Persuasion Final Exam Notes 1
Persuasion Final Exam Notes
LECTURE: SOCIAL PROOF
• Lost, Wallet, and lost again
• Dental films—peers
• Judith Harris—the priority of peers
• Now we turn to something quite sinister
• When we leave uncertain about things we look to SIMILAR others to find
answers. More likely to look to someone who is the same age or gender, rather
then someone who is vastly different form you.
Lost Wallet and lost gain
• An attempt by Milgram to illustrate how important one particular variable is in
regard to promoting the impact of social proof—the variable is similarity
• A naturalistic study carried out by Milgram:
o He plants an envelope on a busy sidewalk in NYC.
o Pedestrians will be drawn to the envelope because there is a pulge in it.
o Inside the envelope with the wallet is a note that says “I have found your
wallet, and what I have done is put in this envelope and I am going to
return it to you.
o Whoever has found this wallet has realized that someone has found this
lost wallet, tried to return it, and then lost the whole “kit and caboodle”
o In one condition, the note is written in perfect English.
o In another condition, the not will be written in poor or ESL English.
o How many people having found this envelope containing the wallet, will
return the wallet to the address written on the envelope?
o Milgram placed the wallet in areas that were predominately white
Americans who spoke perfect English—he wanted to find out of there will
be a higher return rate when the note was written in proper in English,
similar to those people picking up the envelop
• Results found that if an English speaking white individuals finds the note written
in fluid and perfect English, they will return it
• In the condition where the note is written in foreign-sounding English, the
envelope is not returned as often.
• Social proof is taking place here—we turn to similar others to give us guidance on
what to do. The note acts as guidance, and a model, and if the model is not similar
to us (if the note is not similar to our experience in English) then we do not use it
as a model of what we should do.
• The more the envelope finder is similar to the note writer, the more of a chance
the lost wallet will be returned. Persuasion Final Exam Notes 2
• Very often, advertisements for kids involve adults sternly and intelligently
pointing out to kids what they should do, like going to the dentist.
• However, if you want kids do something, you should show children similar to
them going to the dentist and having a happy experience.
• If you want to get a child to do something, you should show kids similar in age
and ethnicity to the target audience.
• Children will look to those similar to them to guide them in what to do.
Judith Harris—The priority of Peers
• Judith Harris was a graduate student of a very famous physiologist, Miller.
• Suddenly during her graduate training, Harris developed MS, a neurological
disease that caused her to be wheelchair-bound.
• Miller would not give her accommodations, and kicked her out of the program.
• Harris had an epiphany that lead her to start writing a textbook, and become one
of the biggest child development textbook writers. Ironically, she ended up
winning the Miller Award of Psychology, the award in the name of the person
who kicked her out of school!
• Most research in child development makes claims that family, mother, father,
have the most influence on us as children.
o If the parent spent a lot of time doing homework with the child, they
would do better in school, or if the parent never smiled the child would
• However, Judith hairs suggested causation the other way—the child might have
more of an influence on the parent, i.e. if the kids do not smile at their mother, the
mother is not likely to smile.
• Many children have a more profound effect on their parents
• There is a high correlation between nice mothers and nice kids, but for decades
textbooks did not look at the direction of this correlation.
• Maybe nice kids cause nice mommies.
• She found this direction of causality that had never been looked at before
• Colic is a condition where a baby cries all the time, and seems inconsolable. The
child just cries, and cries, and cries.
o It just so happens that Colic babies have really nasty mothers. There is a
lot of growing evidence that Colic will have an affect on their mothers
bonding with their baby.
• A nasty kid in school, can cause nasty parents because their child is constantly
getting into trouble
• Everyone thinks it is the mommy to child, but it could flow the other way as well.
• Harris hypothesized that in every single stage of development, peers are going to
be more of an influence then the Childs parents.
