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Weapons of Influence #1: Reciprocation (Ep. 186)

The art of persuasion comes in many forms.

We’ve been reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini, and quickly realized it’s got far too much depth to review in a single episode. So today, we start our series on the weapons of persuasion — starting with the rule of reciprocation.

You’ve almost certainly participated in this rule before, as it’s one of the big things that holds human civilization together.

But, as with most good things, there are always those seeking to take advantage.

Learn to recognize this rule, and you can make sure you only participate when you choose.

Things mentioned in this episode:

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  • 0:03:55 – What is “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” about?
  • 0:06:48 – The anchoring effect when comparing and contrasting things
  • 0:19:39 – The importance of reciprocity in human society
  • 0:22:58 – Scams, forced donations and other exploits
  • 0:45:05 – How much it can cost you to feel obligated to return a favor
  • 0:48:22 – Example of blackmail (extreme reciprocity) in House of Cards (SPOILERS)
  • 0:50:45 – The three main obligations when it comes to reciprocity
  • 0:55:13 – Whittling down from the most expensive options to cheaper ones
  • 0:59:14 – Sensing the underlying principles of reciprocity
  • 1:02:10 – The emotional impact of “actual” gifts in contrast to money
  • 1:05:38 – Recap and conclusion

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Weapons of Influence #1: Reciprocation