Persuasion and Influence

Cialdini (2001) provides many compelling insights into how choices are influenced. Even though marketers are barred from outright deception, you can still find examples of information or promotions designed to lead customers in a direction that may not be in their rational best interest.

Some theorists suggest that rationality only plays a part in one’s decision toolkit. Outside influences (one such example is authority figures hawking goods or services) bear upon the choices you make. It is a susceptibility to these outside pressures and social constructs that may lead you, as a decision maker, away from well-reasoned optimization. The ability to manipulate an individual along these lines leads to the use of nonrational techniques, which are recognizable in the marketing efforts that can inundate your life.

Review the article “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” by R. B. Cialdini (2001) from this module’s assigned readings. Consider Cialdini’s insights on nonrationaltechniques.

To access the following article follow the steps listed below:

Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Harnessing the science of persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 79(9), 72–79.

  • Launch the Online Library
  • Click on the Find Articles and More button on the library homepage
  • Next, click on the link for Business Source Complete
  • Enter in the complete title of the article with quotation marks into the search box and then click search (i.e. “Harnessing the science of persuasion”)
  • Click on PDF Full Text to read the article

Respond to the following:

  • Consider the last two major purchases you made, and list the techniques that may have swayed your choices. Why do you think these techniques impacted your decision?
  • What would you do in the future to avoid these psychological pitfalls?

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