• Hilary Clinton wrote a book titled “It Takes a Village to raise a Child”. She
includes a study in her book that Harris touches upon: villages in Africa raise Persuasion Final Exam Notes 3
children differently from us
o African children are put out of the house from the minute they can walk.
o They will gravitate towards a group of kids where there is a small age
range—there is a younger kid, older kid, and some kids in-between.
o These kids learn from each other. The slightly older kid can teach kids in
the middle, and the middle-aged kids can teach the younger kids. They all
learn from each other.
o The age range between these groups is small—about 2 ½ to 3 ½. They
gravitate to those similar in age to them and learn from each other.
o The parents of course will offer them love and attention, but in terms of
the parent influencing the child in terms of adaptive social behavior, the
parents are out of the picture all together.
• A major influence in every stage of a child’s development is same aged peers—
we look to similar others to see what is appropriate in a particular situation.
• Study: there is another child in a room. The mother leaves the child, and the child
is happy and fine. In another condition, there is no other child in the room to play
with, and when the mother leaves the baby wails and cries.
o When the child has the opportunity to play with another child, the mother
does not matter.
• Same-age peers are a fundamental influence throughout the whole course of
• Judith Harris summarizes her finding in a book called “Nurture of Development”
• She draws attention to the fact that similarity to others and the social proof
phenomenon is curial to the while developmental cycle
The Well Publicized Suicide
• Commercial airplanes fall out of the sky
• Private airplanes
• Automobile fatalities
• Social conditions explanation
• Bereavement explanation
• David Phillips and the Werther effect
Commercial airplanes fall out of the sky
• Researcher by the name of Phillips
• He came across a newspaper story that he found very bizarre. It reported that
commercial airplane crashes and disasters occur much more frequently after a
• Why would there be a significant increase in commercial airplane crashes after a
• He found that it wasn’t just commercial airplane crashes. He found that when
there was a well publicized suicide, within a week you will find very strange
o There would be an increase in the number of airplane crashes, Persuasion Final Exam Notes 4
o An increase in private plane crashes,
o And an increase in automobile fatalities
• What is it about these well-published suicides that led to all these catastrophes?
• He thought there must be a third variable involved.
• The social conditions explanation: suggests that when times are bad or a person is
depressed, it can have an impact on the drivers of cars and controllers of planes.
• The connecting third variable may simply be that it is the economic downturn that
leads to these suicides.
• Bereavement explanation was ruled out.
• It turns out, that the accidents that seem to be occurring here are all within the
scope of the news coverage of the suicide.
• E.g. when Kurt Cobain took his life it was big news. It was highly publicized and
because of this, a lot of people killed themselves.
• Phillips found that within the geographic area that a suicide is publicized,
fatalities in that area increase. The scope of the news ability of the suicide and the
increase in accidents are very related.
• Phillips further found that when it was a male who comities suicide, the pilot, or
car driver was also male (same thing for females). As well, if the person who
committed suicide was in their 20’s, the subsequent crashes would be involving
people of the same age.
o Incredible, uncanny relationship between those who commit suicide, and
the victims of the crashes. The people who “go down” so to speak, are the
same age as the person who committed suicide.
• Phillips turns to something called the Werther effect…
The Werther effect
• The Sorrows of Young Werther
• Suicide statistics from 1947 to 1968
• Cluster suicides
• Uncanny similarity to airplane, car data
• Nature of airplane crashes
• Nature of car crashes
• The freaky predictability of types of suicide
• Homicides as well
The Sorrows of Young Werther
• German author named Goethe wrote a book called “the sorrow of young Werther”
• Tells a story of the decline of young weathers economic status that led to his
• In countries where the book was published, suicide rates soared
• The book was attributed to cause an increase in the suicide rate of vulnerable
young men—it was banned from some countries for this reason.
Cluster suicides Persuasion Final Exam Notes 5
• Suicides cluster together in regards to demographic characteristics. If there is a
well publicized female suicide, it is more likely that female pilots will crash, and
female drivers will get into car accidents—it is bizarrely tied tight.
Nature of airplane and car crashes
• With most plane crashes, private or commercial, it seems like the pilot or co-pilot
has made some desperate effort to get the plane up and above the mountain, and
the black box reveals that there was some exchange of panicky conversation.
There is some clear indication that the plane was trying to be saved.
• In these cases following suicide, the plane nose-dives directly into the ground and
the black boxes show no exchange of conversation trying to save the plane.
• It is the same thing with car accidents—the car never veers from driving directly
into the bridge.
