principle of reciprocation

Guest Post: The Power of Persuasion: Using Brain Science to Get Users to Act

When you completely understand the theories of influence, motivation, as well as the power of persuasion techniques, you won’t just be a passenger in the journey of life, but instead, you will be on the driver’s seat.

power of persuasion

So why is this so? Well, this is because all you desire or you will ever desire during your lifetime stems from the power of persuasion and influence. Are you aware that no more than 1 percent of people in the world know and are able to apply the rules of Persuasion? (This is a reason why lots of websites are very appealing with subtle CTAs embedded in them. All in a bid to subtly persuade you to make a buying decision. )

For this reason, as you will be learning how to hone your magic power of persuasion and using the science of the brain to urge others to act, you will instantly attain influence over other individuals. This is not all. You will also be able to motivate others to act, while you get precisely what you desire from life. You will also be able to win others with the way your brain functions and will attain immovable confidence for yourself. You will also multiply your success irrespective of the field you decide to venture into.
Robert Cialdini, a psychologist, defined a few principles of persuasion. He also makes it a point that it is not a bad thing to be persuaded. If you can persuade someone not to steal or to drive when intoxicated, it is certainly a good thing.

But when you begin to take a look at some of the terrible things lots of people have been persuaded to do by charismatic people, you will see that it is crucial to understand the power of persuasion and ethics as well as cognitive brain science. If you understand these principles, you will be able to get others to act in a great way and prevent yourself from being persuaded into doing the wrong things.

But before moving any further, let us take a look at how crucial persuasion is in our economy.

The Power Of Persuasion Definition: How vital is it to the Economy?

The strength of persuasion is vital in the world of today. Almost all human interaction consists of one party trying to attain influence or persuade others into the way our brain thinks. Irrespective of religion, age, philosophical beliefs or profession, people are always making efforts to persuade each other. We all want to have the capacity to influence and persuade other people in a bid to make them trust, listen or follow our lead.

Persuasion fuels the engine of our economy. It is difficult for you to see huge originations cutting off workers from their sales department. This is because sales personals are very crucial to any organization.

The capacity to persuade and understand brain science is power. Persuasive people also trigger wars, urge kids into using drugs and wreck lives. It is sort of the way peer pressure works. Most kids are only urged into doing drugs because someone else who was very persuasive made him/her see the ‘benefits’’ that could be derived from drugs.

Power of Persuasion And Ethics: For Your Benefit Or Detriment

Advertisers spend lots of cash into doing research and analysis of our demographics and psychographics to determine how to persuade us without our knowledge.

ethics in marketing

According to Mackie, Skelly, and Rodelli; The average individual deals with more than 4200 persuasive messages daily just from the mass media. We deal with numerous persuasive messages all day via a range of sources which include:

The internet
Sales professionals
Direct Mail
Kids and Parents
Management among others

The question you need to answer is this: Are they using those strategies for your benefit or to your detriment? A broad range of individuals gets persuaded against their common sense daily. This is just due to the simple fact that they do not have the proper skills to effectively and accurately interpret and provide a response to the range of advertisement we deal with daily. It is not possible to escape persuasive influence in our daily lives. Without a doubt, it is for our good that we learn the principles of persuasion, how they work and how to use them for our benefit and get users to act using brain science.

Now, let us take a look at the principles below.

Power of Persuasion Techniques And Principles

The Principle Of Reciprocation

This is the first principle. When an individual does something that benefits us, we feel the obligation to do them a favor in return. This is the cause even if we don’t realize it consciously. Most individuals would say; ‘’I owe you” when a person does something important for them.

principle of reciprocation

An individual who wants to persuade you may utilize this principle by helping you do something first, even if it is minor.

The bad/good cop routine mostly used by law enforcement agents also depends on wanting to satisfy the individual who is not being mean to you. Some people do things for you without wanting anything back. However, you need to note that in lots of people, the feeling of ‘’owing” someone can be a great influencer.

This can be very useful in marketing. When a salesperson helps in seemingly solving a problem for a client, he/she is more likely to call on him for subsequent transactions because of the feeling of ‘’owing” him.

The Principle of Self Consistency

According to Cialdini, individuals who pledge in writing or orally, to a specific goal or idea have more likelihood of upholding that idea. They also have more likelihood of aiming for that goal. This is because by committing, it becomes consistent with their reputation. Even when you take out the initial motivation or incentive, after they have provided their agreement, they will keep upholding it.

All individuals love presenting an image of themselves which is consistent to the world. They also love providing this image to themselves. If you act like someone who does not believe in something he does, your brain can urge you to become more compassionate to that concept even though you are aware that you are only acting.

In essence, even if you don’t buy an idea, once you have made a commitment, you are more likely to start seeing things from the perspective of how beneficial the idea could be.

The Principle Of Social proof

In numerous ways, lots of us are herd creatures. This is why our brain makes us believe numerous individuals can’t be incorrect. If other individuals are engaging in an activity, then we should engage in it as well. How many individuals would put on ripped jeans if they were the only ones? Individuals would engage in activities they see others already engaged in. That is why testimonials have immense power. It is due to this principle.

principle of social proof

principle of social proof

However, there are times when lots of individuals engage in an activity for a great reason, but sometimes there is something called ‘’Crowd madness.” It is our tendency to believe or do something just because lots of individuals engage in it. This is a behaviour that can make us cease thinking on our own.

The Principle Of Perceived authority

There are two aspects to it. For instance, it must be great because the law supports it. The bad side to this is ‘’I am just going along with orders” excuse some law enforcement agents when acting inhumanely.

According to the results of recognized experiments carried out by Stanley Milgram in the 1960s; normal individuals could be urged to engage in evil and objectionable activities because of the principle of thoughtlessly following perceived authority.

The drawback to this is that it is easy to fake this authority. This can be done by putting on the right trappings like a specific uniform or a particular behavior or form of speech, and we fall blindly for it.
In this instance, we offer our obligation for thinking on our behalf to an individual who has a badge.

The Principle Of Likeability

When taking a comprehensive look at this principle, it does not seem terrible. However, likeable individuals can be very persuasive.

principle of likeability

It has been observed that we tend to make purchases from individuals we like. Individuals in sales are often likeable and appealing. If we like someone for real, it would not be difficult to persuade us.

That is why most individuals after being swindled tend to say things like; ‘’But he was so nice!!’’

Also, individuals who are physically appealing are assumed to be smarter, likeable, more moral and more confident than normal individuals. It is known as the halo effect. The issue is that even people who are perfectly likeable, may not want the best for you.

The Principle Of Scarcity

Now, let us assume everyone could find gold in his or her backyard with ease. Would you still find it appealing or valuable? The answer is NO. Its value lies in the fact that it is not common.

That is why you also come across this in sales ads; ‘’offer valid while stocks last’.’ What this implies is that they are not readily available. For this reason, you seem to attach more value to it.

However, this principle has more impact on our daily lives than you may believe. If an individual is grumpy and moody most of the time, we may be trapped into feeling excessively grateful when they show some pleasantness occasionally. When they behave nicely, it is of more value to us as opposed to someone who is always more pleasant and cheerful.


As individuals, you can either let yourself be persuaded, or you can learn these principles so you can prevent yourself from being persuaded.



Peter Nwajei is a content writer of BreakThru agency with over five years of experience in various niches. These range from product review content to blog articles among others.

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