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

Waiter’s phony $10 tip includes a religious lesson

I have a few conflict-of-interest disclosures to get off my chest before wading into this mess:

  1. My daughter Larissa spent many years and countless long, hard hours of her young life waiting tables while attending university.
  2. I am a generous tipper for good service. See #1 for the reason why.
  3. When I worked in P.R. for an international Christian aid organization years ago, I used to cringe in embarrassment on the very rare occasions when our office went out for lunch together. Typically, I’d be one of the very few in our party who left a tip. Many of my über-devout colleagues never tipped our servers. Ever. One even openly blamed his modest wages as his excuse for stiffing the waitstaff, to which I would immediately respond with something charitable like: “Then you should be eating under the Golden Arches, you frickety-frackin’ cheapskate!”

Claire Gordon, writing in Daily Finance, has recently reported on a distressing dining-out trend in some Christian circles that brings me back to those embarrassing moments. Continue reading