There are two fundamental ways to get your viewpoint accepted.
One works. One doesn’t.
…It’s interesting. Only highly evolved people will ever call into account their beliefs about anything. Beliefs about “how life is” or “how the world is” or “how you are” are all developed (and usually with little or no evidence beyond a single observation or repetition of being told something is so) fairly quickly. To actually “think” about a belief (or an opinion, an attitude) takes mental work and therefore people don’t want to do it. Most people are pretty lazy. Persuading an intellectually lazy person to take up mental action (change) is like getting a couch potato to run laps. Persuading an intellectual genius can be just as hard because they have spent so much time defending their beliefs on every level…what to do…
Recent research shows that there in some situations there are a couple of basic methods by which you can try and persuade someone else. I’m going to show you what worked and what didn’t. Before we get there though, remember these crucial factors you have learned from earlier CD’s:
–If you will recall, I recently shared with you that people who hold a belief are presented with rock solid information showing their belief is false (remember the capital punishment as a deterrent to crime discussion in persuasion research) they simply internally defend their beliefs against the incoming new information and dig in deeper.
–Also recall that you’ve discovered that people’s beliefs and opinions are sticky even when they are told by the originator of their belief that the originator completely lied to the person. Doesn’t matter. The person still believes.
–And, I’ve shared with you how people who have limited knowledge about something (like I do about cars, lawnmowers and feminine hygiene products for example) are not convinced by information of high quality (say statistical analysis) but by lots of different points. Yes, people continue to play the Power Ball even though the odds of winning that big jackpot are roughly the same as dying…seven times…in plane crashes…even in the post 9/11 world. You can’t convince the average person otherwise because statistics mean nothing, their experience of seeing 10 people on TV who have won is all it takes to prove that they too have a chance. (They don’t.)
OK, you’ll need to keep those three factors in mind as we look at just what DOES change minds in addition to the very specific visual images I shared with you last time.
When people believe something, they believe it beCAUSE of some reason(s).
I saw the 100,000,000 lottery winner on TV. (It can happen to me!!!) Maybe they saw the UFO. (Wow, they must be real!) Maybe psychic “was right on the nose.” (I knew it! They can see my past and future!) The economy soared under Clinton. (He was a great President.) The 9/11 tragedy happened during Bush’s Presidency. (He blew it. Lousy President.)
[For the record, someone, somewhere will win the PowerBall. It will not be you. A UFO is an unidentified flying object and not necessarily a ship carting around people from other star systems. The psychic’s favorite charities (or those of Van Pragh and Edwards) would have billions of dollars and have brought on world peace had she left the fair and helped the American Cancer Society, the local hospital and the President…and as you all know I am one of the few oddly persuaded who happens to have found much good in both Clinton and Bush…along with a chunk of bad…]
That’s one way thoughts or experiences become beliefs. Someone sees it, they believe it. Then they generalize it to mean, “always” and “forever.”
“Can’t trust those salespeople.” “Can’t trust those politicians.” “Can’t trust Catholic Priests.” “Can’t trust…”
“…and YOU are an X therefore I don’t trust you.”
How are you going to change that?
People see something once and poof, it’s true in every case for everyone. (It should becoming obvious that prejudice is, unfortunately, normal to all of us in many areas and aspects of culture because of how beliefs are formed.)
How are you going to change that?
Beliefs, attitudes, prejudices, ideas…what’s it going to take whether it’s about you, your company, your business, anything.
If you can’t get a person to accede to the imagination techniques I showed you in Science of Influence, then you are going to have to go to the next level.
Causal and non-causal “arguments.”
Now, an argument isn’t a fight. An argument is a bunch of ideas/facts clustered together in such a way that they support a point of view. Could be logical or illogical, right or wrong, accurate or inaccurate. It is an argument. Creation is an argument. Evolution is an argument. They are clusters of ideas/facts that are put together in such a way that support a view point. Make sense?
Cause is about what makes something else happen. It’s one of two kinds of “arguments” that can make all the difference in the world in whether or not you hear “yes” or “no.”
“You are a jerk because you used physical violence.” “You are a genius because you aced the exam.” “You are a psychic because you said his Mother’s name was Mary.” “You are a healer because you touched that person and they got well.”
Those are causal statements. Something causes something else.
Then there are non causal arguments. These are arguments that don’t have anything to do with cause.
“Your life is in safe hands when flying. Only 1/2,000,000 will die on an airplane this year.” “Three times as many women die from heart disease vs. breast cancer.” “People on the East coast move their residence (on average) every 10 years.” “People on the West coast move their residency (on average) every five years.” “Children killed in school shootings are at all time lows.”
Those are noncausal arguments. They evaluate what has happened. They often use statistics to support the argument.
The argument, “I believe in God because I feel him in me,” is a causal argument. “Look at all of the rest of the planets in the solar system. There is no life on any of them. There is here. That is a sign that God is working here and is real and present.” A noncausal argument.
If you want to change a belief in ways other than action and imagination you will need to know which kind of “argument” is likely to work.
Beliefs can begin to change when something OUTSIDE of the person triggers new or different representations on the INSIDE of the person.
KEY: You must get the person to call into question their beliefs and not push a new belief structure onto them. Statistical evidence is almost useless in changing beliefs.
People continue to behave and believe in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary of their belief, when the evidence is NONCAUSAL. Statistics, evaluation and noncausal arguments simply don’t cut it in the belief change department.
The proof is in the pudding…
AIDS transmission was the subject of some argument and disagreement as recently as a few years ago. People held pretty strong beliefs about how people acquired AIDS and how they didn’t.
167 adult participants agreed to participate in a study which would evaluate people’s beliefs about AIDS…and discover what kind of arguments would change those beliefs.
The participants were divided into four groups.
In one group, each person was given a booklet that detailed specifically how AIDS was not transmitted by casual contact.
In the second group, each person was given a booklet that detailed statistically that AIDS is not transmitted by casual contact.
In the third group, each person was given a booklet that combined both of the above approaches.
In the fourth group, each person was given a self assessment “test” that had nothing to do with AIDS.
The most effective way to change beliefs was with causal arguments. The second most effective way to change beliefs was the combined method. Least effective (not effective) was noncausal arguments. They didn’t work.
Slusher, Anderson 1996, completed another more elaborate research project with more people and the extra variable that people could commit to take action on their new beliefs through volunteer work. Once again, those who read the causal arguments were changed the most. Those who committed to take action on their beliefs, had even greater long term change.
Now, I know you are wondering why it is that I use so many statistics and noncausal arguments in my promotional materials and writing style. The reason? I’m writing for YOU, not the average Joe.
The ability to influence is the single most important element in communication in business, selling, a professional practice, and intimate relationships.
The Science of Influence is the place to begin. What makes the Science of Influence different from every other program about persuasion? This material is fresh, potent, tested, and has nearly all of what you will discover is new! There is no rehash of past salespeople or scholars.
Science of Influence Master’s Home Study Course (12 CDs)
with Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.
This program is the culmination of years of selling synthesized with the last five years of academic research into compliance gaining, persuasion and influence. You won’t find a program like this, designed for you, anywhere else.