The Principle of Persuasion

According to the text , Social Psychology, “social psychology is the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another”(pg. 4) this is viewed in a variety of social topics incorporating group behaviors, attitudes, conformity, obedience to authority, stereotypes and peer pressure. Outside factors can have a positive or negative affect our view of ourselves and each other. These outside factors are used to persuade and influence group behavior. Persuasion is defined as “the process by which a message induces change in beliefs, attitudes, or behaviors” (Myers, 2010, pg. 230). The principles of this process of persuasion according to researchers, Robert Cialdini and Thomas Davidson, are attractiveness and likeability, reciprocity, social proof, consistency, authority, and scarcity (Davidson, 2008)(Myers, 2010, pg. 237). These principles of persuasion impact our self-perception, our attitudes and behaviors, and our culture.

The first principle of persuasion is likeability. If a person knows you, likes you and trusts you, you will have more influence on that person. Many factors play into whether or not a person or group likes another person or group. Being attractive, having similarities or common ties, familiarity, praise and being complimentary, and also being connected to the positive help one to be more likeable. Reciprocity is the basic concept of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’, and ‘what goes aournd comes around’ (Myers, 2010, pg. 237). Performing favors is a powerful tool to influence because people feel obligated to repay that favor. The third principle listed is social proof. This is related to peer pressure as people tend to look to others to substantiate and justif...

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