How To Get The Truth (Part I)
Tricks Of The Trade
These are the psychological secrets of the experts, the tricks of the trade – factors that can affect your judgement in objectively evaluating information.
Rule 1: Wow! You’re Just Like Me
• Watch out when you’re asked about your hobbies, hometown, values, favorite foods, etc., only to be followed with the obligatory “Me too, what a coincidence.”
• Another aspect of this rule is that if someone is nice to us, we not only like him more but also are more likely to agree with him. If he’s agreeing to everything you say, whether or not it makes sense, watch out.
• Rapport creates trust. It allows the other to build a psychological bridge to you. You feel more comfortable and your gullibility increases. Take note if your movements, rate of speech or tone are echoed.
Rule 2: Beware the Stranger Bearing Gifts
When someone gives us something, we often feel indebted to him. When you are presented with a request, make sure that you’re not acting out of a sense of obligation. This rule can take many forms – it’s not limited to gifts. You could be offered information, a concession, or even someone’s time.
Rule 3: It’s Half Price! But Half of What?
This principle states that facts are likely to be interpreted differently based upon the order in which they’re presented. In other words, we compare and contrast. An example of this principle are price markdowns. An item that’s been reduced from $500 to $200 certainly seems like a better bargain than something that sells for $150. The contrast on the sale item makes it more attractive, even if it’s not as nice as the item that sells for less. The key is to only consider each decision by itself. This can best be accomplished by letting time pass between decisions and by independently determining the value of the object.
Rule 4: Just Do This One Little Thing For Me?
Beware if you are asked to commit to something, even in a small way. This request is usually followed by a slightly greater request, and over time your sense of commitment is built up to the point where you feel locked into yourdecision. When you make decisions, notice if your best interests are being served.
Rule 5: The Bandwagon Effect
This principle states that we have a tendency to see an action as appropriate if other people are doing it. Do we think that something is funnier if others are laughing? Absolutely. The key to avoiding the influence of this rule is to separate your level of interest from other people’s desire. Just because you’re told that something is the latest, best, hottest, or biggest seller doesn’t make it right for you.
Rule 6: Rare Doesn’t Always Mean Valuable
This principle states that the harder something is to acquire, the greater the value we place on its attainment. In essence, we want what we can’t have and want what is hard to obtain even more. The key to avoid this rule being used on you is to ask yourself this question: would I still want it if there were a million just like it and no one wanted any of them?
Rule 7: I’m on Your Side
This technique is used to gain credibility. When used effectively, you would swear that you’ve just made a new best friend who has your best interest at heart. For example, let’s say that you’re in a mattress store and considering buying the Super Deluxe – a top-of-the-line bed. The salesman tells you that if you want it he’ll order it for you, but he feels you should know something first. He tells you that while the consumer would never realize it, this manufacturer uses recycled materials on the inside. He has thus gained your complete confidence. He’s risking a sale to tell you something that you’d never find out otherwise. Now you’ll be inclined to trust anything he says.
Rule 8: Well, Can You at Least Do This?
If you’re asked to do a rather large favor for someone only to decline his request for help, beware. A smaller favor, the one he really wants you to do, may follow. We are more likely to agree to a smaller request if we’re first presented with a larger one. There are three psychological motivations at work:
• You feel that in contrast to the first request, the smaller one is no big deal.
• You feel bad for not coming through on his original favor, and this seems like a fair compromise.
• You don’t want to be perceived as unreasonable. A small little favor isn’t going to kill you.