• Accidents following suicide seem like someone just took control of the plane and
shot it down, or a car was driving 150km right into a pole.
There is a freaky type of predictability
• At any one time out there are a number of people who are feeling seriously
depressed. One of the consequences of feeling seriously depressed, is that people
will consider to taking their own lives—these types of people are in a kind of
despair blacker then what a lot of people will know. Most depressed don’t
commit suicide but are teetering on the edge.
• If a depressed individual is similar in age to someone who commits a suicide that
is well publicized, if the depressed person has been toying with the idea, the well-
publicized suicide might make him or her go for it.
• After a well-publicized suicide, if a person who is susceptible is similar to the
person who committed the well-publicized suicide, they will look to the person
who committed suicide as a model and an example of social proof.
• The number of suicides increase after a well publicized suicide because someone
teetering on the edge will think “if they can do it, I can do It too”
• The idea is that people can be copy cats (social proof)
Homicides as well
• Phillips also said that homicides and beatings increase after a well-publicized
• In the case where there is a big televised boxing match, he looked at the race of
the person who won the fight and who lost the fight
o If the person who is beaten up is black, he predicted that there would be an
increase in the homicides of blacks (and vice versa with whites)
o If you have a racist attitude towards blacks, and you see someone has been
successful at hurting a black person, then it inclines the racist to act in a
more antagonistic way.
o Also correlates to age—the age of the black loser of the fight is roughly
the same age of the black person who has died as a result of homicide
• This is the kind of thing that can tip murder in a certain direction (similar to the
• In any well publicized aggression of one group of people beating up another, the Persuasion Final Exam Notes 6
group that gets beaten up subsequently shows an increase in the rate of deaths due
• People will act as copy cats
Never Underestimate Social Proof
• Widely publicized aggression
• Tampered drugs
• School shootings
• Jonestown—utterly ghastly
Widely publicized aggression
• Once a person kills another person, it gives permission to others and this copy cat
factor will creep into these circumstances, especially if it is racially, ethnically, or
• The first instance of tampered drugs was with Tylenol. The drugs were tampered
with poison and people died as a result of taking these drugs
• When this first instance of tampering occurred, it was well-publicized in the
newspaper, and then the well publicized event led to copy cats in the U.S
• The publication of these kinds of events have consequences beyond reporting the
news—they seem to provoke people to perform similar behaviors
o All the caps of Tylenol bottles are a struggle to get off due to a result of
these kinds of cases with tampered drugs
• Amongst journalist in Canada there has been a long-standing tradition NOT to
publicize situations such as these, and cases of suicides—they realize that people
might serve as copycats.
• An example of publicized aggression. I.e. Columbine and the shootings that
• Journalists are put in an awkward dilemma—they want to report the stories but
they want to limit this type of copycat phenomenon.
• What likely happens is that any subsequent activity of a well-publicized event is
suppressed by the journalists.
o The major event is reported, and then copycat instances are suppressed.
The do not report the copycat instances in order to limit the degree of
copycatting that goes on.
• A highly publicized case of mass suicide Persuasion Final Exam Notes 7
• Involves a very charismatic man, Jim Jones.
• 900 people basically voluntarily take their own lives under the order of Jim Jones.
• Jones conveyed the belief that he was in contact with G-d. He was able to
influence others by making them feel like they belonged to something, a part of a
• People began to idolize him and he became the cult leader
o The cult leader was starting to be accused of a variety of crimes (e.g.
usually cult leaders insist upon sex with all the females of the cult)
o Jones was requiring members of the cult to give up all their worldly
possessions and money
o As a result of being charged, Jim Jones moved his whole cult to Kenya—
essentially in the middle of a jungle away from all the influences that
others could have on the cult members
o Some of the cult members were able to make their way back to the U.S
and told legal professions about a variety of different infractions that Jim
Jones had taken part in.
o A senator from California, Ryan, decided to go to Kenya and see what was
going on. Ryan warned Jim Jones that e was coming.
o When Ryan got to the compound he was shot almost immediately getting
off the plane.
