1st Edition

Techniques of Social Influence The psychology of gaining compliance

By Dariusz Dolinski Copyright 2016
    196 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Every day we are asked to fulfil others’ requests, and we make regular requests of others too, seeking compliance with our desires, commands and suggestions. This accessible text provides a uniquely in-depth overview of the different social influence techniques people use in order to improve the chances of their requests being fulfilled. It both describes each of the techniques in question and explores the research behind them, considering questions such as: How do we know that they work? Under what conditions are they more or less likely to be effective? How might individuals successfully resist attempts by others to influence them?

    The book groups social influence techniques according to a common characteristic: for instance, early chapters describe "sequential" techniques, and techniques involving egotistic mechanisms, such as using the name of one’s interlocutor. Later chapters present techniques based on gestures and facial movements, and others based on the use of specific words, re-examining on the way whether "please" really is a magic word. In every case, author Dariusz Dolinski discusses the existing experimental studies exploring their effectiveness, and how that effectiveness is enhanced or reduced under certain conditions. The book draws on historical material as well as the most up-to-date research, and unpicks the methodological and theoretical controversies involved.

    The ideal introduction for psychology graduates and undergraduates studying social influence and persuasion, Techniques of Social Influence will also appeal to scholars and students in neighbouring disciplines, as well as interested marketing professionals and practitioners in related fields.

    1. Introduction 2. Sequential techniques of social influence 2.1 Foot-in-the-door 2.2 Four walls and Repeating "yes" 2.3 Door-in-the-face 2.4 Foot-in-the-face 2.5 Dump-and-chase 2.6 Law ball 2.7 Summary 3. Techniques involving egotistic and self-presentation mechanisms 3.1 Using the name of one’s interlocutor 3.2 Incidental similarity 3.3 Induction of hypocrisy 3.4 A witness to an interaction 3.5 Summary 4. The role of wording the request 4.1 "Please" is it always the magic word? 4.2 Even a penny will help 4.3 But you are free! 4.4 Labelling and asking questions 4.5 How are you feeling? 4.6 Dialogue involvement 4.7 The power of imagination 4.8 Summary 5. Interaction dynamics and the surprise factor 5.1 That’s not all 5.2 Disruption-then-reframe 5.3 The pique technique – requesting in an unusual manner 5.4 Gaze 5.5 Touch 5.6 Summary 6. Techniques of social influence using mood and emotion 6.1 Physiological arousal 6.2 The role of positive and negative mood 6.3 Fear and anxiety 6.4 The feeling of guilt and shame 6.5 Embarrassment 6.6 Emotional see-saw 6.7 Summary 7. A few more issues and final remarks 7.1 Academic researchers vs practitioners of social influence 7.2 Catalysts of social influence 7.3 Unethical social influence 7.4 How to study social influence techniques. A short guide for students and beginning researchers


    Dariusz Dolinski is Professor at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Wrocław Faculty in Poland, editor of the Polish Psychological Bulletin, president of the Polish Association of Social Psychology and past president of the Committee for Psychology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

    'The book is a relatively quick and easy read... The book would be useful for graduate students or scholars new to the area, who might want to know more abotu the details of the studies and be better able to understand the research on the various processes that might explain why a technique works. People involved in fudraising may also be interested in the book, as the majority of the studies described involve how to use techniques to get people to buy small products or donate time or money to charities. Overall, the book provides a useful addition to the social psychological literature on compliance, with a slight European bent."

    - Helen C. Harton, University of Northern Iowa, PsycCRITIQUES

    ‘Professor Dolinski, in the most thorough review I have seen to date, has done a valuable service to anyone interested in the process of social influence. Scholars, practitioners, and consumers alike will profit from reading this important book.’
    Robert B. Cialdini, Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, and Author of Influence

    'This book provides a fascinating overview of the most important techniques of social influence. It will be a key reference for scientists, students and practitioners seeking to understand the compliance-gaining procedures that can be used to influence an individual's behaviour.'
    – Nicolas Guéguen, Institut de Management, University of South Brittany, France