Internet and its Technology

I, am not a tech savvy.

This blog here, , is written with what I had been taught during lessons and with some intensive research done. Although, it may not be as well written as papersuade, please consider it as a read and provide me with your feedback on each post. Thank You 🙂


Is Humor Persuasive?

Is humor persuasive? It depends. Humor can be persuasive when used at the right time, right place and right way. Using humor appropriately, the persuader can catch the attention of the audience and increase audience’s liking for him/herself. Once there is an increase in the liking factor, it is easier for the persuader to persuade the audience. Other than just using humor appropriately, it is more effective especially when the joke is integrated into the message. This kind of humor is called related humor. Here’s a video showing related humor.

Although the humor seen here is quite slapstick, it does effectively sends out the advertisement’s message. However, if humor is misused in the persuasion (the persuader acting like a complete clown), this will hugely diminished his/her credibility. It would seemed like the persuader doesn’t take his/her message seriously, in turn, the audience will not take the message seriously. Thus, use humor wisely!

PS: This is my last post on persuasion and most probably I won’t be writing something like this ever again. I would like to thank all those who had commented on my blog, those who had followed me, and those who had liked my blog posts. I really appreciate that you all make an effort to read and comment on my posts despite your busy time schedules. Thanks everybody, thanks!

The One Who Hits The Replay Button

Sometimes, we hear the same song over and over again on the radio. Sometimes, we see the same advertisement over and over again on the TV.  But is repetition persuasive? As we are exposed to a constant replaying message, it becomes more and more familiar to us. In some cases, it also leads us to believing what is being repeated is true. This is because of the way our minds work. To us, familiar things require less effort to process and that feeling of ease unconsciously signals truth (PsyBlog, 2010). Thus, what is familiar is also true. We usually ending up believing the repeated message(s). But how true is this? Will constantly hitting the “replay button” actually helps to persuade other(s) or it is just plain annoying?

Grab It Now Before It’s Gone…

Limited time, limited edition, Limited offer!

Sounds familiar? This is one of the tactics widely used by retailers. Limited time, limited edition, and limited offer are the strategies that retailers banked on the principle of scarcity to influence consumers to make quick and fast purchases. Using the principle of scarcity, the stores advertise to attract shoppers into the store to grab the items before it’s gone.

Let’s look into details how it works. First of all, limited time sets a “deadline” on the consumers’ opportunity to get what the retailers are offering. Consumers would have this mindset of “the-time-is-running-out, better-buy-it-now”! Secondly, limited edition focuses on the retailers informing the consumers that a certain product is in short supply (or rather, only have a limited amount) that cannot be guaranteed to last for long. Again, consumers would have a mindset. This time, the consumers would be thinking about: “they-only-have-this-many, better-buy-it-now”! Lastly, limited offer focuses on the retailers informing the consumers that a certain amount of consumers would get a certain discounted product (eg: first 100 gets xxx at $8 only) or a certain product is on a discounted price for a limited time. And there, consumers would have the similar mindsets as stated in the two above. To sum it all up, what the retailers are trying to convey or rather, trying to persuade the consumers is that we “BETTER BUY IT NOW”! It is to increase the consumers’ competitiveness and to increase their urge to buy the items. And we as the consumers, most of us would act according because we have the fear of not able to get our hands on the cheap and limited product(s).

This reminds me of a time when Singapore had this “Hello Kitty Craze”. Everyone was flocking to get their own limited edition hello kitty collectables.

Obviously the rule of scarcity is at play (although, what can be seen here is also the infamous factor of *kiasu-ness*).  Singaporeans would camp out at the Macdonald for a few days in order to get the kitties. And of course, this isn’t the only time. Other various sales or promotions will also lead to such extent of queuing. Even though now, I know that the rule of scarcity is at work, I can never understand such burning passion of getting a certain product. Do you?

*For those who do not know what is kiasu-ness, it refers to the fear of losing*

Just Because I Say So

More than often, we do not question authority. There are many examples in life that illustrate this. In life, we always (well, if not, often) conform to authority figures such as our parents, teachers and doctors. Conforming to these authority figures has advantages for us. For example, conforming to parents and teachers who knew and experience more than we did, taking upon their advice(s) proved to be beneficial partly because what they did are for our own good and partly because they controlled our rewards and punishments. And as for doctors who have great knowledge and influence in the health area, as a patient, we do not dismiss/overrule their diagnosis and we conformed to their orders without questioning, proved to be beneficial for our health. But what is worrying is that to a certain extent, we may just conform blindly to authority. In the case of a recent scam, the scammer pretended to be an authority figure (policeman) and proceed with the scam which many people fell into the trap. Here’s the link to video of the news: ‘Phantom’ Debt Collectors Scam Americans

And to further illustrate the power of authority, here’s a video showing how people conform blindly to authority in Milgram’s experiment.

Milgram had done various of such experiments and a chilling evidence repeatedly surfaced from his accumulated data. “It is the extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority that constitutes the chief finding of the study” (Milgram, 1974). This finding and the recent scam tell us that the authority is in some way or another affecting our behavior(s). After witnessing such experiment and scam, could anyone doubt the power of authority that held them there?

