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The Six Weapons of Influence – Part 2: “Commitment and Consistency”

In part one of this six-part article, I spoke about Dr. Robert Cialdini’s six “weapons of influence.” They were Reciprocity, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity. Now in part two, we are going to talk about the most fascinating influence-trigger out of the six.

Weapon number two: “Commitment and Consistency: A Two-Stage Influencer”

People will tend to behave consistently with choices they’ve already made, even very small choices. If I can get you to commit to something small (e.g. wearing an awareness ribbon, signing a petition, seeing yourself as a certain “type” of person), then you will be more likely to commit to bigger actions (e.g. giving time or money) later on.

For example, if at the beginning of an evening of drinking, I can get you to acknowledge that you’re a “trouble-maker,” then you will be increasingly likely to be dancing on the bar before the evening is over.

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