o Jones realized that their would now be a lot of law enforcement coming
for him from the U.S and that this would only be the beginning of his
• What Jim Hones arranged was ghastly
o He set up a time for the whole cult to meet. He told the group that the were
going to be broken up by American law enforcement and everything
would be taken form them, and that life would not be living for.
o He essentially said to them, “because this cult is going to die, we all might
as well die too because the after life will be better then the life we will be
o He made Kool-Aid laced with poison. He suggested that everyone come
forward and take from the Kool-Aid, and “bite the bullet”
o Like Billy Graham, Jones had people who were a part of his entourage that
were staged to come forward and provide themselves as models for others.
o He gained cooperation of a women by making this woman and her baby
come forward first.
o After that, person after person came forward. People who tried to escape
• Over 900 eventually took from the Kool-Aid because they were told too, and
because other people did
• This example where the notion of social proof prevails— how we turn to others in
situations where we are uncertain with what to do.
• We are talking about things now that are really and truly striking—people were
lining up to poison themselves with Kool-Aid! Persuasion Final Exam Notes 8
• Although it sounds lame as a principle, we should never underestimate how
powerful social proof is.
How to say NO!
• The Claque
• The deceit isn’t even hidden
• Fake Testimonials
• Looking up
How to say no to this powerful device—how can we defend ourselves against things like
• To Oprah devotees in Paris, Sauton and Procher (1830)
• These 2 men had a strong enthusiasm for the Oprah, but were poor men and could
not afford to attend these concerts for the upper class
• In trying to find a way to attend the Oprah house, they formed a business: The
o They came up with a scheme were they offered a service to the Oprah
o They said that when it was appropriate for people to start applauding, they
would be the first ones to stand up and say bravo and show remarkable
o If they stood up first, others would follow
o These 2 men became a paid institution in the Oprah house. They sold their
services by acting enthusiastically
o These claques still exist today. These claques are essentially the “laugh
tracks” of the Oprah.
o People know about the claques, just like they are aware of laugh tracks—
they know what they are there to do, but they don’t avoid them
• The deceit isn’t even hidden
• The deceit can be perfectly transparent and most people will still follow though.
• Fake testimonials will use someone posing as an expert when they are not one
• People will buy more of a product if an actor who plays a doctor on TV show
appears in a commercial for a medical product.
• If they are dressed up in a lab coat and scrubs people are more likely to buy the
product even though they KNOW this person only acts as a doctor and is not
actually a medically trained professional.
• The deceit is right in front of people’s faces, but they will give into social proof
and buy the product.
Looking Up Persuasion Final Exam Notes 9
• Buffalo have their eyes are on the side of their face. Their eyes are attuned to
social proof because they only look to the sides and pay close attention to what
their neighbor is doing.
o The bison, or the buffalo, would fall over cliffs when being chased or
• While driving to Toronto, as you enter there is always some type of construction
going on that re-routes you. You pay attention to the taillights of the cars in front
of you to direct you where to go
• You see accidents occurring because people are following others though the
construction and are only paying attention to the cars in front of them.
o They are taking part in social proof—uncertain of where to drive, so they
look to others to guide them
• The advice is to look up from the herd. If you can look up you might see you are
heading for disaster—this is how you can say no to social proof.
The Friendly Compliance Practitioner
• The more you like someone, the more they will influence you
Strangers Becoming Friends
• The Tupperware Party
o Social Proof
• Most important—the hostess is a friend
• We’ve encountered this at the door before
The Tupperware Party
• The Tupperware party is the mother load of this example what will be illustrated
• Tupperware party is the selling of storage containers that are high quality and
• However, the brilliance of the selling approach is that it does not take place in a
store; very rarely will you find a public retail outlet where Tupperware is sold.
This is what sustains the Tupperware party.
• The Tupperware party is usually when a woman holds a party and presents
Tupperware to a group of women various—it is hosted by someone they know.
The person hosting the party will be contacted by a Tupperware representative.
o As a payoff for hosting the party the hostess will be reimbursed with
• This technique works the host will contact all her friends she can think of to come
to the party, because the more people she gets to come the more Tupperware she
• You will go to this party because a friend has invited you, the friend has opened
their door to you and provides a fun atmosphere where a Tupperware rep can Persuasion Final Exam Notes 10
come and do their sales pitch.
