Influence: Weapons of Influence

Posted by Beetle B. on Sun 23 April 2017

A group of people are waiting in line to use a photocopying machine. Someone says “May I use the machine because I am in a rush?” to jump the line. This had a 94% success rate. But without providing a reason, it only had a 60% success rate. You would think giving a reason is the key. However, it was merely the use of the word “because”. If they said “May I use the machine because I need to make copies?”, you got almost the same success rate as when a real reason was provided.

A jewelry store sold all its turquoise merchandise when they doubled the price (they barely sold any before). There was a heuristic at work: You get what you pay for.

We need heuristics to make sense of a deluge of stimuli.

There is a principle called the contrast principle. When selling a suit with accessories, sell the more expensive item first. The accessories, even with inflated prices, will seem cheap. Going the other direction is more difficult.