# of Tactics?
By now, you know that social influence is the science of influence,
persuasion, and compliance.
A knowledge of it can help you when you need to move someone
to adopt a new attitude, belief, or action. It can also help
you resist the influence attempts of others. This web site is
designed, in part, to help you become a more persuasive person,
but also to help you better recognize and manage the influence
attempts of others.
Here are a half-dozen examples that demonstrate social influence
in use. . .
A physical rehabilitation group was increasingly frustrated by
their clientele's low compliance rates. For some reason, patients
were not following the exercise regimes recommended by the therapists.
An influence consultant quickly increased patient compliance
by more than 30% by having therapists make a single change .
. . in office decor!
N.A.T.O. convoys in Somalia were frequently looted. To curb this,
military commanders broadcast authoritarian commands--to little
effect. After consulting the influence literature and revising
their messages appropriately, PsyOps discovered that the insertion
of a single phrase implicating the self-concept was able
to nearly eliminate looting.
A state government wished to increase statewide recycling. To
accomplish this, they contracted with an influence research team
to create a series of TV advertisements that played on social
norms to increase recycling behaviors. The ads won an ITVA award,
but more importantly, they significantly increased recycling
A health care organization planned to advertise nationally for
the first time, but had been disappointed with the results of
past advertising campaigns. They hired influence consultants
to provide an overall strategy and message that would be maximally
effective with the target audience, and then turned the ideas
over to creative talent. Their returns on advertising dollars
spent were dramatically increased.
Influence consultants are increasingly sought by political campaign
managers to provide a range of services, from psychological analyses
of the electorate to the creation of speeches, advertisements,
Local convenience stores had problems with teenagers "hanging
out" in their parking lots. The stores wanted teens' business,
but not the fights and drug-dealing that sometimes accompany
late-night loitering. An influence expert recommended that store
owners purchase several samples of a certain kind of music, and
play that music through loudspeakers in the parking lot. Upon
hearing the music, the teenagers voluntarily left--and stayed
away from--the parking lot. The music did not affect sales to
teenagers, however, as music was not played inside the stores.
The performer? Frank Sinatra!
The above examples demonstrate a few situations in which a
knowledge of social influence can make the difference between
success and failure.
I hope the principles discussed in this website will awaken
your interest in the topic of influence and help you become successfully
and ethically persuasive. Interested in learning more about what
science has to say about solving problems like these? Then read on . . .
Copyright © 1997 by Kelton Rhoads, PhD
All rights reserved.
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