• There are games, food, grab bags—it’s a good laugh and a good time.
• The major factor here in terms of selling is that you are in someone home with
whom you share friendship, and it is the friendship that is the key to the main
selling of Tupperware.
o It is estimated in the world right now that there is a Tupperware party
going on every 7 seconds! Just goes to show how universal these parties
• With the Hare Krishna, people tried to maneuver around them.
o It is kind of the same thing with Tupperware parties. People admit they are
so sick of these Tupperware’s because they feel like they HAVE to buy.
o It becomes endless, because at the end of every Tupperware party the
group of friends decide who is going to host the next Tupperware party,
where they will HAVE to buy more Tupperware from another friend.
• It is not only friendship working here, other principles in the works:
o You know if you receive a small gift, you are unconsciously going to want
to return the gift in kind, and you will be willing to spend more money
then the price of the gift that you received.
o Someone has invited you to their house and given you food—you feel the
need to reciprocate by purchasing Tupperware.
o You have made a commitment to go the party knowing that Tupperware
will be sold, so you behave in a way that is consistent with your
commitment and purchase Tupperware
o By attending this party, you have implicitly stated to the host that you will
buy stuff—you are sucked in very quickly to the sense of obligation to buy
o It is like going to the clothing store with a list, the commitment is already
• Social proof
o If your friends buy stuff, you buy stuff.
o Once you see people starting to purchase, you will follow in suit
o People will look to their friends to see how to act.
• The Tupperware party is evil genius
o Revolves around liking and friendship—you are being a good friend by
buying stuff from your friend hosting the party
o Copycats have come along (E.g. lingerie parties)
o Another clone is kitchen gadgetry. It is bisexual in its character—men will
come alone to this party too because they offer cool gadgets.
Most important—the hostess is a friend
• The person who is hosting the party is someone you like Persuasion Final Exam Notes 11
We have encountered this at the door before
• Companies that go door-to-door with cleaning products leave buggy as a gift and
ask if any friends might be interested
• When they go to friends door, the sales person will say “ your friend so-and-so
recommended you, and said you would like these products”.
• If the friend that gave the recommendation is someone you like, you will be more
inclined to buy the cleaning products.
Joe Girard as Bad TV Guest
• Why we feel liking for strangers
o Physical attractiveness
o Just like you
o Joe Girard’s trick
• Joe Girard held the title of the best cares salesmen in the world
• He was asked to be on all types on talk shows, give talks at business schools, etc.
• The problem was that he was a complete bore while interviewed b/c he only had
one answer to the most asked question—“how do you do it Joe?”
• His answer was simple: “I try to be friends with everyone I sell too”
o And there goes the 30-minute segment—end of interview!
• Joe Girard is an example of how friendship works big time.
• When somebody brought in their used car to Joe, he would notice that they had
clubs in their car. So Joe would say “oh, you golf”, and realizing that he and the
customer had a common interest he would strike up a conversation about golf
• Joe doesn’t think about finding a way to be friends with people—he sincerely
wants to be everyone’s friend, or at the very least wants people to think he is
• He said we has sincere, wants to offer a good deal, and hopes to be friends with
everyone—this is why he was successful.
• Compliance practitioners try to engage you in a way that is friendly
Why do we like strangers?
• Physical attractiveness
o We are in total denial about how big of an impact physical attractiveness
can have on us
o There is a better predictability for who is going to be elected by who is the
most attractive. In a court case, if you are more physically attractive you
will have an easier time getting off as innocent
o We tend to generalize peoples attractiveness on other traits—we see them
as more intelligent and socially interesting
o Story of Heapy’s friend that went to buy a vehicle—he came home with a Persuasion Final Exam Notes 12
very expensive car he could not afford and everyone thought he was out of
o One of his friends said to him, “what did the cars salesman look like?” It
became abundantly clear this man had bought the car to try and get a date.
o Never underestimate the impact of physical attractiveness in the car
business. Cars salesmen are usually men, so if you have a women sales
person there is a sense of novelty if they are physically attractive and the
sale is a done deal.