The One Who Committed to It!

Have you realised that when you publicity make a commitment, you tend to be more committed to that particular commitment? Earlier in the beginning of the year, I made a new year resolution with my friends by writing it down on a piece of paper (the friends there knew what I wrote) and I felt really obligated to achieve what I have written. Well, in fact most of us all are obligated to be consistent with our commitment especially those that are made publicized. Because if we don’t, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently. We would experience cognitive dissonance within ourselves and in the eyes of other(s), we might be deemed as someone who can’t keep their words or being a two-faced. This principle of commitment and consistency work effectively on us. Thus, using the tactic of commitment and consistency in the marketing world, many sales persons and promoters (of certain events) had garnered lots of sales and responses from people. Here’s an example of the tactic of commitment and consistency at work.

So, next time if you realised you are pushed into something you know that you didn’t want to do, simply be truthful about it and say so. You can even tell them you realized what they are doing and you don’t appreciate it. Of course for some, this may take up a lot of courage to do so.

I Like You, I Trust You, I Will Do Anything For You

Awwwww… This is a classic irresistable puppy-eyes look. I believe that to those of us who like dogs (and those who think it is cute) would eventually give in to that dog. Likewise, in the human-and-human interaction(s) too, we tend to give in to people we like. The liking factor can be exceptionally powerful in changing a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’. From here, we can see that liking plays an important role in persuasion. We would often agree to requests of people we know and like. Those emotional connections and shared histories are often enough to get us to agree to their requests. Most of us process relatively small requests in an automatic way, click and whirr. Also, when a stranger approaches us with a small favour, we make a quick judgement on how much we like them based on trivial information such as physical attractiveness, similarity and perhaps compliments (they gave us), and this set of information can have a tremendous influence on our response. Therefore, I like you, I trust you ,and I will do anything for you. Okay, maybe not so exaggerating. I might not do anything for you but will do most of the things (that are reasonable enough) for you.

Before I end off this post, there’s another factor I would like to highlight here which is affability. According to, affability refers to warmth and friendliness or pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to. Personally, I feel that affability and liking work hand-in-hand in persuasion as when a person (or rather, stranger) is affable, we tend to find ourselves drawn to that person which leads to liking and therefore agreeing to his/her (small) reasonable request(s). Thus, beware of an affable salesperson!


The Power of SWEARING!!!

Swearing is usually deemed to be inappropriate by the society. And in a persuasive speech, swearing may cause one to lose his/her credibility and to appear as unprofessional. BUT! When one uses it lightly and correctly, other than just capturing the audience’s attention, it can increase the speech’s intensity and can help to change the audience’s attitude. Look at the two sentence below,

“Damn it! Her strawberry cake is way better than mine!” versus “Her strawberry cake is way better than mine!”

From the example given, the first phrase has more intensity. Language that is more intense is more emotional, more metaphorical, more forceful, more opinionated and more specific than those that are not. When you swear, it tend to show some emotion(s). This is where the audience notices and can relate more to whatever you are saying. They will be more prone to crediting you with sincerity and to take your message to heart. A little swearing at appropriate time(s) can be seen as a genuine display of emotion, which is vivifying. Thus, swearing is persuasive. Nevertheless, use (swearing words) with care.

So, do you agree that a little swearing is appropriate in speeches? What do you think of a person who swears in a persuasive speech?

The Delayed Influence, The Sleeper Effect

The sleeper effect happens when  the receiver hears something from a low-credible source, and dismiss the idea, but over time the receiver starts to believe it or become persuaded. Here’s an example.

Let’s say I first saw an information from a dubious website stating that by adding a slice of lemon to coffee could neutralize the caffeine. Since this piece of information came from a dubious website, it is easily dismissed. But over the passage of time, things might change. And most probably I will go through a process known as a disassociation, whereby I only remember the message but had forgotten where I read it from. Once, the disassociation occurs, my attitude towards the message becomes more positive and I will find myself starting to believe that by adding a slice of lemon to coffee can actually neutralize the caffeine.

The (sleeper) effect is quite scary, isn’t it? Something that one dismissed in the past can actually resurface with a certain believability in it. So, have you experience the (sleeper) effect before? And do you believe in the impact of sleeper effect?

*Please note that I made up the whole lemon-and-coffee thing.*

To Conform or Not to?

At the table, everyone was taking out their studying materials and started studying. I, am the only one fiddling with my smart phone. As time passes by, somehow I felt uncomfortable and pressurized to study. It took lesser than 10 minutes for me to take out my textbook and start reading.

Even though, no one was coercing me to study or to do anything, I was “pressurized” to conform to the group. Group conformity? Perhaps so. In a subliminal way.

Here’s a video illustrating group conformity.

In human nature, we tend to conform to the bigger group. And we conform due to various reasons such as to gain rewards (or benefits), to be right or to be liked. As a part of the collectivist (or individualistic) culture, do you tend to conform to the majority? Do you think that the reason why people conform to the majority is also because they do not want to “stand out” among the crowd?

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