Updated at 2018-01-16 11:05

People do not use reason when making important decisions. If your view of the world is that people use reason for their decision making, you are setting yourself up for a life of frustration and confusion. A working knowledge of psychology is essential for success.

Praise has much more power than criticism. Give praise even if you don't feel like it as praise works a lot better than scolding.

Contrast Principle: If the second item is fairly different from the first, we will tend to see it as more different than it actually is.

Foot-in-Door -technique: Starting with a little request in order to gain eventual compliance with related larger request.

Give a reason when asking for something. When we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason.

FFS-H: We prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and like.

  • Familiarity: We like things and people that are familiar to us.
  • Flattery: We tend to believe praise and like those who provide it.
  • Similarity: We like people who are similar to us.
  • Halo Effect: physical attractiveness signifies kindness, honesty and talent.

Stand Lock -situations. Whenever one takes a stand that is visible to others, there arises a drive to maintain that stand in order to look like a consistent person.

Written Commitment > Verbal Commitment. The more the effort that goes into a commitment, the greater is its ability to influence the attitudes of the person who made it.

Fear of Losing > Thrill of Gaining. People are more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value.

Scarcity Principle. A less available item is more desired and valued. The drop from abundance to scarcity produces a decidedly bigger reaction than constant scarcity. Remember that the joy is not in experiencing the scarcity, but in possessing something scarce.

Social Proof Principle. What other people think is correct is used to determine what is correct. This works best when the proof is provided by the actions, not mere words. And when the situation is unclear and we are unsure of ourselves.

Illusion of authority is better than no authority. Titles, clothes and trappings can reliably trigger our compliance in the absence of genuine substance of authority.

Cracks With Diamonds -technique. A commonly used tactic to establish trustworthiness is to mention a small shortcoming in the product. The drawback will be a secondary one that is easily overcome by more significant advantages.


  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini
  • How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams