4 2 discussion psychology of persuasion

Robert Cialdini is one of the best-known researchers on the topic of persuasion. He also has a book out by that same title: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Summarize some of the key findings/conclusions made by Cialdini’s research. In what ways has his research been criticized? What are some ways in which persuasion can be connected to social welfare and social change?

Use research from the Shapiro Library to support your claims.

To complete this assignment, review the Graduate Discussion Rubric document.



Robert Cialdini’s book of persuasion was the focus point of the reading for this week. His views explained the power of persuasion used through influence to train professionals. He and his colleagues spent over 35years researching the science behind how people are persuaded (Cialdini & Martin, 2006). One of his key findings suggest that due to information overload, people use decision shortcuts to influence persuasion. These shortcuts were presented as 6 principles of influence:

1. Reciprocity- give to other first what you want back , 2. Scarcity- we want more of what we can have less of, 3. Authority- people refer to experts when presenting their information, 4. Consistency- we align ourselves to previously public-declared commitments, 5. Social proof- people follow the lead of others similar to them, and 6. Liking- people like those who like them (Cialdini & Martin, 2006). These principle although individually conceptional, are most effective when combined. Cialdini uses an example of how to influence a new manager you may be working with by pointing out how different mangers of the same age and similar circumstances have benefited with working with you; as well as complimenting the new manager and offering data that may help with their new role (Cialdini & Martin, 2006). This example unifies three of the influential principle: social proof, liking, and reciprocity.

We all know that when ever there is a great idea presented, someone will have something to say; criticize. Emma Jacobs of Financial Times reviewed the thoughts of other professors and authors on what they thought of Cialdini’s work regarding persuasion. One author, Jay Heinrich, believed there was a flaw in the principles of influence stating that scientist make lousy artists; that there is a creativity and originality to gaining peoples attention (Jacobs, 2014). Nick Charter, a professor at Warwick business school thought that details mattered the most; one cannot underestimate the importance of small things when influencing people (Jacobs, 2014). These criticisms open the discussion on how we can use persuasion for social change and social welfare. Safe Sex has been one of the biggest social changes due to persuasion. We have seen all six principles used to get people to practice safe sex. Television commercials and social media have used celebrities of all ages and cultures to get the message of safe sex and how it will preserve their lives and their partners. Free concerts and contraceptives are given to persuade people to educate and practice safe sex. Clinics will offer free testing and education pamphlets in hopes that there authority will influence the message. We have seen millions of dollars spent for this cause, yet numbers are still shocking on STD rates. Could it be that persuasion should be left to the lucky ones who have it naturally or should we refer to science?

Cialdini, R., & Martin, S. (2006). The power of persuasion. Training Journal, , 40-44. Retrieved fromhttp://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F202944460%3Faccountid%3D3783

Jacobs, E. (2014). Persuasion guru robert cialdini’s advice for time-pressed executives. Retrieved from:https://www.ft.com/content/bcbc5924-399e-11e4-83c4-00144feabdc0


After reading over Robert Cialdini’s research, I’ve learned that Cialdini is known for his six principles of persuasion.This is known as information overload, and to help us process all of this information, we use decision shortcuts (Cialdini, & Martin, 2006). The first principle is reciprocity. Meaning that we should give back to others the behavior that is given to us. The second principle is scarcity, meaning that we want more of what we don’t have. The third principle is authority, meaning that people follow the lead of experts. The fourth principle is consistency, meaning people are consistent with their actions and behavior. The fifth principle is social proof, meaning that people often follow the lead of already successful attempts. The sixth principle is liking, meaning that people are more likely to comply to the requests of those who they like.

Cialdidni’s research has been criticized by many professionals. In an article by Cialdini & Martin, (2006), it was stated that in order for the pricpciolles to become effective, more than one must be used at a time. Persuasion can be connected to social change be the way that individuals interact and communicate with one another. Persuasion is used to gain access to something that is desired. Persuasion involves a goal and the six principles (if used collectively) could cause someone to achieve their goal.

Cialdini, R., & Martin, S. (2006). The power of persuasion. Training Journal, , 40-44. Retrieved fromhttp://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F202944460%3Faccountid%3D3783

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