7 Secrets of Persuasion | James C. Crimmins

Summary of: 7 Secrets of Persuasion: Leading-Edge Neuromarketing Techniques to Influence Anyone
By: James C. Crimmins


Dive into the world of persuasive techniques by exploring ‘7 Secrets of Persuasion,’ where author James C. Crimmins unravels the mysteries of the human mind. Uncover how cognitive science has redefined decision making, the impact of the ‘lizard mind,’ and the conscious vs. nonconscious mental systems. Learn how to address the lizard facet of people’s minds to persuade them by applying the seven secrets of persuasion, utilizing mental availability, association, action, emotion, and understanding preferences and behavior of others. By the end of the summary, you will have the tools to change people’s actions without necessarily changing their attitudes and beliefs.

The Power of the Unconscious Mind

To effectively persuade people, one must understand the workings of the mind and how it influences decision-making. Cognitive science has revealed that the unconscious mind has a significant impact on the choices individuals make, contrary to the belief that decisions are made consciously. The unconscious mind comprises the automatic and nonconscious mental system that influences many decisions. Additionally, people use two different approaches to thinking, the nonconscious and deliberate conscious approach, to deal with tasks that evolution did not prepare them for. To persuade people, it is necessary to appeal to the “lizard inside,” which has vast mental capacities, unlike the conscious mind with limited processing capabilities. To address the lizard part of individuals’ minds, the article suggests utilizing the “seven secrets of persuasion.” By doing this, one could persuade people effortlessly, whether it is asking them to choose a specific mobile phone, avoid junk food, or support a candidate.

The Science of Persuasion

To persuade the lizard brain, you must use its language and syntax. The lizard brain is interested in mental availability, association, action, emotion, and the preferences and behaviors of others. An idea that evokes feelings of fear or joy is more likely to be accepted by the lizard brain. People are highly influenced by the choices and preferences of others and tend to emulate them. The power of persuasion is highly dependent on immediate, certain, and emotional rewards. To increase your brand’s attractiveness, maintain its unique qualities and offer something that people want. Nike and Gatorade, for example, appeal to people’s desire to be viewed as athletic. If these brands were to compromise their athletic image, they would lose their customer base.

The Power of Persuasion in Changing Behavior

Persuasion is not about changing people’s attitudes, but about changing their behaviors. By providing enough healthy food, for example, a spouse will have little inclination to eat unhealthy food, regardless of their underlying attitudes. Changing actions is actually easier than changing attitudes, and when people act in conflict with their beliefs, they tend to modify what they believe. Researchers have found that causation runs from actions to belief, rather than from belief to action. Moreover, emotional rewards are often more motivating than physical rewards. Microsoft gave away its Windows 10 operating system, making its users less likely to switch to Mac computers and more likely to buy other Microsoft products. By leveraging the power of association, symbols can inspire soldiers to risk their lives, fuel religious conflict, and build commercial empires. Thus, if you wish to persuade someone, show them that your recommended option is the best path to what they already desire.

Persuasion through the Lizard Brain

To persuade someone, you don’t need to change their desires. Instead, understand what their “lizard brain” wants and show them the easiest way to get it. Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs and anthropologist Donald E. Brown’s “universal desires” offer powerful incentives to use in persuasion. Marketers who offer conservative incentives miss out on the lizard brain’s desire for immediate and certain rewards. To persuade men to buy a car, show how thrilling it can be, and offer incentives for something most people want, such as admiration. Our nonconscious mental system has far more information than our reflective system, making it skilled at interpreting information. By understanding why prospects drop out of the car-buying process, you can discover strategies for affecting their choices.

Building Associations for Effective Persuasion

To effectively persuade someone, start by researching what associations motivate them to act a certain way, even if they are not consciously aware of it. Speak with individuals who already exhibit the desired behavior without asking them why they do so. Repetition and familiarity breed acceptance, making it easier to create a connection between the action and outcome that will motivate others. By examining the satisfaction people gain from the action and building an association between the action and outcome, the desired action can be made more desirable and fulfilling.

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