who perhaps had learned an early lesson from him—passed.” ( :172)

“The worrisome possibility arises, then, that when a physician makes a clear error, no one lower in the hierarchy will think to question it—precisely because, once a legitimate authority has given an order, subordinates stop thinking in the situation and start reacting.” ( :173)

“A physician ordered ear drops to be administered to the right ear of a patient suffering pain and infection there. But instead of writing out completely the location “right ear” on the prescription, the doctor abbreviated it so that the instructions read “place in R ear.” Upon receiving the prescription, the duty nurse promptly put the required number of ear drops into the patient’s anus. Obviously, rectal treatment of an earache made no sense. Yet neither the patient nor the nurse questioned it. The important lesson of this story is that in many situations where a legitimate authority has spoken, what would otherwise make sense is irrelevant. In these instances, we don’t consider the situation as a whole but attend and respond to only 4 one aspect of it.” ( :174)

“When in a click, whirr mode, we are often as vulnerable to the symbols of authority as to the substance.” ( :174)

“To twenty-two separate nurses’ stations on various surgical, medical, pediatric, and psychiatric wards, one of the researchers made an identical phone call in which he identified himself as a hospital physician and directed the answering nurse to give twenty milligrams of a drug (Astrogen) to a specific ward patient. There were four excellent reasons for a nurse’s caution in response to this order: (1) The prescription was transmitted by phone, in direct violation of hospital policy. (2) The medication itself was unauthorized; Astrogen had not been cleared for use nor placed on the ward stock list. (3) The prescribed dosage was obviously and dangerously excessive. The medication containers clearly stated that the “maximum daily dose” was only ten milligrams, half of what had been ordered. (4) The directive was given by a man the nurse had never met, seen, or even talked with before on the phone. Yet, in 95 percent of the instances, the nurses went straightaway to the ward medicine cabinet, where they secured the ordered dosage of Astrogen and started for the patient’s room to administer it. It was at this point that they were stopped by a secret observer, who revealed the nature of the experiment.” ( :177)

“away so that by the time the pedestrian reached the meter, the requester was out of sight. The power of his uniform lasted, however, even after he was long gone: Nearly all the pedestrians complied with his directive when he had worn the guard costume, but fewer than half did so when he had dressed normally. It is interesting to note that later on, Bickman found college students able to guess with considerable accuracy the percentage of compliance that had occurred in the experiment when the requester wore street clothes (50 percent vs. the actual 42 percent); yet the students greatly underestimated the percentage of compliance when he was in uniform (63 percent vs. the actual 92 per- 10 cent).” ( :179)

“Later on, the researchers asked college students what they would have done in such situations. Compared to the true findings of the experiment, the students consistently underestimated the time it would take them to honk at the luxury car. The male students were especially inaccurate, feeling that they would honk faster at the prestigethan the economy-car driver; of course, the study itself showed just the opposite.” ( :181)

“”How truthful can we expect the expert to be here?”” ( :183)

“(“Oh, the disadvantages of Benson & Hedges”). Invariably, though, the drawback will be a secondary one that is easily overcome by more significant advantages—”Listerine, the taste you hate three times a day”; “Avis: We’re number two, but we try harder”; “L’Oréal, a bit more expensive and worth it.”” ( :183)

“So I began to linger in my duties around Vincent’s tables to observe his style. I” ( :184)

“When the customers were a family, he was effervescent—even slightly clownish—directing his remarks as often to the children as to the adults.” ( :184)

“quickly learned that his style was to have no single style. He had a repertoire of them, each ready to be called on under the appropriate circumstances. When the customers were a family, he was effervescent—even slightly clownish—directing his remarks as often to the children as to the adults. With a young couple on a date, he became formal and a bit imperious in an attempt to intimidate the young man (to whom he spoke exclusively) into ordering and tipping lavishly. With an older, married couple, he retained the formality but dropped the superior air in favor of a respectful orientation to both members of the couple. Should the patron be dining alone, Vincent selected a friendly demeanor—cordial, conversational, and warm.” ( :184)

