Have you ever been manipulated? It is certainly not a pleasant experience but unfortunately manipulation is everywhere in our daily life. This article is an eye opener regarding this matter.
There are certain things we say in order to convince others of our own ideas. This may happen in our day-to-day life, or at the workplace, or when a student tries to convince his teacher to get a higher grade at an exam, for instance. However, there are ideas that are very well phrased and which most often act in an irrational manner on the target subject and with which one has greater chances of success. Such methods are generally used in the manipulation through publicity.
Manipulation through advertisements uses many persuasion techniques and it is best for us to be familiar with, in order not to be fooled into buying certain products and services we don’t really need or even want. It’s good to know such techniques no matter on which side you are – whether you are a buyer or a seller, whether you are trying to persuade someone to accept your ideas or buy your things, or you are someone who wants to buy the right product/service, without being unwillingly manipulated and making wrong choices. The success of applying certain strategy depends on the situation. Thus, some work better than the others on a certain scenario, but it all largely depends on the degree of discretion one uses in the act of trying to manipulate others.
One of the simplest techniques of manipulation through advertisement is that of temporal distortion. Sometimes the best way to influence the target person is to act as the thing you want to get from that person has already taken place. Thus, you can refer to a decision that person is trying to make as if it was already made. If you speak to that person as if he/she had already accepted your proposal and even enjoyed it. Also, associating pleasant images with the use of Past Tense makes the proposal seem actually irresistible.
It is known that people feel the need to reward the favors they have been made. A favor can cause feelings of gratefulness and as a result, the subject feels the need to free himself/herself from the psychological burden of owing something to someone else. In order to achieve this, people become more willing to return the favor, even with a greater one than the one they have received. The principle of reciprocity is made of the need to repay a favor, whether it is asked for or not, immediately after accepting it. This typically human feature transcends any cultural or racial differences, regardless of the nature of the favor. This favor can refer to most anything, from a simple smile to physical labor or little gifts. This principle is very easy to use. You offer something to someone and then just wait to be rewarded, or you can give an idea about how to be rewarded.
Yet there is another very efficient method of using this principle. It is more powerful than the simple offering of a gift and then expecting for a reward in exchange. At the same time, it is a bit more subtle. Thus, in order to increase the chances to receive a favor is to ask for another type of favor, which has a higher value and meaning than the one you intend to ask for. The request will most certainly be refused, because the favor is too big. After this refusal however, the request will be decreased to the smaller and real one, the one the asker has initially thought of. Statistically speaking, this last mentioned favor has almost 100% chances. This may happen because of the fact that cultural norms dictate that in exchange for a concession, you must make another concession.
Because the first request is made slower, and thus reduced, you actually make a concession, and the target-subject will be forced to make a concession himself/herself and will do that by accepting the second request, the smaller one. This method works very well because cultural norms have the tendency to overcome even logic.
Although all these may seem as ways that can be used by teenagers to manipulate their parents for instance, and obtain things from them, the grievous thing is they are actually largely employed by the mass media and especially by the advertising industry, without most people’s awareness of what is actually going on and how they are fooled and wronged. Beware!