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6 unethical Psychological tricks that should be illegal

Personal Experience

By EDWARD LIKONDIPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
6 unethical Psychological tricks that should be illegal
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Today, I embark on the task of encapsulating insights gleaned from yet another psychology book titled "Persuasion." With each delve into the realm of psychology literature, I find myself increasingly disconcerted by the revelation of how effortlessly individuals can be manipulated. What's most unsettling is the covert nature of many of these techniques, nestled beneath the surface of conscious awareness. They act as subtle elixirs, permeating the subconscious and molding beliefs and behaviors surreptitiously, without explicit consent.

Consider an intriguing experiment wherein an impeccably handsome man, akin to a model, ventured to approach random women in a bustling shopping mall, soliciting their phone numbers for a potential date. Naturally, offering one's phone number to a complete stranger poses a considerable risk. Yet, amidst the sea of rejections, a notable pattern emerged – affirmative responses surged when the approach occurred in proximity to a specific establishment. Can you fathom the nature of this establishment? Contrary to expectations, it wasn't a perfumery or confectionary; rather, it was a humble flower shop. Flowers, with their inherent association with romance, subtly influenced behavior, coaxing individuals into divulging their contact details. Curiously, when questioned post-experiment, participants adamantly denied any correlation between their decision and the presence of the flower shop, attributing it to a conscious choice.

In a parallel experiment, a suitor traversed the streets, soliciting dates from passersby. However, researchers sought to discern the impact of the object he carried. Astonishingly, wielding a guitar case yielded a marked increase in positive responses.

Transitioning to the realm of commerce, an intriguing study unfolded within the domain of online furniture retail. Researchers directed prospective buyers to landing pages adorned with disparate background imagery – soft clouds for one cohort, and gleaming coins for another. Strikingly, those greeted by clouds gravitated towards selections emphasizing comfort, while their counterparts, confronted with coins, fixated on price. Yet, when probed afterward, participants vehemently denied any influence from the background visuals, asserting their autonomy of choice.

Words, too, possess remarkable sway. A salesperson, grappling with resistance during client negotiations, implemented a subtle stratagem. Before unveiling the product's price, a playful quip about the absurdity of charging a million dollars was inserted. Remarkably, this innocuous remark mitigated resistance, as $75,000 paled in comparison to the hypothetical million. Despite the incongruity between the jest and the product's actual price, the subconscious impact was undeniable.

Moreover, the influence extends beyond visuals and words. Marketers, endeavoring to entice consumers to sample a novel energy drink, employed a prelude querying participants on their adventurous inclinations. Remarkably, the affirmative responses paved the path for subsequent agreement.

Reflecting on personal encounters, I recall a meeting with a banker where a simple declaration – endorsing a product he'd recommend to his mother – fostered a profound sense of trust.

These instances underscore the potency of persuasion tactics, adept at molding identities and steering decisions. Understanding these mechanisms empowers us to navigate the landscape of influence more astutely, deploying them judiciously in diverse contexts.

Intriguingly, a pivotal study conducted in Belgium elucidated the profound impact of subtle cues on behavior, even among infants. This innate susceptibility underscores the pervasive influence of environmental stimuli, shaping responses irrespective of cognitive maturity.

Transitioning from theory to practice, I offer six pragmatic directives. However, preceding this, I proffer an analogy – akin to tending to soil before sowing seeds, preparing the psychological terrain is imperative for effective persuasion. Each tip is designed to prime recipients, fostering receptivity to the ensuing message.

In conclusion, my intent is twofold: to illuminate the vulnerabilities inherent in human cognition and to elucidate ethical applications of persuasion in personal and professional spheres. May this discourse serve as a compass, guiding ethical navigation through the labyrinth of influence.

schoolhow tohealth

About the Creator


A Kenyan boy who recently discovered his passion and love for writing. l like reading and swimming too.

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  • /-\ 5 |-| 3 R2 months ago

    I do not think you understand the concept of lifehack. Nor do I think that you're oddly collected, incredibly biased, bits of "data" are anything more than heresay. You stated: "I offer six pragmatic directives" yet you've offered nothing more than some oddly cobbled together anecdotal garbage. There's no "how to", "health", or "schooling" here.

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