Ever notice that when you receive a punch card for a certain product (come and purchase ice cream ten times and on your eleventh visit your purchase will be free), they start you with one or two slots punched out already?
People are more likely and more motivated to finish something if it has already been started for them. Combine this with other tips that have been covered here (like offering reward), and you’re even more likely to get your target to comply.
Yes to both. However, positive influence in these cases would likely be better than outright manipulation. In terms of overcoming addiction, getting the addict to want to quit massively increases their chances of doing so; if it’s at all possible, start with that. For the child, encouragement, education, and reward ought to do the trick.
That wholly depends on your personal definition of ‘appropriate’, and I’m not delving into semantics. Personally, I say it’s appropriate whenever I’m getting something out of it. Others may argue it’s only appropriate when it has a positive outcome for all involved.
And that’s why the example you gave is classified as compromise and doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been manipulated. Again, we could go into what ‘manipulation’ really means, but I’ve neither the time nor the patience.
The ‘gift’ doesn’t even necessarily have to be extravagant. For example: for waiters and waitresses, just giving mints at the end of a meal can increase your tip by over 20%.
That being said, it’s not as simple as tossing a few candies onto the table and leaving.
In a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers found that the method of leaving mints at the end of a meal affects the percentage of increased tips:
When waiters gave mints with the check and didn’t call attention to the mints, tips increased about 3% against the control group where no mints were given at all.
Waiters who brought two mints by hand separate from the check and mentioned the mints to the table saw a 14% tip increase against the control group.
Finally, waiters who brought the check with mints, and then came back a short time after with more mints and mentioned them to the customers (“I thought you might like more mints!”) saw a 21% increase in tips against the control group.
The ‘personalisation’ aspect of a gift is a big factor. If you’re looking for a favour, first give some kind of gift that your target doesn’t expect and that is personalised or shows special concern. You can get the same effect by doing a favour for your target before asking for a favour of your own, but the crux is to have it be unexpected, and to make them feel special.
This is due to the Licensing Effect (aka self-licensing, moral licensing). The Licensing Effect occurs when people make a good or virtuous choice that ‘permits’ them to make a bad decision later. An example of this would be someone on a diet believing that they’ve ‘earned’ an unhealthy meal by avoiding junk food during the week.
Convincing someone to make a ‘bad’ decision would therefore be easier after they have made a particularly good decision.
(See an article covering a study done on the subject of self-licensing here.)
Even something entirely unrelated. A study done by Alison Jing Xu and Robert S. Wyer revealed that “inducing participants to make supportive elaborations about a series of propositions activated a bolstering mindset that increased the effectiveness of an unrelated advertisement they encountered subsequently.”
In other words, agreeing with something tends to make you more likely to agree with something else later. Make statements or represent a world view your target can agree with before introducing your message.
Consider the Serial Position Effect. Particularly helpful if you want to encourage memory of a particular detail, or hide something in a list of items, but keep in mind: items that ‘stick out’ in a list are most likely to be remembered (Von Restoff Effect).
"Opening with hesitation or an apology gives the responder an inclination to help. Reward them with a smile and relax your posture and muscles to appear relieved once they comply. Showing occasional vulnerability gains trust, used too often, and like anything it will lose its potency."
Obviously, the thing to do now is pretend that there wasn’t an unannounced, year-long hiatus.
You can expect approximately bi-weekly posts for the foreseeable future!
A few notes:
Before asking a question, be sure to read the disclaimer in case your question can be answered there. Similarly, your question may have been answered in a past post.
If you’re interested in suggesting a manipulation—which I highly encourage!—please try to give a source that validates it (an article, a study, etc) if applicable.
Given the sheer number of questions this blog has received in the past, not all messages will be answered. You do have a better chance of getting your message answered if you don’t send it anonymously. In addition, messages received before the first of August have been deleted.
This is not an advice blog. This definitely is not a relationship advice blog. Please keep this in mind when sending messages!
Keep in mind that this particular video covers mostly ‘performance’ pickpocketing, rather than ‘street’ pickpocketing.
This article, written by Adam Green (the man getting pickpocketed in the video), gives a bit more information about Apollo Robbins (the pickpocket in the video) and his methods.
Aside from sleight of hand, pickpocketing is largely about the nature of human attention and what it takes to misdirect that attention in your favour. Some important factors include:
Eye contact (and lack of it)
The illusion of control
Understanding human behaviour
According to the article, Robbins “likes using the momentum of his victims’ own movements to remove things from their pockets rather than pulling them out himself. But physical technique, Robbins pointed out, is merely a tool. ‘It’s all about the choreography of people’s attention,’ he said. ‘Attention is like water. It flows. It’s liquid. You create channels to divert it, and you hope that it flows the right way.’ “
No matter how deft you may be at sleight of hand, it’s ultimately the manipulation of human behaviour and attention that makes a good pickpocket.