Psychology of Persuasion

We live in a society that works in complex ways. There are various professions and occupations and everyone is trying to establish their niche in society for a living, name, or fame. To build a name, one needs to be influential and convincing.

To persuade someone is to convince someone. Influence has great power. It is not an easy task to influence others and persuade them to make them do things in our favour. It is done successfully only by influential people. Cialdini has given six principles of persuasion and how each one can be used by us to pitch others in our favour.

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The Six Principles of Persuasion:

  1. Psychology of Persuasion


  2. Liking
  3. Social proof
  4. Consistency
  5. Authority
  6. Scarcity

All of these six principles of persuasion generate certain responses. When we encounter or showcase these in the real world, we see results. It is said that the most effective persuasion is that which doesn’t feel like persuasion.


 The Reciprocity Principle tells us to reciprocate others when they do something for us. Most of the time, it just feels like kindness. It is like thanking the other person and being grateful for what they did for us.

When a favour is returned, it leads to good relations and it musters the support of people for our benefit.


The psychology of persuasion using this principle shows that humans have a tendency to stick to their commitments. If a person has a long experience with something and commitment towards what he does then it is more likely for him to persuade the other person. People get influenced by someone who has a long experience in a particular field because he comes across as versatile and efficient. For instance, we will be persuaded better by a science teacher on a science topic rather than a random person trying to shed knowledge on the subject.

Social Proof:

 If lots of other people are doing something or thinking something, then we are obligated to think that it must be good. If a lot of people are buying a particular product and giving it a very high rating, there are more chances of other people buying the same product. Social proof is indeed very valuable. We tend to make fewer mistakes if we follow social evidence. When a lot of people are doing something, it generally is the right thing to do.


The psychology of persuasion also tells us that we’re more likely to comply with requests from people that we know and like. Hence, we are more likely to comply with the persuasions of people we know and like than agree with the people whom we do not like. This tactic is used by a salesperson to influence us by using warm and friendly sentences,

We are also more willing to accept people whom we see as being warm, amiable, affable, and attractive.


The psychology of persuasion using the Authority Principle states that people are likely to comply with requests that come from an acknowledged and accepted source of authority. Thus, we are strongly inclined to be respectful to people whom we consider to be in a position of power, knowledge, wisdom, or expertise. This is the reason we immediately respond and pay respect to people on higher posts and even symbols of authority—like titles and uniforms. Leadership, influential personality, hierarchy, and authority lead to respect and honor in society.


The psychology of persuasion using the Scarcity Principle tells us that we find more appealing those things which are limited and scarce around usIt is human psychology to value the rare thing more than something present very abundantly. One tends to keep a rare thing safe and secure. We will respect scarce knowledge, opinion, or product. Scarcity usually is a good gauge of how valuable something is.

There are other factors that play a great role in influencing someone. These factors are physical appearance, credibility, and a positive approach.

 Physical Attractiveness:

 Physically attractive people are more persuasive and influential than the ones who are shabby and not well maintained because attractive people appear confident and approachable. This is the reason that advertisers frequently use attractive models to sell their products. Since we like them, we are more likely to get persuaded by them.


Communicators who are knowledgeable and are aware of what they are talking about and the ones who are experts in the area concerning their work are more influential than the ones who lack expertise. For example, if a doctor tells us that a particular brand of antiseptic cream is good, we would get persuaded by him/her rather than an engineer who suggests us the same brand. Thus, being well-read and aware of what we are offering others and being able to reason is very important to influence and persuade others. This shows our seriousness towards our work and also makes us appear confident and knowledgeable.

Power of persuasion is a very necessary trait in today’s fast-moving world where everyone is trying to get to the top and do something great in life. It becomes important to coexist and to live in harmony. Persuasion helps us to influence people and to make friends. The art of persuasion helps us in all aspects of life. From being a student to a working employee the above-mentioned qualities and principles help us to be influential and have people to support us and live a better quality of life. One reason is that man is a social animal and he needs other people to coexist. Hence, the Psychology of Persuasion is important to be known by all of us.


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