• Similarity—Just like you
o It terms of relationship success, it is grounded in similarity of interest.
Similarity is the best predictor in any long-term relationship.
o If someone is like us they are easier to get along with, and you find
yourself at ease with someone who shares your common values.
o Picking up on what Joe Girard did, cars salespeople will see a fishing rod
in the car and start to talk about fishing.
o You can cultivate a sense of friendship by promoting a sense of similarity
with the person you are trying to sell too.
• Compliments—Joe Girard’s Trick
o Never underestimate the impact of compliments—we thrive on being
o Joe was always willing to say nice things about people. Even if they had a
terrible car as a trade-in, he would build their confidence by
complimenting them and make them feel good—he didn’t do this
o He kept a file of every clients birthday, anniversary, and would send out a
card basically stating “I like you. I enjoyed dealing with you”. He would
only send this out to the people he actually liked.
o Joe Girard was the first person to do this. Now every big sales company
sends out cards to people saying “I like you”—this little device gets
customers to come back and causes more repeat sales.
o The more Joe made it a personal thing, the more successful he was.
I.e. Dr. Heapy’s insurance agent sends him a Christmas card every
year and calls him Nelson.
• The unfortunate assumption
• Busing isn’t the complete answer
• The school cliques
• The more contact people have with someone, the more likely you will become
familiar with them, and familiarity breeds liking Persuasion Final Exam Notes 13
o Zanjonc’s Japanese symbols—manipulated liking by how much subjects
came into contact and were familiar with symbols.
The unfortunate assumption
Busing isn’t the complete answer
• In the 60’s during the presidency of Johnson, there were many laws that evoked
civil rights, and access to equal rights of education.
• The goal was to improve integration between black and white children and not
make them go to separate schools anymore.
• The laws of segregation would lead to children coming into contact with each
other and realizing that they were more similar to each other then they thought
and would form friendships.
• They thought this contact would lead to the breakdown of segregation and racism.
• Used busing as a way to improve racial conflict
o Kids were being bused from predominately black to go to school in
predominately white areas and vise versa.
o This did not work.
o Black kid brought up in the projects would be sent to school in “Shaker
Heights’ where the homes are mansions I terms of their size. The black
child does not feel comfortable in this area. They don’t end up hanging out
with the white kid from Shaker Heights wearing the cashmere sweater
because they are scared of them and anxious.
o They end up hanging with people of their own kind. These black kids hang
out with other kids who share their similar scared and anxious feeling.
o School cliques are formed
o As well, what kind of teacher do you think is going to be in Shaker
Heights? A white teacher, of course.
o The black child is not used to an authority figure such as this, and the
white teacher gave the white kids more attention. The black child feels
alienated in numerous ways.
• Yes, the black kids and white kids have increased contact as they are brought into
the school, but this does not work because the children end up segregating
themselves within the school with people that are LIKE them.
From Camp to School
• Manipulating hostility
• Getting the truck fixed
• Super-ordinate goals
• The Jig Saw Classroom
• The simple idea of forcing people together, such as the busing technique, does not
over come it.
• Sherif believed that at the heart of hostility was competition
• Sherif gained the cooperation of a boys camp Persuasion Final Exam Notes 14
• Boys were randomly assigned to two different cabins
• Sherif promoted competition
o In the first phase of the study, he created animosity between the cabins
o One day one of the boy’s cabins noticed that a bunch of litter was around
their cabins leading from a trail from the other boys cabin.
o Then they played competition games, like baseball and soccer. The games
were rigged, so one of the cabins would win.
o The animosity between the two cabins built and built.
o It was getting dangerous to the point of huge food fights, and instances of
• Sherif created Super-ordinate goals
o Wanted to see how to overcome this hostility that had been built
o Created goals that everyone in the camp had to participate and cooperate
in order to overcome a problem
o Getting the food truck fixed—food truck broke down, down the road
from the camp. The only way to get the food to the campsite was for ALL
the boys to help push the truck of food so everyone could eat.
o Another problem set up with the water pipes, where everyone’s
cooperation was needed.
