Monday, November 12, 2007

Resisting Influence: Liking and Friendship

Cialdini’s Principles of Social Influence
[Context: Friendship] We want people to like us and
we like those who show that they like us
The Basics
  • People prefer to say “yes” to individuals they know and like
How It's Exploited
Persuasion experts manipulate common factors that influence their likeability.
  • Physical attractiveness – engender “halo” effect that extends to favorable impressions of other traits such as talent, kindness, and intelligence – attractive people usually more successful in changing attitudes and getting requests granted
  • Similarity – we like people who are like us; we more willing to say “yes” to them, often in an unthinking manner
  • Praise – compliments generally enhance liking and compliance; although can backfire if used excessively and transparently
  • Familiarity – repeated contact with a person or thing normally facilitates liking; holds when contact takes place under positive, not negative circumstances
  • Association – making connections to positive things, profiteers seek to share positivity through process of association
  • Shadowing- influence agent exhibits non-verbal behaviors that match those of the target individual, creates a pseudo-comparability
Best Defense
  • Resist this principle by developing a special sensitivity to suspicious and undue liking from the requester
  • Separate the requester from the request, and make compliance decisions based solely on the merits of the offer – not your emotions about the requester.
©2006-2007, Philip G. Zimbardo