The Secrets of Persuasion

To persuade or not to persuade? That is the question!

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Have you ever thought about what it takes for you to say yes to people, to buy something or even give a tip to a waitress? As you read that question, you probably thought, “I can’t be easily persuaded”;however, it’s much easier than you think.

In my Comm Persuasion course, we learned about the 6 principles of persuasion, and my mind was blown away. I’ve experienced being persuaded in each of those forms.

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The six principles of persuasion are the following:

  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity
  • Authority
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Consensus

When I first looked at those words, I expected confusing definitions and terms that didn’t relate to me, but it’s really simple to understand. Let’s start with the first one.


This principle, in my opinion, is the most common/relatable form of persuasion.  It’s when you do something in return because of something you received.  It’s somewhat the feeling of obligation. You’re more likely to give gas money to the friend that gave you a ride to a job interview two hours away from home than a friend who’s just asking for some. 


This principle is how many retail stores/ celebrities make their money. It’s the thought of less or things being ‘limited’ that makes people crave it more. For example, Kylie Jenner is the queen of this principle of persuasion. Recently, she celebrated her 22nd birthday with a Birthday collection called “Money” with her cosmetics brand. The kit was a limited edition and only about 200 were in stock and would never be restocked again. Of course, it sold out in a matter of minutes.


The keyword for this principle is credibility. We’re most likely going to listen to a trainer with 15 years of nutrition experience when we want to lose weight than someone who works in an office. We like to know that the person giving us the advice or persuading us is experienced in that topic.


Consistency is key. I think we’ve all heard of that popular quote before. This principle consists of ” doing the same thing over and over” with no change because it’s what you’re used to. It’s the sense of commitment that gets the attention that is needed in order to persuade.


The principle plays a HUGE role in persuasion. You’re most likely going to say yes to someone you like or relate to than someone you don’t share the same interest with. 

Lastly, but not least….

Drumroll please….



This principle is popular among social media, especially on my timelines. It’s the principle of doing something because everyone else is doing it, or the majority. I’m sure our parents told us NOT to do what others are doing, but persuasion is no joke. For example, there was a disgusting video uploaded to twitter where a girl opened a container of ice cream, licked it, put it back in the freezer and walked away. It became a trend and many more people started doing it as well because of all the media attention she was getting. 

As you can see, we’ve all been persuaded by one of those principles.

It’s just what comes with life on earth.

2 thoughts on “The Secrets of Persuasion

  1. This is a nice post, personally the scarcity tactic is what I’m most familiar with, I see it everyday and the second it was brought to my attention I decided to slow down and not act so impulsively on purchases and “scarce” chances unless I know for sure whatever choice I make is worth it. Scarcity isn’t the only thing I’ve taken into consideration though, and I’ve pretty much made changes myself where I make sure I’m really paying attention to what’s really going on. How were you, after you learned about these forms of persuasion? Were you similar? Did you feel you’ll change how well you can be persuaded or did you not think it’s something you’d have to worry about?

    1. Thank you for your comment, FancyBacon! I’ve been more cautious about things since I’ve learned about the principles of persuasion. I’ll probably even try to use some in marketing for my future business endeavors.

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