How we get persuaded to do stuff we don’t even want to do

Have I mentioned how much I love Dr. Robert Cialdini’s iconic book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion? If I ever start believing that I’m unique or different or even a free thinker, Dr. Cialdini’s work has the power to smack me upside the head and remind me that, like you, I’m apparently just a little helpless sheep being compliantly led around by smart marketers.

Here’s a good example from the book: the six psychological shortcuts that guide our behaviour choices.  Continue reading

Big Pharma’s remarkable powers of persuasion

Do you know why product demonstrators at the grocery store give you those tempting little free food samples when you’re out shopping on your way home for dinner?  It’s because manufacturers and retailers know that free samples result in significantly increased sales. They simply wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t work to boost results. The food business is not doing charity work – their goal is to make more money.  This free sample strategy is based on a sociological concept calledthe rule of reciprocation.

It’s also the same concept that pharmaceutical companies rely on when they offer your doctors financial incentives – and even those free drug samples.   Continue reading