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

Did the GOP Unconventional Convention Change Your Vote?

In politics, the impact of an initial positive impression endures—even in the face of subsequent negative attacks. The GOP convention may particularly impact partisan voters.

The Psychology of the Political Coup

One perhaps surprising yet key implication of this research is that elections have the potential to be a force for instability and change, rather than a tool of stabilization.

The Manipulator

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 09, 2016 in How To Do Life
We're more vulnerable than we may think.

Why We’re Politically Stalled Out

It's not just that we disagree with one another. We have trouble putting ourselves in our political opponents' shoes. I explain why that's bad for everyone involved.

Voting With Our Eyes: Attractive Candidates Get More Votes

Less informed voters tend to vote with their eyes instead of their minds. Yet when it comes to casting an intelligent vote, knowledge is power. Information overrides appearance.

How to Foster a Sense of Value in Schoolwork

It can be tricky to encourage students to perceive utility in what they learn

Cultivating Charisma Redux

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 30, 2016 in How To Do Life
Lessons from our most charismatic leaders
Carl Pickhardt Ph. D.

Conducting Conflict with Your Adolescent

The curriculum of family life teaches the adolescent how to manage significant relationships. Learning how to conduct conflict constructively is one important skill for later on.

Do Shoppers Benefit When Stores Use Everyday Low Pricing?

Academic research has found EDLP has pros & cons for stores and shoppers. The cons might outweigh the pros.

Values, Voting, and Expertise

By Katherine Hawley Ph.D. on June 21, 2016 in Trust
Should we trust experts when we are deciding how to vote?
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

The Complexity of Parental Questions for Adolescents

When it comes to asking the teenager questions, the intention of the parent can be quite different than the interpretation of the adolescent. So, proceed with care.

4 Steps to Attract Someone New (and Still Be Yourself)

Should you behave in the most persuasive and attractive way, or be more authentic? Is there a way to balance the two?

How Donald Trump Keeps Psyching Everyone Out

Trump rushes in where wise men (and women) fear to tread, because he really doesn't care if he loses, whereas a lifetime politician cares too much.

The Snake, the Dog and the Calculator

Online behavior: To persuade someone of something we need to target the three layers of the brain.

Spoiling for a Fight, Fighting for God

By Susan Wise Bauer Ph.D. on June 02, 2016 in Under the Sun
Religious rhetoric might appear to produce bloodshed, but in fact it's just giving permission to a desire that already exists.

Why Is Budweiser Changing Its Brand Name to "America"?

There is some marketing logic behind the brand name change, but there are also many question marks.

Microaggression, Mens Rea and the Unconscious Mind

Why are good intentions not enough?

The Art of Patient Persuasion

By Jean Kim M.D. on May 11, 2016 in Culture Shrink
It's important to understand the patient's reality.
Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

The Science of Making a Good First Impression

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on May 11, 2016 in Media Spotlight
Though there a wide range of different facial cues that influence how people see us, mouth curvature and eyelid-openness seem particularly important

Use Psychology to Handle These 7 Sticky Situations

By Meg Selig on May 06, 2016 in Changepower
Use the latest research in psychology to handle these 7 typical problem situations. You could make better decisions...and even save your own, or another person's, life.

How to Win Friends, Influence and Wisdom All at Once

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 05, 2016 in Ambigamy
Simple games that make us more likable, persuasive and wise

The PC Wars: Shutupsmanship Reaches New Heights

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 05, 2016 in Ambigamy
Political correctness is a new folk psychology diagnosis, one that is having enormous influence even though it's hard to define. Here's an attempt to define it accurately.

Trump Psychology: Why the Donald Might Just Get Your Vote

Regardless of political leanings, for many citizens, a combination of energy, passion, and transparency might persuade voters to have a second look at the Donald.

How Do You Best Persuade Conservatives and Liberals?

By Geoff Haddock Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in Attitude Check
When it comes to protecting the environment, conservatives and liberals are persuaded by different types of messages.

Trump Feels Your Anger and Anxiety

Emotional intelligence helps explain Trump's appeal!

Is “You Can’t Change People” True?

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on April 12, 2016 in Ambigamy
"You can't change people" is self-contradictory, like saying "let me persuade you that people can't be persuaded." Like all self-contradictions it's good food for thought.
K. Ramsland

Murder: The Prosecutor's Tale

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 09, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Prosecutors of high-profile cases who then write books offer insightful details about how they formed their strategies.

Edward Bernays, Uncle Freud, and Betty Crocker

Edward Bernays capitalized on his Uncle Sigmund Freud's theories to sell you products by making you self-conscious.

Creating Reality: Castro, Trump, and Simi Valley

By Stanton Peele on March 30, 2016 in Addiction in Society
We expect, when we view something, to know whether or not it is true. It turns out that our views are malleable, which can be used against us politically and otherwise.
andrew weber/

Political Insomnia Disorder

Attention! Attention! To sleep, turn off your TV.