How to manipulate People - Influence the psychology of persuasion summary

How to manipulate People - Influence the psychology of persuasion summary

how to manipulate people


    You might have noticed sometimes that it’s really difficult to say to “no” to certain people. Even if you really don’t want to do the favor that they are requesting for... Now there is a science behind why it happens. 

    One of the reasons might be that the person asking you the favor is really persuasive naturally or maybe he knows the way to persuade you. Persuasion is a technique to make people say yes to your request or idea and make them do what you really want them to do. 

    It’s one of the most powerful skill to learn and master if you really want to achieve success in any field of your life. Persuasion techniques are used everywhere now-a-day’s by people ranging from a normal salesman to billion dollar companies for selling their product and even politicians.

    [Caution :  Please don’t use the information given in this article to manipulate people or for any evil purpose.]

    As there is famous saying by Abraham Lincoln “you can fool some people for some time but not all people all the time” don’t make a bad reputation of yourself if you want long term success. Use it for only mutual benefits. 

    Influence the psychology of persuasion is a book recommended by Charlie munger who is a billionaire himself and this is one of the best book I came across on the topic of persuasion.

    how to manipulate people book

    So let’s begin During the course of evolution… human brain has developed shortcuts for making decision quick and save energy of the brain. These shortcuts are nothing but triggers. 

    In today’s world our brain uses these triggers more than ever. As our brain is flooded by information through various sources and we don’t have enough time and energy to analyze all the information that comes to us. 

    We hugely make decision on the base of this triggers and not real facts as we think we do. And it all happens at subconscious level of the brain so we are not aware of it.

    Tricks to Manipulate People

    There are basically 8 triggers discussed in this book which make us take decisions and are used for persuasion. 

    1. Scarcity
    2. Reciprocacity
    3. Concession
    4. Commitment and Consistency
    5. Social Proof
    6. Authority
    7. Liking
    8. Reasoning

    Let us discuss about these points in details.

    Number 1:



    Going back thousands of years, survival was very difficult. The most imp resources for survival were very scarce so naturally humans grew attraction toward scarce resources as we needed them urgently. 

    After thousands of years that sense of urgency is still present in our brain. We are more likely to get attracted to certain things whose availability is limited and we mostly take actions to get it, if we feel that we can't lose that thing. 

    Companies uses this fact to a great extent. For Example ; Companies make limited edition products not because they can’t make more product but it triggers the customer to buy it. Since, it is scare and not available in abundance. Similarly big restaurants usually put less food on plate, advertisers use terms like "hurry offer valid only for today", etc are all example of this.

    This concept can be used in all aspects of life. Now, Considering the love life. Dating gurus give important advice to people that they should not be always available for their crush mainly during the initial period to build attraction. And avoid the curse of getting friend zoned. 

    Number 2 :



    It’s a really powerful mechanism of brain . Humans have a deep internal need to settle things with each other to make things fair . So, if you do a favour to someone then they will return it with a favour. But if you do something bad, then you can get a much worse in return.( what you Give and the same thing you shall receive).

    For Example, if you get a gift by someone on your birthday then you more likely to give that person a gift on their birthday. Now Giving a business example : there is a multimillion dollar organization , Hare Krishna which makes a lot of money through donations. 

    One way of getting donations is that at the airport they approach people and pin a flower to their cloths, even if you say you don’t want, they insist you take it as a gift. 

    And after you accept that gift they immediately ask that if you would like to donate some money for their organization. Now it becomes really hard for the person to say no as we have the urge to settle things and mostly people donate due to this fact.

    Number 3 :



    Example for concession from the book explain it clearly. Once when the author was at airport a boy came to him and asked him to buy a ticket for an event. But as the author was not interested so he refused. 

    After the denial that boy asked him to buy a chocolate instead which was way cheaper than the ticket. The author took that chocolate without any hesitation. But after the boy left, he realized something strange as why did he bought that chocolate? when he not really liked chocolates that much at the first place.

