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Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence
Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence
Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence
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Overview

In his seminal marketing book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr Robert Cialdini laid out principles to hel ...

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Septem autem illi non suo, sed populorum suffragio omnium nominati sunt. Ergo ita: non posse honeste vivi, nisi honeste vivatur? Atque haec ita iustitiae propria sunt, ut sint virtutum reliquarum communia. In qua quid est boni praeter summam voluptatem, et eam sempiternam? Recte, inquit, intellegis. Quid ergo? Itaque hoc frequenter dici solet a vobis, non intellegere nos, quam dicat Epicurus voluptatem. Videmus igitur ut conquiescere ne infantes quidem possint.

Ad corpus diceres pertinere-, sed ea, quae dixi, ad corpusne refers? Quod autem satis est, eo quicquid accessit, nimium est; Quare attende, quaeso. Ego vero isti, inquam, permitto. Aliter homines, aliter philosophos loqui putas oportere? Quis istud, quaeso, nesciebat? Paulum, cum regem Persem captum adduceret, eodem flumine invectio? Quamvis enim depravatae non sint, pravae tamen esse possunt.

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Actionable Takeaways
  • Offer ‘freemium’ options to people’s problems (reciprocity)

Offering free servi ...

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Dempta enim aeternitate nihilo beatior Iuppiter quam Epicurus; Facit igitur Lucius noster prudenter, qui audire de summo bono potissimum velit; In eo enim positum est id, quod dicimus esse expetendum. Atqui haec patefactio quasi rerum opertarum, cum quid quidque sit aperitur, definitio est. Iubet igitur nos Pythius Apollo noscere nosmet ipsos. Nosti, credo, illud: Nemo pius est, qui pietatem-; Quamquam ab iis philosophiam et omnes ingenuas disciplinas habemus;

Quis suae urbis conservatorem Codrum, quis Erechthei filias non maxime laudat? Ita multa dicunt, quae vix intellegam. Ita enim vivunt quidam, ut eorum vita refellatur oratio. Sed quot homines, tot sententiae; Quare attende, quaeso. Sed hoc sane concedamus.

Limitations

These principles could easily lead people into pitfalls if used for evil instead of goodness. It might encourage predatory behavior, indebting people through favours and using manipulation techniques. Cialdini 

In Practice

Reciprocity: free mints to increase tips

One study seemed to show the impact of reciprocity, with a slight increase in tips as a result of diners receiving free mints at the conclusion of their dinners.

Commitment: Writing down the appointment

One study showed that missed appointments at health centres were reduced by 18% when patients wrote down the appointment rather than staff. 

Liking: closing the deal 

According to Cialdini, in a study on negotiations of MBA students, one group was told to focus on getting the deal done, the other group was told to identify something in common before they began. The first group came to an agreement 55% of the time, the second group came to an agreement 90% of the time.

Consensus: nudging tax payments

The Behavioural Insights Team in the UK, or original Nudge Unit, discovered that by tweaking the wording of letters to taxpayers to reference the fact that most people in their town paid tax on time, resulted in a 15% increase in timely tax payments. 

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This model will help you to:

These principles are often used in sales and marketing and tend to play on common unconscious biases. They have been further explored by cognitive psychologists exploring behavioural economics. That said, they can be used in developing relationships and influence. 

Use the following examples of connected and complementary models to weave Cialdini’s six principles of influence into your broader latticework of mental models. Alternatively, discover your own connections by exploring the category list above. 

Connected models: 

  • Fast and slow thinking: which underpins many of these approaches.  
  • Social proof: as it relates to liking and even authority.  
  • Supply and demand: as it relates to scarcity. 

Complementary models: 

  • 4Ps of marketing: considering the combination of these methods with the 4Ps. 
  • Hanlon’s razor: to support the development of effective relationships. 
  • Non-violent communication: to help uncover needs and connect.
Origins & Resources

Find out more from Dr Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion’ and his broader services at his website  Influence at work.

My Notes

  • profile
    591 days ago Amin
    "Cialdini's Six Principles of Influence are reciprocity, scarcity, authority, commitment, liking and commitment. " One of the commitments was meant to be concensus...
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