The human brain is a mysterious and amazing thing. Although all of the brain’s secrets have not yet been revealed, scientists have discovered some things about the way it works. These discoveries have given us insight into how to influence people’s decisions.
That’s right, you can actually get people to do what you want! All you need to know are these 3 psychological tricks:
1. As Follow Up Questions Or Paraphrase What They’ve Said
The next time you find yourself in a conversation with somebody, try reflective listening as one of your psychological tricks. To do this, ask the person follow up questions or paraphrase what they’ve said. Reflective listening lets your conversation partner know that you care about what they have to say.
In one study, a group of psychology students received either a 14, 28, or 42-hour reflective listening training programs. After the training, volunteers then participated as counselors in role-playing sessions. The individuals who received longer training had a closer relationship with their counseling “patients”. The patients disclosed more personal information during sessions with these participants.
This is easy for you to do, too. Just listen to what they say and repeat it back in the form of a question. For example, “So you prefer apple pie over cherry pie?” They’ll know that you were listening. Practicing reflective listening in your next conversation will make your friends feel more comfortable.
2. Use A Visual Guide
Using a visual guide is a great way to get people to believe what you’re saying. Presenting information with graphs, charts, and visual data, is one of the most convincing psychological tricks. Particularly, when the visual information presented seems to be scientific in nature.
Why is this true? As Aner Tal of Cornell University, the co-author of a study about the effects of scientific-looking images in advertising, says, “When people are presented with something that appears to be based on objective data or scientific evidence it makes product claims more convincing.” Participants in this study were shown a short message about the immune-boosting properties of certain medicine. Half of the group was also shown a bar graph to collaborate the claim. When asked about the effectiveness of the medicine, 96% of the participants who saw the bar graph believed the medication worked and only 67% of the participants who saw only the message believed the same.
Give it a try next time you want somebody to believe your argument. People are far more likely to relate to your visual images, even if it’s something simple. You could bold your text or give it a colorful background to draw attention to what you want to say.
3. Ask How They Feel
The last of our psychological tricks is to ask somebody how they feel before asking for a favor. Let’s say it’s Friday evening and you really want to get out of work on time. But, there’s one task left to finish. Before you ask your co-worker to do you the favor, first ask about their week and maybe about weekend plans. When the conversation becomes friendly, then you can ask for the favor.
Why does this work? It works on the grounds of the norm of reciprocity, which states that people will return benefits. By showing interest in somebody, you’ve made them feel better about themselves and put them in a friendly mood. In this situation, it would be almost impossible to turn down your request.
Now that you have some great psychological tricks, go out and use them! But, use these tricks responsibly. Too many times, influencing people to do what you want can lead to negative consequences. We see this all the time in politics. Make sure to only use these tricks to improve your friendships and work relationships by getting people to like you more.