He created these types of problems because everyone needs food
and water, and everyone wants to overcome these problems
• The only way to overcome hostility is with these super-ordinate goals
• Sherif demonstrated that when kids worked together, putting aside their own
interests, they could learn to like each other and the hostility would be
The Jigsaw Classroom
• The idea is creating contact between strangers
• Aaronson set up kids in groups of 4, each with different backgrounds (I.e., a black
kid, white kid, Hispanic kid, and an Asian kid)
• To complete a project, the kids have to work together. They are each given a
quarter of the information for the project, and the only way to get the project done
is to work together and share their part of the assignment
• When this project is introduced, the kids are uneasy about their group. The
teacher states that the kids will fail if they do not cooperate.
o This works. Kids put aside their feelings to achieve the goal.
o When they start cooperating with each other, they find that they have
things in common, and are able to get the job done
• Compliance practitioners have paid attention to this—they must create a sense of
a common project, “WE are going to work together to get you the best price on
• * Contact works in cultivating friendships if it is done right. Persuasion Final Exam Notes 15
Cooperation and Liking
• Good cop/ bad cop
• …the confession
• Actually, the same thing happens at the bar
Good cop/ bad cop
• The interrogation of the criminal
• There are two cops—one person play the role of the nasty police interrogator, and
the other cop plays a nice person
• In a scenario where they are trying to get a confession out of someone, the bad
cop with start off the interrogation
o He will use harassment techniques, threaten the suspect, push them
around, and scream at them.
o The bad cop has a very scary demeanor.
• Then the good cop comes in—slimmer, trimmer, more fit, and younger
o The good cop starts to mediate the interrogation and tells the bad cop to
take a break and leave the room because he is too worked up.
o Then the good cop starts with is routine—he tells the suspect that they
should cooperate each other so they can minimize the consequences.
o The good cop engenders cooperation, and engenders a sense of liking.
o The good cop will use language that the subject understands and that is
consistent with the subject’s background.
o Good cop suggests that there is familiarity between them, similarity, and
will make use of compliments
• There is a dramatic contrast going on here; the good cop seems much nicer by
comparison to the bad cop
• The good cop will use factors that contribute to liking: cooperation, familiarity,
similarity, and compliments—these things will lead to the confession.
• The reciprocity principle also comes into play here; since the good cop is being so
nice (in contrast to the bad cop), the suspect feels obligated to return the favor and
give a confession.
Actually, the same thing happens at the bar
• This is not an unusual set up—many researches have looked into bars and the
• What you will often find, is that males with the pursuit of picking-up women will
go to the bar with a friend who is a nasty guy
o The observations suggest, that the nasty guy approaches the girl first and
he is NOT successful. The nice guy comes along soon after that, and he IS
o Really successful guys at a bar will go with a guy who will not be so Persuasion Final Exam Notes 16
o The nasty guy is too aggressive which leads to woman to be turned off.
o Then the nice guy comes along and is able to cultivate cooperation,
familiarity, similarity, and compliments—all the factors that contribute to
• Women will also tend to go to the bar with a friend who is not as attractive as they
are. The more attractive women will seem even more attractive by comparison,
and she will be successful at getting the attention of men.
• This is the contrast principle at work—these are strategies that use
comparison/contrast and they work!
o Good cop/ bad cop, good date/ bad date… all revolve around manipulating
What your Mother told you
• Good Associations
• Bad associations
o The weatherman
• Winning and losing teams
• The celebrity, sports hero, rock star thing
• Your mother has told you that who you hang out with, impacts you.
• The company you keep is important—if you hang around with good people,
people will judge you accordingly and who will seem like a good person.
o If you want to benefit from the sense of who you hang out with and be
identified as a good person, you should do what your mother told you and
hang out with good people.
o However, when it comes to dynamics (like the last slide), you should hang
out with a bad person to create that contrast and make you seem good.
o You will be far better off by associating with a bad person when trying to
get something (a confession, a date), because there will be a contrast
working with you. But far better off at hanging out with likable people
when you want to be identified as a likeable person.
• Its not just people that you can be associated with, bad events as well
• The weatherman
o When the weatherman reports good weather they are thought highly of. Persuasion Final Exam Notes 17
o If the report nasty weather, the get all types of threats. Because they
reported the bad news, they are