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

On a Carl Rogers Quote

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 27, 2016 in How To Do Life
When are you defending yourself versus being defensive?

Why Juries Should Be Skeptical of Forensic Evidence

There are many reasons why forensic evidence can be inaccurate and unreliable. The FBI's own crime lab has a 20 year track record of flawed forensic results.

Are You Easily Conned?

Machiavellians love to con others. If you allow yourself to be deceived, they’ll figure you had it coming.

The "Electrochemical Persuasion" of Neuromodulation

Deliberate stimulation of the brain to manipulate behavior reads like something out of George Orwell’s "1984," but treatment of eating disorders & obesity is no longer "brainless"

The Logic Underlying Trump's Outrageous Comments

Trump phrases things in a way that gets through to his supporters, but leaves him almost immune from attack by his detractors.

When You Want to Persuade Someone

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in How To Do Life
When you want someone to change, having an alert, experimental mindset is key.

3 Data-Driven, Practical Tips for Writing Well

Among others: unnecessarily big words make us seem less competent, not more. I explain why, and offer other practical and effective tips.

The Tyranny of Film

You'd be surprised just how well filmmakers can control our attention.

The GOP, Convention Turn Taking, and the Primacy Effect

When voters watch competing messages during both conventions, political turn-taking can benefit the party who goes first. This is true even when controlling for partisan bias.

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 Tips 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 Better 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