Category Archives: Reading

People Need to Reciprocate

A while back I wrote about Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence. Today I’m going to share a little more.

The rule of reciprocation states that we feel a duty to settle others in kind for whatever they have supplied to us. For it enabled our ancestors to share resources, safe in the knowledge that they would be reciprocated after this inclination forms the foundation of all societies.

If a person does us a favor and it is not returned by us, we feel an emotional weight. This is partially because, as a society, we’re disdainful of those who don’t reciprocate favors. We fear being labeled as such ourselves, and label them as ingrates or moochers.

Several experiments have demonstrated that folks are really so fantastic to rid themselves of this burden of debt that they’ll perform much bigger favors for small ones.

When they gifted flowers to passersby on the street, the Krishna organization used this approach. Though typically annoyed, folks regularly made donations to the business to meet their need to reciprocate the bloom.


A Hare Krishna walking down the street. Taken from stock photo site. Learn how to take a screenshot on a Mac.

To fight back against efforts to benefit from the rule of reciprocation, you CAn’t reject as you would rapidly become a cranky hermit all favors. Instead, identify for what they basically are, whether genuine party favors or violent exploitation approaches, and simply then reciprocate in kind, offers.

Individuals have an overpowering must reciprocate favors.


We Make Shortcuts in Judgement and They Can Be Used Against Us

I’ve been reading Influence by Robert Cialdini and it is a very illuminating book. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it before!

One of the first concepts he introduces is how our brains make quick decisions — shortcuts, really — and these can be used against us without us truly realizing or understanding.

Occasionally the behaviour of creatures can look ridiculously easy. Look at the mother turkey, which even assaults them or usually cares greatly for its chicks but left if they don’t emit their distinguishing “cheep-cheep” sound. Even as little as a replica of the turkey’s arch-nemesis, the polecat, will arouse tender attention in the mother turkey provided that it “cheeps” loud. The sound is an easy cause: a shortcut that faithfully identify its chicks allows the turkey to rapidly and, generally.

In the event of the replica polecat, the mother turkey’s shortcut appears rather silly, but we too use mental shortcuts that are similar. We just must, as the planet is a complicated area where it’s not possible for people to ponder the information on each decision we make. Therefore, we use shortcuts that are fast, and they serve us.

As scientists can deceive a turkey into mothering a polecat that was filled, so called compliance professionals, like advertisers, con artists, salesmen etc, can mislead us into using our shortcuts against our personal interests. They often do that to get us to comply with their demands, for instance, to purchase a product.

Usually abused is the “cost suggests quality”-shortcut: people generally suppose items that are expensive are of higher quality than ones that are inexpensive. Frequently this shortcut is somewhat accurate, however a salesman that is wily might put it to use against us. As an example, memorabilia stores frequently sell stone that are unpopular by increasing rather than lowering their costs.

We have to recognize and protect ourselves against the manipulators who deceive us into wrong using those shortcuts, lest we wind up looking as silly as the poor mom turkey because dealing with all the complexities of life means needing to rely on shortcuts.