Do you think you make your own choices for what to eat and what to wear? Think again! Big or small, our choices are influenced by people around us, society, or information we receive.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is a book the social psychologist Robert Cialdini wrote in 1984. When the book was published, it sold only a couple of thousand copies, but word-of-mouth grew. Three years later, it became a New York Times best seller. As of today, it sold roughly 5 million copies in 44 languages.
The book is organized around these seven principles:

  • Reciprocation: People tend to give return to somebody who has helped them before.
  • Liking: People like to be liked. Also, they are easily persuaded by the person they like compared to the person they are not familiar with.
  • Social proof: People tend to do what they see the others are doing.
  • Authority: People tend to obey legitimate experts. In real life, marketers often use professionals to prove the superiority
    of their products.
  • Scarcity: The less of something there is, the more people tend to want it.
  • Commitment and consistency: People like to be consistent with their identity or sense of self image.
  • Unity: The Unity Principle is the shared identity that the influencer shares with the influencee.
Influence book cover

Have you ever used any those principles when you craft a story to persuade your audience? Whether you have or not, think about what influences your decision. The awareness may make you feel like making a different choice.

Reference: Freakonomics: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything

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