“manager, he leaned conspiratorially toward the table to report for all to hear, “I’m afraid that is not as good tonight as it normally is. Might I recommend instead the____or the____?”” ( :184)

“the____?” (Here Vincent suggested a pair of menu items that were fifty cents or so less expensive than the dish the patron had selected initially.) “They are both excellent tonight.”” ( :184)

“ished giving their food orders, he would say, “Very well, and would you like me to suggest or select some wine to go with your meals?” As I watched the scene repeated almost nightly, there was a notable consistency to the customers’ reactions—smiles, nods, and for the most part, general assent.” ( :185)

“By combining the factors of reciprocity and credible authority into a single, elegant maneuver, Vincent was able to inflate substantially both the percentage of his tip and the base charge on which it was figured. His proceeds from this trick were handsome, indeed. But notice that much of his profit came from an apparent lack of concern for personal profit. Seeming to argue against his financial interests served those interests extremely well.” ( :185)

“”So, I went over there and took my car. As I was leaving, they were still trying to persuade me to let them keep it because they had a ‘hot prospect’ who they were sure would buy it if I’d only knock off another two hundred dollars.” Once again in a Reader’s Report we can see the influence of the contrast principle combining with the principle of primary interest. In this case, after the thirty-five-hundred-dollar figure was set, each two-hundred-dollar nick seemed small by comparison.” ( :186)

 

Chapter 7
SCARCITY

 

“Since that encounter with the scarcity principle—that opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited—I have begun to notice its influence over a whole range of my actions. For instance, I routinely will interrupt an interesting face-to-face conversation to answer the ring of an unknown caller. In such a situation, the caller has a compelling feature that my face-to-face partner does not: potential unavailability.” ( :188)

“unavailability. If I don’t take the call, I might miss it (and the information it carries) for good. Never mind that the ongoing conversation may be highly engaging or important—much more than I could reasonably expect an average phone call to be. With each unanswered ring, the phone interaction becomes less retrievable. For that reason and for that moment, I want it more than the other.” ( :188)

“Typically, one of the customers asks if there is any chance that an unsold model still exists in the store’s back room, warehouse, or other location. “Well,” the salesperson allows, “that is possible, and I’d be willing to check. But do I understand that this is the model you want and if I can get it for you at this price, you’ll take it?” Therein lies the beauty of the technique.” ( :190)

“t read, “Exclusive, limited engagement ends soon!”” ( :190)

“A second call involves a sales pitch, Mihaly said. The salesman first describes the great profits to be made and then tells the customer that it is no longer possible to invest. The third call gives the customer a chance to get in on the deal, he said, and is offered with a great deal of urgency.” ( :191)

“A home vacuum-cleaner operation I infiltrated instructed its sales trainees to claim, “I have so many other people to see that I have the time to visit a family only once. It’s company policy that even if you decide later that you want this machine, I can’t come back and sell it to you.”” ( :192)

“According to the theory, whenever free choice is limited or threatened, the need to retain our freedoms makes us desire them (as well as the goods and services associated with them) significantly more than previously.” ( :193)

“more than previously. So when increasing scarcity—or anything else—interferes with our prior access to some item, we will react against the interference by wanting and trying to possess the item more than before.” ( :193)

“to see how quickly the toddlers would make contact with the toys under these conditions. Their findings were clear. When the barrier was too small to restrict access to the toy behind it, the boys showed no special preference for either of the toys; on the average, the toy next to the barrier was touched just as quickly as the one behind. But when the barrier was big enough to be a true obstacle, the boys went directly to the obstructed toy, making contact with it three times faster than with the unobstructed toy. In all, the boys in this study demonstrated the classic terrible twos’ response to a limitation of their 5 freedom: outright defiance.” ( :194)