    This concludes the concept of concession. That is When someone ask you for a large request and after you deny counters it with a smaller request then we you ARE more likely to accept that smaller request. 

    Number 4 :

    Commitment and Consistency

    Commitment and Consistency

    People also have a desire to appear consistent in their behavior. And they also appreciate consistency in others. If you make someone commit to something small initially then you will be more likely to make them commit to bigger actions later on.

    Using these facts, Persuasion is possible. For Example: an experiment was conducted where a group of people were given a cancer awareness button and REQUESTED them to wear it for a week. It was a harmless request so most of them agreed . 

    Sometime later, these same people were REQUESTED to give a donation to help fight cancer. Not surprisingly, this group of people not even just donated but with an amount much more than that of the other groups. But Why? Because in wearing the button for a week, cancer-fighting had now become a small piece of their identity. They were now more likely to behave as a cancer-fighter would. 

    Similarly, A charity gets people to sign a petition not so much to influence others but to increase their commitment to the cause I will tell you.

    Another example, where toy companies use this principle. what happens is that A toy gets heavily advertised. Children get excited by it and then approach their parents about buying it for the Christmas. 

    After some consideration, parents agree and make the commitment to buy it. When they go to the store, they discover that the toy is out of stock. So they check out other stores and then discover that it is simply not available anywhere.(note that this is done purposely by companies and stores). So what they do? Simply they buy other toys to compensate and apologize to their child.

    Suddenly, in January, that toy arrives in store. Children notice this and tell their parents to buy that is the time when consistency kicks in and parents go to buy that toy. The toy stores now not only sold that toy but other toys as well using your commitment and consistency.

    NUMBER 5 :


    Social Proof

    I am sure you might have noticed something like in this example… A study in New York City was done. Where some people were told to look up on the 6th floor of a building, continuously and see what happens, Forty-five percent of passersby stopped if one-person was looking up, while 85% of the passersby stopped if 15 people were looking up. A similar experiment was aborted, when so many people were looking up that they stopped the traffic.”

    This principle is based on the fact that we copy what others do, especially when we are unsure what to do. If situations are critical, we will follow anyone who seems to know what they are doing. So basically, Show people how others already do what you want them to do.

    In an alarming research, it has found that highly visible news about suicides.. Results in an increase in the suicide rates. This type of suicide is called as copycat suicide, if you search on Wikipedia, which happened even in India, some years ago, where news particularly about children committing suicide due to depression increased the number of children committing suicide .

    On a positive side, this principle of social proof was used to treat young children who were afraid of dogs. The treatment was very simple. They merely watched a boy playing happily with a dog for twenty minutes a day. After only four days, 67 percent of the children got over that fear and started playing with the dog them self.

    When everyone is laughing you also laugh… Canned laughter that we hear in most of the comedy shows actually helps the joke to appear much funnier than it actually is. Advertisers often tell us that their product is the "largest selling" and  “ fastest growing “,….etc. These are all implication of this principle .

    NUMBER 6 :



    We refer to people who seem superior to us. We are brought up to obey authorities, initially parents and later teachers, police, ministers, managers and so on. Such authorities have the power of command, telling us what to do. A key reason we do this is because we believe that there will be a negative consequence if we disobey which is not always true.

    Principles which Triggers Authority Principle

    The three factors that triggers the authority principle are :

    Influence the psychology of persuasion summary

    1. Titles

    A title before a person’s name increases their persuasion capabilities. Titles like Dr., Prof., Ph.D., President, Chairman, Founder, CEO, experts have a Impact on us.

    2. Clothes

    Similarly people wearing certain Uniforms, Suits, religious outfits (worn by pastors, monks, nuns, priests) also impacts.

    3. Trappings

    These are Accessories that define certain positions/roles of a person (e.g. badges, expensive suits, nice cars, etc.). They give us the feel that the person using them is a authority who needs to be obeyed.

