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

A Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Leadership Test

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on September 26, 2016 in Science and Sensibility
Can you tell which US presidential candidate is destined for greatness?

Helping Clinton Become Engaging, Memorable and Fearless

By Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. on September 24, 2016 in Just Listen
Deborah Shames, author of "Out Front: How Women can Become Engaging, Memorable and Fearless Speakers" is a specialist in helping people put their best and most real foot forward.

Changing Someone's Mind

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 22, 2016 in How To Do Life
Tips I'm only moderately confident in...but they're the best I can come up with.

A Match Made in America: Who Will Dominate the First Debate?

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
Research shows that Trump and Clinton will be judged by what they say, and how they behave when their opponent has the floor—because viewers are voters.

Debate Winner Is in the Eye (Not the Ear) of the Beholder

By Wendy L. Patrick Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Why Bad Looks Good
Watch! Next week´s presidential debate may be won or lost visually rather than verbally. Research shows perception is driven by nonverbal reaction more than verbal response.

6 Things Predators Know About You

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 16, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Basic principles of social influence and persuasion are effective tools for predators.

The Limited Influence of Liberal Professors

Although liberal professors outnumber conservative professors in higher education, their ideological influence is limited.

Explaining Media Psychology in 2017

Media influence on people is like "The Blob"... oozing everywhere. Media Psychologists are the professionals that study the effect of media on behavior everywhere.

Wise Words

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on September 02, 2016 in How To Do Life
51 underused terms.

Persuading Others With Loving Thoughts

Can a love song increase your chances of getting a date? Can sharing loving memories with your partner make them more agreeable? Find out what the research has to say...

Conflict Resolution: Dancing Your Way to Cooperation?

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on August 30, 2016 in The Dolphin Divide
How to avoid a clash of wills in the face of stubbornness. Making the right moves when it counts can head off flared tempers and open conflict.

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?