“committing themselves more firmly to the partnership and falling more deeply in love? According to a study done with 140 Colorado couples, that is exactly what they do.” ( :196)

“How are we to make sense of this apparent contradiction of the reactance principle? By looking a bit more closely at those who were buying Kennesaw’s guns. Interviews with Kennesaw store owners revealed that the gun buyers were not town residents at all, but visitors, many of them lured by publicity to purchase their initial gun in Kennesaw. Donna Green, proprietor of a shop described in one newspaper article” ( :197)

“When our freedom to have something is limited, the item becomes less available, and we experience an increased desire for it.” ( :197)

“We just assume they do because we find that we desire them more.” ( :198)

“to believe in the information more, even though they haven’t received it. For example, when University of North Carolina students learned that a speech opposing coed dorms on campus would be banned, they became more opposed to the idea of coed dorms.” ( :198)

“”a book for adults only, restricted to those 21 years and over”; the other half of the students read about no such age restriction on the book. When the researchers later asked the students to indicate their feelings toward the book, they discovered the same pair of reactions we have noted with other bans: Those who learned of the age restriction (1) wanted to read the book more and (2) believed that they would like the book more than did those who thought their access to the book was unlimited.” ( :199)

“t appears, then, that even proper, official censorship in a courtroom setting creates problems for the censor. We react to information restriction there, as usual, by valuing the banned 11 information more than ever.” ( :201)

“Compared to the customers who got only the standard sales appeal, those who were also told about the future scarcity of beef bought more than twice as much. But the real boost in sales occurred among the customers who heard of the impending scarcity via “exclusive” information. They purchased six times the amount that the customers who received only the standard sales pitch did.” ( :201)

“192 / Influence pitch did. Apparently” ( :201)

“the fact that the news carrying the scarcity of information was itself 13 scarce made it especially persuasive.” ( :202)

“The drop from abundance to scarcity produced a decidedly more positive reaction to the cookies than did constant scarcity. The idea” ( :202)

“James C. Davies, who states that we are most likely to find revolutions where a period of improving economic and social conditions is followed by a short, sharp reversal in those conditions.” ( :203)

“But these were not to be normal times. For one thing, Gorbachev had not governed in the tradition of the czars or Stalin or any of the line of oppressive postwar rulers who had not allowed even a breath of freedom to the masses. He had ceded them certain rights and choices. And when these now-established freedoms were threatened, the people lashed out the way a dog would if someone tried taking a fresh bone from its mouth. Within hours of the junta’s announcement, thousands were in the streets, erecting barricades, confronting armed troops, surrounding tanks, and defying curfews. The uprising was so swift, so massive, so unitary in its opposition to any retreat from the gains of glasnost that after only three riotous days, the astonished officials relented, surrendering their power and pleading for mercy from President Gorbachev. Had they been students of history—or of psychology—the failed plotters would not have been so surprised by the tidal wave of popular resistance that swallowed their coup. From the vantage point of either discipline, they could have learned an invariant lesson: Freedoms once granted will not be relinquished without a fight.” ( :205)

“it, and is scheduled to return the following day to talk about terms. When wholly fabricated, the new bidder is commonly described as an outsider with plenty of money: “an out-of-state investor buying for tax purposes” and “a physician and his wife moving into town” are favorites. The tactic, called in some circles “goosing ’em off the fence,” can work devastatingly well. The thought of losing out to a rival frequently turns a buyer from hesitant to zealous.” ( :206)

“should examine the story behind a remarkable purchase decision made in 1973 by Barry Diller, who was then vice president for prime-time programming at the American Broadcasting Company, but who has since been labeled the “miracle mogul” by Time magazine in reference to his remarkable successes as head of Paramount Pictures and the Fox Television Network. He agreed to pay $3.3 million for a single television showing of the movie The Poseidon Adventure. The figure is noteworthy in that it greatly exceeded the highest price ever previously paid for a one-time movie showing: $2 million for Patton. In fact, the payment was so excessive that ABC figured to lose $1 million on the Poseidon showing. As NBC vice president for special programs Bill Storke declared at the time, “There’s no way they can get their money back, no way at all.”” ( :207)

