Thursday, July 07, 2011

Subtle Persuasion

The Skeptic column in Scientific American has a great article on decision making biases.  It’s like Michael Shermer (the columnist) took my class.  His basic message is that our decisions are based more on emotions and frames than they are on the actual facts.  He highlights confirmation bias, anchoring, and authority.  Then he has a great addition – the meta-bias.  This is the bias blind spot – we see bias in others but not in ourselves.

Then the Anti-Gravity column was about persuasion.  Steve Mirsky (columnist) uses car salesmen as an example but is really talking about persuasion strategies in general.  He mentions some of the good ones.  Establishing rapport creates in-group bias and likeability bias.  Then he said the salesman told him the price was available just for that day (scarcity).  The salesman also did some nice extra things to create reciprocity bias.  

These are very good things to know before getting into a persuasion environment (either as consumer or persuader). It works on juries, consumers, an even dealing with relatives.

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