Friday, November 9, 2012

Persuasion: Fear, Guilt, Low-Ball, High-ball, and buddy

Evil Inside
Evil Inside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lifehacker posted an article for their "evil week" where they lists "3 of the easiest ways to manipulate people". (See URL at the end)  That's... Scare then relief, Foot in door, and Shame on you (they call it "make you feel guilty").

Scare then relief -- scare the victim with something bad ("Your car will explode if you don't fix it now!"), then offer them a solution (relief) which is, of course, whatever the scammer is offering

Foot in door -- scammer starts with a very simple request ("Just try this teeny weeny sample..."), get foot in the door, then work his way up into bigger requests and concessions  ("You like it, right? Here's full bottle for $$$_____.")

Shame on you -- actually called "reciprocity", the scammer does a favor to the "victim" (free shipping and 25% off!!!), then expects the victim to respond ("click on [buy this now], well, now!") through guilt and shame

Turns out there are a couple more:

Door in Face (i.e. High ball) -- start with a ridiculously high price (this item is worth $500!) Then reduce prices again, and again, and again... until it arrives at a price that seems pretty good but isn't. ($250? $150? $99? How about... $29.99!?!?!)

Low-ball  -- start with a ridiculously low price (this car is only $10000!) then once you got the victim to sign off, start throwing on additional fees, options, and more, until they end up paying quite a bit more. They feel guilty as they already signed the deal.

Ingratiation -- make the victim feel good by sharing common beliefs (You have great taste in clothes!), which improves your standing in the victim's mind (she knows what she's talking about), and work your way up so the victim will give into your demands and concessions (Hey, here's this deal I found... )

These techniques all work in related ways... that they all are based on appeal to emotion.

Low-ball and foot-in-door are based on guilt. Foot-in-door itself, gets you to concede on something small, then once they are in, you feel guilty about kicking them out. Low-ball is also based on guilt, that you felt you already committed, and thus even if you find out there are extra costs you felt guilty about backing out of the deal.

Shame on You and Door-in-face are also related to guilt, as you feel guilty about not acceding to the other side's "concessions", even though it's not really a concession.

Ingratiation appeals to your vanity.

Scare then relief appeals to fear

And of course, almost all financial crimes are related to greed.

So watch out when people are messing with your emotions. They probably want to scam you in some way.

Lifehacker on 3 easiest ways to manipulate people.

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