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

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 Politics of Pizza

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on March 20, 2015 in Hidden Motives
We think of pizza by the slice, sometimes a whole pie, so we haven’t noticed how big an industry it has become. But Big Pizza is as big as virtually anything else in our economy – and as political.

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...

Are You Ready to Change?

We're always changing. We want to stop bad habits and start new ones. We want to move our life in a new direction, but the prospect of doing so is daunting. So let's stop forcing ourselves and others to change and deal with where we are at the moment.

"It's Amazing"! "It's The Worst!" Stop with the Hyperbole

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 14, 2015 in How To Do Life
We lose credibility when we exaggerate how good or bad people or things are.

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?

Feeling Paranoid?

Paranoid fears are common and have a variety of causes but new research shows specific issue cognitive behaviour therapy can bring significant benefits

4 Secrets to Negotiate with Difficult People

By Aldo Civico Ph.D. on March 04, 2015 in Turning Point
Are you dealing with a grumpy teenager, or an impossible boss? Here are 4 secrets suggested by successful mediators to deal with difficult people and situations.

Marketers' Shocking New Ability to Target Women

By Nigel Barber Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in The Human Beast
During the fertile phase of their monthly cycle, women are prone to greater risk taking. For psychologists, this means that they are more likely to initiate sexual affairs. Marketers discovered that women are more likely to try new brands as well. Now they plan to use this fact in targeted marketing. Assuming that they get away with it, will the scheme work?

Do You Want People to Understand You? Stop Doing This.

Saying what you mean is more than a matter of finding the right words. It’s the intonation, or tone of voice, that adds punch to our language. If you’re a victim of “uptalk,” without knowing it, you may be leaving people with a wrong, and confusing, impression.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 2 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute 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." This is part 2 of a 3-part post explaining why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

8 Warning Signs Your Lover is a Narcissist

The Mayo Clinic research group defines narcissistic personality disorder as “a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration." How do you know when your romantic partner may be a narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

A Single Question Can Boost Your Chance of Getting a Date

Have you ever wanted to ask out someone you know, or get a date with an attractive stranger? In either case, you can increase your chances of getting a "yes" by first asking a simple question, or making a small request. Find out what the research has to say here...

Online Dating: The Dark Side

By Martin Graff Ph.D. on February 25, 2015 in Love, Digitally
These people use devious psychological ploys. Have you ever been suspicious about an online relationship?

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 1 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on February 23, 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.

The Benefits of Being Blond

Is it better to be blond? Prior research suggests that blond women enjoy a wage premium and preferential treatment from men. But does this really translate into higher lifetime earnings or better odds of marriage? And might blond men be similarly-advantaged?

Get Robust, Because Resilience Is Too Little Too Late

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in Ambigamy
Resilience is the ability to recover your cool quickly. Robustness is keeping your cool no matter what. James Bond is robust. You don't see him recovering his cool after a fight. He keeps his cool in the fight. Here are 14 quick strategies for cultivating your robustness, so you can stand up for yourself invulnerably.

3 Good Reasons to Wallow in Despair

By Tina Gilbertson LPC on February 18, 2015 in Constructive Wallowing
Do you feel blue sometimes and don't know why? Find out how those so-called "negative" feelings can be the key to greater happiness and well-being.

For Type 5, 6, & 7 Teens: How to Be a Leader III

By Elizabeth Wagele on February 17, 2015 in The Career Within You
Use the typical strengths of your Enneagram type in your role as leader.

Lincoln the Manipulator?

By Tim David on February 16, 2015 in The Magic of Human Connection
The Gettysburg Address. In just the first sentence alone, Lincoln delivers four distinct psychological strategies designed to persuade and influence his audience. Here are the four hidden "magic words" he placed there.

13: A Deadly Number

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 13, 2015 in Shadow Boxing
This Friday the 13th is the anniversary of the arrest of a man who'd murdered 13 people, starting on another Friday the 13th.

Old Age and Stereotypes

Researchers have previously concluded that stereotype threat affects ethnic minorities and women, but this new meta-analysis highlights that we should be just as concerned about stereotypes of age. For more information on stereotype threat you can visit ReducingStereotypeThreat.org.

What's in a Name? More Than You Think.

By Geoff Haddock Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in Attitude Check
Is Darren more likely to be persuaded by Derek or Stuart?

How to Change People Who Don't Want to Change

By Joseph Grenny on February 09, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
When you’re trying to influence people who need motivation, but not information, don’t offer more information. That’s nagging. Instead, use questions to create a safe environment where they can explore motivations they already have

Understanding PTSD, TBI, Suicide and Student Veteran Success

Research shows that the transition from the intensity of military life to a more independent civilian life can be overwhelming. Recognizing and understanding special symptoms supports the important objective of increasing the success of many veteran students on campus. It is important to share this information about the needs of student veterans.

The Social Psychology of Radicalization and Extremism

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in Naturally Selected
What causes young Muslims to radicalize and what should Western governments do to prevent it? Some relevant insights from social psychological theories of group polarization into radicalization and political extremism and some antidotes.

The Surprising Psychology of BDSM

‘Fifty Shades’ piqued your curiosity? Answers to five kinky questions.

Sexy, Sensual, or Intimate—What is Your Sexual Style?

By Randi Gunther Ph.D. on February 03, 2015 in Rediscovering Love
We each have our own personal and unique sexual signature that may help or hinder sexual connections with the one we love. Examine your own sexual history to benefit the relationship you are in or to attract a relationship partner best suited for your style.