    Now looking at an example for this. The expert behind these principles of persuasion, Robert Cialdini PhD, is a fine example. Those who read about him for the first time would instantly perceive him as person with extensive knowledge and credibility in psychology due to the title PhD before his name, even without knowing what he wrote about. 

    In an experiment nurses were told to do certain things which were completely against hospital rules but they still did all of them. Why just because they were told to do so by a doctor. Who was actually a fake doctor used just for experiment. 

    how to manipulate people into liking you

    These shows how it easily people can get manipulate by this trigger. Now let's see a Business related example of using this concept is when Companies use experts ,engineers, doctors etc to advertise their product. 

    NUMBER 7:



    It’s so hard to say no to a beautiful girl or a cute guy asking you a favor. This is because People are more likely to be influenced by things or people that they like. Since liking has such a fundamental impact on relationships it is often used as a powerful tool for persuasion….. You can dramatically increase the chances of making people comply to your request, sell or persuade them if they like you at first place..

    Now comes the main question, how to make someone like you??

    Make Someone Like You

    There are various factors on which you can work:

    1. Physical attractiveness

    Try to always look as good as possible. Good looks also suggest other favorable traits, i.e. honesty, humor, trustworthiness.

    how to persuade anyone

    2. Similarity

    Find similarities between you and the person .We like people similar to us in terms of interests, opinions, personality, background, etc.

    3. Compliments

    Give compliments. People love to receive praises, and tend to like those who give it… Surprisingly even if they know it’s false.

    how to persuade anyone to do anything

    4. Contact and Cooperation

     How often they see you can also have an impact and how well you co operate with them. 

    how to manipulate anyone

    5. Conditioning and Association – 

    Try to associate yourself with good things and people. We like looking at models, and thus become more favorable towards the cars behind them. Now you know how pretty girls or hot models end up in most of the commercial for any product including pen and even cement. 

    how to persuade anyone

    A real world example of our irrational thinking because of this principle is our love towards pandas. They are cute fluffy animal on which billions of dollars are spent as to save them from going extinct. 

    Now it’s a really holy deed even I don’t want to see a world without pandas but the real problem is in the fact that there are thousands of other species that are at the edge of extinction. Many of that other species are easier to save and are much important for our eco system and indirectly ourself. But we are not getting enough money and resources to save them. why? Just because they are not as cute as pandas.

    That’s how liking works. If two girls have committed the same crime and given to normal people for their judgment they will get softer on the girl who is beautiful..

    NUMBER 8 :



    When asking someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason with the request. For Example: A Harvard psychologist did an experiment where she approached people in a line who were just about to use the Xerox machine. And requested that person to let her use the Xerox machine in three different ways which got her different results.. In the 1st way she asked can I use machine because I am in a rush … 90 per agreed.

    In the 2nd way she just asked, “can I use the machine” and 60 per cent agreed. That’s why it is always better to just try and asked. In the third way she asked, "can I use the machine to take Xerox?". Surprisingly 90 per cent people again agreed.

    So it concluded that giving a reason increases the chances of your request getting accepted. Even I have personally used the power of reasoning on many occasions and it really works. 

    Once I had to visit a doctor when I went there, to many people were already waiting. I had to prepare for my exams, so I didn't wanted to waste my time. I requested them to let me go first as I wanted to go and prepare for exams with just a small bit of hesitation all of them agreed..

    Ending Lines

    These were the 8 triggers which I  discussed just briefly in these article. You can learn about them in much more detail from the book or if you want just let me know in the comment which trigger you would like to see in detail as a separate article, in future.

    Thanks for Reading Guys..!!

    Comment your views about the topic and finally follow us by your email for getting more knowledge and coming one step closer to your dreams.

    You might also need to know that "how to impress a girl" or "how to influence people" or "how to be funny". So you don't have to worry at all. Because I am here to make you smile and decrease your tension. In order to do make make sure to read our articles on those topics. 🤗

    Also Read: Grey Tabby Cat Names For Kitten

    Video Explaination

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    Also Read : How to be more Confident

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