How to Persuade

How do you get people to think and behave a little differently? Persuasion is an art—If you push too hard, you will risk being aggressive. If you nudge too lightly, you may turn into a pest. A thoughtful, persuasive argument can lead you to getting what you want. Here's how.

Recent posts on Persuasion

Games Master Manipulators Play: Exploiting Your Strengths

You might expect master manipulators to exploit your weaknesses. To conceal their motives, they may need to exploit your strengths instead.

Nine Biggest Negotiation Mysteries Solved

The nine most popular questions about how to negotiate—and the answers.

In Mediation, Is Empathy Enough or Even Necessary?

Proper mediation involves learned skills, some of which require an understanding of complex concepts.

Seeking Common Ground 3: Reasserting the American Commitment

The challenge—for both blue and red—is to abandon the noisy rhetoric and to consider, earnestly, how personal and public good can be integrated.
DFID - UK Department for International Development/WikiCommons

Inside the Mind of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May

The key psychology over the timing of elections is that they reveal information about how well incumbents expect to perform in the future.

Should We All Be Tested for Cancer Predisposition Mutations?

Should genetic testing for cancer genes be part of our routine medical care?

Do You Talk to Win, Persuade, or Collaborate?

Foss and Griffin’s invitational rhetoric describes a foundation for therapy and what ought to be a foundation for marital spats and diversity dialogues.

Authoritarianism Comes with a Huge Price

Empathy is the key to conflict resolution and lack of empathy is the source of great conflict.

The Science Behind Why People Follow the Crowd

By Rob Henderson on May 24, 2017 in After Service
You think you are in control of your own thoughts and behavior. But social psychology tells a different story.

The Cloaked Pull of Persuasion in Marketing

When we understand some of the most effective marketing techniques, it’s easier to resist them, but knowledge alone isn’t enough to shield us from their persuasive power.

A Message With Broad Appeal

An analysis of the persuasiveness of President Trump's speech at the Arab Islamic American Summit on May 21, 2017.

The United States Navy and The Communist Manifesto

During the Cold War, the United States Navy used The Communist Manifesto in teaching leadership. This example of viewpoint diversity is useful for today's campus climate.

The Arguer

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 04, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story.

How and Why Societal Elites Manipulate Public Fear

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on April 30, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
Public fear over an alleged social problem is mutually beneficial to state officials—that is, politicians, law enforcement authorities and the news media.

The Ambience of a Restaurant Controls What We Eat and Drink

Serving tasty food doesn’t do a restaurant much good if customers don’t stay long enough – or never even walk through the door in the first place. How do restaurants entice us?

What are 'Horizontal Hostilities?'

Horizontal hostilities occur between groups whom one would expect to have close affinities. "Compromise" becomes the stuff of betrayal, more heinous than straight-out opposition.

The Hidden Tug of Marketing

By Holly Parker, Ph.D. on April 27, 2017 in Your Future Self
Thanks to diligent research, marketers know how to pull our strings while we don’t have a clue it’s happening.

Shouldn't Lawyers Understand the Art of Persuasion?

Lawyers could more effectively represent their clients if they understood the art of persuasion.
Emily Morter/Stocksnap

The Power of Curiosity

Are you truly curious? How to remain calm when someone's opinion is difficult to understand.

Here's What Successful Narcissists Do to Earn Your Trust

We may find it difficult to live with narcissists, but this doesn’t prevent us from trusting a grandiose stranger. New research shows what it is about them that’s so compelling.

How to Quickly Become More Persuasive

Are you having trouble grabbing people's attention—even for ideas you KNOW would benefit them? Here's the likely reason—and how to change it.

Why We (Often) Believe Fake News

Fake news has a strong appeal. Why do we fall for it?

Prestige, Power, and Placebos

Intuitive errors and social pressures often fool us into the wrong decisions. But our social minds also possess untapped healing power. Recent research shows us how to use it!

Are Tattoos Addictive?

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 17, 2017 in A Swim in Denial
Do tattoos trigger craving for more?

Students' Grandmothers More Likely to Die During Finals Week

The "dead granny" effect: Research shows that midterm and finals weeks are the deadliest of all for students' grandmothers.

How to Talk About Politics in a Post-Truth World

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on March 13, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Political discussions are increasingly devolving into accusations of “lying" and "fake news.” How do we have real conversations in this world of “alternative facts"?

Should I leave This Person?

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on March 12, 2017 in Fighting Fear
Frequently, a patient asks me if he/she should leave the person he/she is dating. Usually, that person's friends make that recommendation. I do not usually--for different reasons.

From Post-Truth to Post-Lies

Worried about the dominance of "alternative facts" and "post-truth politics?" Behavioral science points the way to solving this problem!

What Would Your Protest Sign Say?

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on March 07, 2017 in Creating in Flow
Whether you're for or against something or everything, there are many ways to be effective. You'll also feel better by doing something. Here's an idea.

When Does Pay What You Want Pricing Work?

It is useful for last-minute pricing, for loyal customers, & to raise money for charity.