“our predicament, then: Knowing the causes and workings of scarcity pressures may not be sufficient to protect us from them because knowing is a cognitive thing, and cognitive processes are suppressed by our emotional reaction to scarcity. In fact, this may be the reason for the great effectiveness of scarcity tactics. When they are employed properly, our first line of defense against foolish behavior—a thoughtful analysis of the situation—becomes less likely.” ( :209)

“Richard sold cars, but not in a showroom nor on a car lot. He would buy a couple of used cars sold privately through the newspaper on one weekend and, adding nothing but soap and water, would sell them at a decided profit through the newspaper on the following weekend. To do this, he had to know three things. First, he had to know enough about cars to buy those that were offered for sale at the bottom of their blue-book price range but could be legitimately resold for a higher price. Second, once he got the car, he had to know how to write a newspaper ad that would stimulate substantial buyer interest. Third, once a buyer arrived, he had to know how to use the scarcity principle to generate more desire for the car than it perhaps deserved. Richard knew how to do all three. For our purposes, though, we need to examine his craft with just the third.” ( :210)

“Sunday paper. Because he knew how to construct a good ad, he usually received an array of calls from potential buyers on Sunday morning. Each prospect who was interested enough to want to see the car was given an appointment time—the same appointment time. So if six people were scheduled, they were all scheduled for, say, two o’clock that afternoon. This little device of simultaneous scheduling paved the way for later compliance because it created an atmosphere of competition for a limited resource. Typically, the first prospect” ( :210)

“arrival, inadvertently stoking the sense of rivalry, would assert his right to primary consideration. “Just a minute, now. I was here first.” If he didn’t assert that right, Richard would do it for him. Addressing the second buyer, Richard would say, “Excuse me, but this other gentleman was here before you. So can I ask you to wait on the other side of the driveway for a few minutes until he’s finished looking at the car? Then, if he decides he doesn’t want it or if he can’t make up his mind, I’ll show it to you.”” ( :211)

“bear. He would end the pressure quickly by either agreeing to Richard’s price or by leaving abruptly. In the latter instance, the second arrival would strike at the chance to buy out of a sense of relief coupled with a new feeling of rivalry with that…that…lurking newcomer over there.” ( :211)

 

Epilogue
INSTANT INFLUENCE

 

“I guess your long hair makes you a girl. PINE: I guess your wooden leg makes you a table. ZAPPA:” ( :215)

“fundamental theme of this book: Very often in making a decision about someone or something, we don’t use all the relevant available information; we use, instead, only a single, highly representative piece of the total.” ( :215)

“The year of his death (1873) is important because he is reputed to have been the last man to know everything there was to know in the world.” ( :216)

“Because technology can evolve much faster than we can, our natural capacity to process information is likely to be increasingly inadequate to handle the surfeit of change, choice, and challenge that is characteristic of modern life.” ( :217)

“Here, where the evidence of popularity is counterfeit, we, the principle of social proof, and our shortcut response to it, are all being exploited. In an earlier chapter, I recommended against the purchase of any product featured in a faked “unrehearsed-interview” ad, and I urged that we send the product manufacturers letters detailing the reason and suggesting that they dismiss their advertising agency. I would recommend extending this aggressive stance to any situation in which a compliance professional abuses the principle of social proof (or any other weapon of influence) in this manner. We should refuse to watch TV programs that use canned laughter. If we see a bartender beginning a shift by salting his tip jar with a bill or two of his own, he should get none from us. If, after waiting in line outside a nightclub, we discover from the amount of available space that the wait was designed to impress passersby with false evidence of the club’s popularity, we should leave immediately and announce our reason to those still in line. In short, we should be willing to use boycott, threat, confrontation, censure, tirade, nearly anything, to retaliate.” ( :219)


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