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

Crisis Hostage Negotiation and the Impact of "Control"

By Jeff Thompson Ph.D. on September 19, 2017 in Beyond Words
Find out how hostage negotiators help return a sense of control back to the person they are negotiating with so you can apply it to your work and personal life.

Fighting the Normalization of Post-Truth Politics

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 13, 2017 in Intentional Insights
We should be deeply concerned with the normalization of post-truth politics. Fortunately, psychological strategies provide a way to combat this problem.

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Kim Jong Un

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 12, 2017 in How To Do Life
Psychological and communication tactics for reducing conflict, even when dealing with a "monster."

The Many Ways of Saying, and Hearing, "I'm Sorry"

A recent neuroimaging study demonstrates that the different types of voice information contained in the sentences we speak and hear are processed through different neural pathways.

The Root of All Hypocrisy

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on September 08, 2017 in Ambigamy
In a pinch, we pull out bogus one-size-fits-all moral rules that we can't, won't, and shouldn't try to live by.

"Believe Me"

By Joe Navarro M.A. on August 31, 2017 in Spycatcher
The salesperson says, "Believe me." Should you? Some thoughts from the forensic files.

First, Cause Pain

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on August 26, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
The martial arts concept of graduated response can also be used to give others latitude to alter behaviors before we apply severe reprimand or caustic criticism.

18 Common Logical Fallacies and Persuasion Techniques

The information bombardment on social media is loaded with fallacious arguments.

The Power of Persuasion: 6 Ways to Get Your Way

Making the principles of persuasion work for you.

How Smart Should a Leader Be?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on August 07, 2017 in Media Spotlight
Is it possible for a leader to be too smart? New research suggests that the link between intelligence and perceived leadership may be more complicated than you might think.

Beware of the Power Elite in Society

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on August 07, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
The late, visionary sociologist C. Wright Mills warned that acts of elite deviance that cause social or criminal harm are part of the “higher immorality of the power elite.”

Why Do Your Facebook Friends Have So Much Political Bias?

Myside bias makes us notice, search for, and favor evidence that supports what we already believe. Why do we do this? And is it worse on social media?

Untangling Myths About Human Trafficking

With human trafficking being known as 'modern day slavery,' it's imperative that we shatter the commonly-held myths about this criminal act to help better identify and stop it.

Making Healthy Choices

A third of Americans are obese and consumers spend more than $50 billion on weight loss. The reasons for the obesity epidemic may surprise you. Hint: Big Brother is trying to help.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: See a Different Point of View

Our appreciation of ways in which thoughts can affect feelings and behaviors has evolved. It allows us to show love through appreciating each other's point of view.

Three Ways People Try to Manipulate You

Three ways people try to manipulate us. Watch out for these common logical fallacies.

How the News Media Make Monsters

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on June 26, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
The news media frequently refer to murderers in nonhuman and supernatural terms, using inflammatory words like evil, vampire, and monster.

When Words Are Deadly Weapons: Michelle Carter´s Conviction

For people who would rather text than talk, words can be more dangerous than sticks and stones. Texting is pervasive and persuasive, facilitating cyber courtship to cyber stalking.

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

By Tim David on June 16, 2017 in The Magic of Human Connection
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?

By Theodora Ross M.D. PhD. on May 30, 2017 in A Cancer in the Family
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.