Category: Academic

Saving the Best for Last – Lessons from Pop Stars and Physicians

April12IIRBy Steve Martin, CMCT

In previous Inside Influence Reports we have discussed contrast effects. The idea that the way an offer or proposal is perceived will be influenced not just by the offer itself but also by what is experienced or presented immediately before that offer or proposal. Accordingly, when looking to persuade others, a detective of the influence process will know that what comes first is of great importance.

But what comes last is important too. Understanding the powerful sway that ‘send-offs’ can have on how experiences are evaluated can have implications not only for future business interactions, but also how much your clients enjoy their next interaction with you. 

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Mad Men, Persuasion, Influence and the Science, Application, and Psychology of Robert Cialdini

Mad men With all the buzz about the season five premiere of AMC’s Mad Men and the extra attention on advertizing and changing people’s behavior, we thought we’d use this opportunity to provide you with a sample of the new book, Six Degrees of Social Influence: Science, Application, and the Psychology of Robert Cialdini by Kenrick, Goldstein and Braver. The following is the entire forward written by Dr. Cialdini from this new book. Feel free to share this with your friends and colleagues who are also interested in the psychology of changing behavior in others.



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How To Make Better Choices

ChoicesBy Steve Martin, CMCT

A recent article published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology has got me thinking about recruitment. But before we talk about that, I’d like you to imagine you are in the market for a new Wide Screen High Definition TV. I’m going to offer you three scenarios and ask you to consider which one you prefer. Ready? OK.

In the first scenario (A) you are shown two televisions that you are potentially interested in and given information about each of the TV’s respective screen sizes and resolution so that you can compare them side by side before deciding which one you prefer. The second Scenario (B) is similar to (A) except that the information about the screen size and resolution is not provided; you are simply comparing the TVs side by side with no additional information. The third, Scenario (C), is the same as (B) but this time instead of comparing both televisions at the same time you review the first, wait a day, and then review the second a day later. Which of the above scenarios do you prefer?

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You Don’t Have To Be Swedish To Appreciate This TV Program


A new television program by Johan Romin and Erik Standstrӧm featuring Dr. Robert Cialdini delves into what is it that sweeps us into saying yes to messages publicly or in personal relationships.

Click here to view the program with Dr. Cialdini that looks into why and how we are so often moved into action.

How to Use and Improve Persuasion through Enhanced Defaults

DefaultBy Steve Martin, CMCT
Even though we may not recognize it at the time, many of the choices that we make in our information-laden lives are essentially choices made without the bother of choosing. Government policy makers, 401K savings plans and car dealers alike all employ, in some way or another, the powerful pull of the ‘default’ option.

For example enrollments in tax-efficient savings plans can be as much as 50% higher when the default for employees is one of automatic enrollment as opposed to an active opt-in. In a similar vein the willingness to carry an organ donation card is about four times higher in countries where consent to donate is assumed. The default option is also often used by marketers to persuade customers to receive email offers and marketing messages.

There is little doubt that setting a default option can often be an effective strategy to guide decision-making. However default options are not without their problems – and in such situations it turns out that the success of defaults can be enhanced by adding an insight or two from the science of influence.

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