The Power of the Human Brain: 3 Psychological Tricks to Influence People’s Decisions
The human brain is a complex and mysterious thing. Despite decades of research, scientists have still not fully revealed all its secrets. However, recent discoveries have provided us with valuable insights into how the brain works and how we can leverage this knowledge to influence people’s decisions. In this article, we’ll explore three psychological tricks that can help you get people to do what you want.
1. Reflective Listening: Ask Follow-Up Questions or Paraphrase What They’ve Said
One of the most effective ways to influence people’s decisions is to listen to what they have to say. Reflective listening involves asking follow-up questions or paraphrasing what someone has said. This technique lets your conversation partner know that you care about what they have to say, which can help establish trust and rapport.
A study conducted by a group of psychology students found that longer training in reflective listening led to counselors building better relationships with their patients. Patients disclosed more personal information during sessions with these participants. You can also practice reflective listening in your conversations to show your friends and colleagues that you’re interested in what they have to say. For example, you could repeat something they said in the form of a question, such as “So, you prefer apple pie over cherry pie?”
2. Use Visual Guides: Present Information with Graphs, Charts, and Visual Data
Visuals are a great way to convey information and make it more convincing. By presenting data in graphs, charts, and visual formats, you can create a compelling argument that is difficult to ignore. Research has found that people are more likely to believe claims if they appear scientific or objective.
A study conducted by Aner Tal of Cornell University showed that participants who were presented with a short message about the immune-boosting properties of a medicine believed it more when they saw a bar graph. Ninety-six percent of those who saw the bar graph believed the medicine worked, compared to only 67% of those who saw only the message. This highlights how effective visual aids can be.
So, the next time you want to convince someone of your argument, consider using a visual aid. You could use bold text or colorful backgrounds to draw attention to key points.
3. Ask How They Feel: Establish Emotional Connections before Asking for Favors
Asking someone how they feel before asking for a favor is a powerful psychological trick. By establishing an emotional connection, you can make someone feel more positively disposed towards you and more likely to help you out. This works on the principle of the norm of reciprocity, which suggests that people will return benefits.
For example, if you want to leave work on time, you could start by asking your co-worker about their week and their weekend plans. Once you’ve established a friendly conversation, you can then ask for the favor. If you’ve built a rapport with them, it’ll be much harder for them to refuse your request.
The human brain is a fascinating and complex thing, but we’ve learned enough to know how to influence people’s decisions. By listening to people, using visual aids, and establishing emotional connections, you can persuade others to do what you want. However, it’s important to use these tricks responsibly. Using them too often can lead to negative consequences and harm your relationships. Instead, use them to build stronger friendships and work relationships.