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

Is Your Crap Detector Working?

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 in BrainSnacks
Are you being hypnotized and intellectually anesthetized by the constant flood of entertainment imagery in the popular culture? As writer Ernest Hemingway advised, maybe it's time to tune up your "crap detector."

Laughing Matters During Presidential Primary Debates

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on August 05, 2015 in Caveman Politics
How will we, the American Public, evaluate the candidates in the Republican presidential debates?

7 Ways to Deal With a Chronic Complainer

The chronic complainer. Nothing's ever good enough for them. They love to focus on problems and ignore solutions. This person might be a customer, an employee, a student, a co-worker, a child, or a spouse. On some days, it seems like it's everyone all at once. How can you effectively deal with these people without resorting to violence or sedatives? Here's the plan:

Fading Fast: Is 'Thank You' a Thing of the Past?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on July 30, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
How to reinvigorate the power of appreciation. Despite our well-meaning efforts to appreciate our fellows, our favorite phrase of acknowledgment seems to be ringing hollow these days. Can “Thank you” be restored to its former glory by capitalizing on the psychology of message delivery -- or are we doomed to a thankless world?

How to Complain So People Will Listen

Friends and family are supposed to love you, so why is it they don't always seem to care when you complain about their behavior? It might be something about the way you're saying it. Start seeing results with these practical tips for communicating complaints.

Hidden Persuaders: The Psychology of Subliminal Perception

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 20, 2015 in A Sideways View
The idea of subliminal perception has never gone away. Are advertisers and marketers using clever and possibly illegal or immoral means to change our behaviour

The Human Side of Change

By Joseph Grenny on July 13, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
When leaders continue to pay attention to how they handle both crucial conversations and crucial accountability discussions, they enjoy significant and lasting change.

The Psychology of Jimmy Kimmel's "Lie Witness News"

By Jordan Gaines Lewis on July 08, 2015 in Brain Babble
Why are the pedestrians interviewed on Jimmy Kimmel Live's "Lie Witness News" segment so easily fooled? Actually, many methods of persuasion are at work here.

Can Subliminal Messages Create Feelings of Love and Lust?

Can a sexy picture in the background or a well-chosen romantic word, trigger automatic feelings of love and desire? Could the right situation or association make you seem more attractive, sexy, or alluring to a potential lover? See what the research has to say here...

Igniting a Renaissance

How can parents best bring out their child’s gifts? How can we help the gifted child who is more introverted? How can we spur a renaissance in gifted education? How can we persuade the public to care about helping our most talented kids reach their full potential?

"How?" Is Why You'll Eliminate Panic Attacks

By Hal Mathew on June 14, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
Ask yourself and others questions that begin with the word "How?" Doing this means you are ready to solve your problems.

Should Anonymous Comments Be Banned on Blogs?

Would banning anonymous comments keep Internet trolls away? What are the arguments for and against a ban?

7 Ways People Can Change Your Mind

Are you the type of person who can resist the lure of tempting ads or the pressure of someone you know to get you to change your mind? Maybe you’re not as resistant to these influences as you think so that, even without knowing it, you’re an easy target.

Do People Think You're Pushy, or a Pushover?

Research shows we're really bad at identifying how other people perceive us.

Finding the Truth through Forensic Media Psychology

In years ahead, law schools, schools of psychology, television, media and film, business schools and schools of public policy will offer courses, certificates and degrees in Forensic Media Psychology. FMP is a field whose time has arrived. Must Read!

Do Moral Violations Require a Victim?

By Jesse Marczyk on May 21, 2015 in Pop Psych
On the matter of whether harmless moral violations actually exist

Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

By Gil Greengross Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Humor Sapiens
Want to Increase Trust in Others? Just Smile

The Psychology of Conspiracy and Cover-Ups

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in A Sideways View
Who is being most naïve, those who tend to believe in conspiracy theories or those who don't? What are the characteristics of those who tend to have a conspiracist view of the world?

I Ain't Got no Body

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on April 16, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
A former prosecutor offers collection of U.S. homicide cases that went to trial, despite having no body.

Expanding the Self

We should reciprocate the gift of our own lives..... To be focused narrowly - worrying excessively about our personal skills and accomplishments and about the public's regards of these - is to remain forever a child.

The Best of Times or the Worst of Times for Marriage?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on April 10, 2015 in Living Single
Fewer people are marrying than ever before, as claims about the power of marriage—for adults, for children, and for society—intensify. How accurate are those claims? What are the implications of offering more incentives to people to get married and more benefits and protections once they do?

Are the People Close to You Good Role Models?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on April 08, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
Humans are a social species, and so we are strongly influenced by the example that other people set for us. I have written frequently in this blog about goal contagion, which is the idea that we often adopt the goals of the people we see around us, even without realizing that we are doing so.

The Death of Asylumdom

The fate of the mental hospital in the modern world.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 3 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on April 04, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

Another Guy Who Isn't a Sex Addict

By Marty Klein PhD on March 31, 2015 in Sexual Intelligence
"Sex addiction" is a very poor way to understand people.

Living Comfortably with Hypocrisy and Negative Evidence

By Warren W Tryon Ph.D. on March 22, 2015 in The Missing Link
How do people live comfortably with hypocrisy and negative evidence?

The Blissful Torture of Unrequited Love

Whether fast or slow, it comes on hard—as powerful as a bludgeon, but one covered in the softest velvet. It’s two-faced as well, like an optical illusion. And it’s also supremely paradoxical. How can an unreturned love engender such ecstatic, sublime feelings? Yet the chemical dynamics of reciprocation fantasies can be incredibly powerful...

Interview Lies: Typical Untruths Told in Selection Inteviews

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 07, 2015 in A Sideways View
Some say the problem with using personality tests for selection is that people lie on them. But what about lying in interviews? Who, when, why and how do both interviewers and interviewees tell lies of various types to try to create a good impression.

Jodi Arias Wins

After a deadlocked jury, for Jodi Arias the death penalty is now off the table.

The Surprising Way That Simple Actions Can Change Your Mind

By Geoff Haddock Ph.D. on March 05, 2015 in Attitude Check
Can holding a pen in your mouth lead you to see cartoons as more or less funny?