Avoiding 5 Of The Most Powerful Psychological Manipulations

Executive Summary

  • Understanding and defending against manipulations exploiting:
    1. The Contrast Principle
    2. Reciprocation
    3. Authority
    4. Consistency & Commitment
    5. Social Proof

If you have not yet read Part 1: Weapons Of Mass Deception, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In the natural world, organisms called mimics will exploit the trigger features of other animals in attempt to activate their click, whirr response.

For example, certain moth species have evolved color patterns in the shape of giant “eyes” on their wings to fool other animals into viewing the moth as a much larger and dangerous predator instead of bite-sized tasty prey.

Similarly, Cialdini says:

There are some people who know very well where the weapons of mass influence life and who employ them regularly and expertly to get what they want. Their frequency of success is dazzling. The secret of their effectiveness lies in the way that they structure their requests, the way that they arm themselves with one or another of the weapons of influence that exist in the social environment. To do this may take no more than one correctly chosen word that engages a strong psychological principle and sets rolling one of our automatic behavior types. Trust the human profiteers to learn quickly exactly how to benefit from our tendency to respond mechanically according to these principles.

So, how do we avoid becoming their unwitting victims?

We do by first understanding that…



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