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Book Freak #4: The Art of Persuasion

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Book Freak

March 26 · Issue #4 · View online
Short pieces of advice from books

Hi fellow book freaks! This small mailing list is growing, and I’m grateful that you have subscribed. If you want to share your thoughts about books, let me know by emailing me: mark@boingboing.net.
In this issue: Books I’ve read about the best ways to avoid being influenced by sneaky persuasion tactics.

A general rule for effective persuasion
A good general rule is that people are more influenced by visual persuasion, emotion, repetition, and simplicity than they are by details and facts. – Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, by Scott Adams (2018)
Don't reward tricks with favors
If a person offers us a nice favor, let’s say, we might well accept, recognizing that we have obligated ourselves to a return favor sometime in the future. To engage in this sort of arrangement with another is not to be exploited by that person through the rule for reciprocation. Quite the contrary; it is to participate fairly in the “honored network of obligation” that has served us so well, both individually and societally, from the dawn of humanity. However, if the initial favor turns out to be a device, a trick, an artifice designed specifically to stimulate our compliance with a larger return favor, that is a different story. Here our partner is not a benefactor but a profiteer. And it is here that we should respond to his action on precisely those terms. Once we have determined that his initial offer was not a favor but a compliance tactic, we need only react to it accordingly to be free of its influence. As long as we perceive and define his action as a compliance device instead of a favor, he no longer has the reciprocation rule as an ally: The rule says that favors are to be met with favors; it does not require that tricks be met with favors. – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini (2006)
Control your audience's attention
Think hard about how to control your audience’s attention each moment. You can’t influence people who aren’t paying attention. – Win the Crowd, by Steve Cohen (2006)
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