It’s likely you are more prone to act on or adopt a point of view based on the argument of someone who obviously knows what they’re talking about as opposed to someone who obviously doesn’t. We’ve all been in situations where we can identify the exact moment we’ve decided to reject someone’s argument because it’s become glaringly apparent the person can’t credibly defend their point of view or seems to be making things up as the moment requires.
This blogger was a kid once, and growing up, he always assumed if something was in print, it must be true. Well, guess what? Especially in these days of polarized political discourse – and the far more perilous notion that this behavior is “the new normal” – extracting the truth from today’s media reports is an exercise akin to a veggie-averse kid assiduously picking the peas out of his Mom’s beef stew.
Now for the third of a series of blogs that discusses Robert B. Cialdini’s 1984 landmark work on persuasion: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The first post (https://velocitypublicaffairs.com/2019/08/19/issues-matter-more-than-partisanship-when-it-comes-to-persuasion/) deals with the idea of reciprocity; i.e., if you give people something, they’ll be much more likely to give you something in return. The second explores the concept of consistency. For marketers, this is the idea that persuading people to make a small commitment improves the likelihood they’ll make a bigger one later on, largely because they feel compelled to act according to how they’ve previously indicated they will. Today, we’ll explore Cialdini’s concept of social proof.