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4. Authority
#6-principles #69-ways-to-influence
Any attempt to influence someone in any direction will be instantly more powerful and effective if the person being influenced perceives the person influencing to be of higher authority.

This is why you always see so called doctors and celebrity figures used in marketing. We unconsciously see them as being of higher authority and therefore their opinion and decision is a better one for us too.

This principle doesn’t serve us in society today as it once did, but you can use it to your advantage by thinking how you can give the impression of having authority. This might be as simple as the way you dress.

In one experiment there was a man standing at a road crossing, dressed normally. Many times he waited until there was a large crowd of people around him, then when the light was still red he suddenly crossed the road (when there were no cars and no danger). A few people followed his example and crossed the road with him.

However, they repeated the experiment many times, but this time the man was dressed in a really nice suit – a symbol of authority in most cultures. When he crossed the road twice as many people followed him on average!

This principle is so powerful that generally speaking if you have a very qualified person lying to you and someone of a lesser stature telling you the truth, then you are more likely to believe the qualified person’s lie more than the other person’s truth. It’s unfortunate but true.

This might not only have to do with qualifications and titles and things like owning a posh car or living in a palatial house are also things that people will take an instant liking to and be influenced easily.

Another ‘costume’ or way of dressing to symbolize authority is a lab coat or doctors clothing. There was an infamous experiment conducted known as the Miligram experiment where test subjects were wired up to electricity, so that by pressing a button people in the room next door could give them electric shocks of increasing power.

Scientists (really experimenters pretending to be scientists) were dressed in lab coats and they asked the actors wired up to answer a few questions correctly. Next to them were participants who didn’t know the whole thing was fake with actors.

The scientists asked the wired up actors in the other room a series of questions. Every time they were wrong they told the participant to give them an electric shock. Each time the shock got stronger, and the actors wired up were showing great amounts of pain. In about 4 times out of 5 the people giving the shock kept on going all the way up to high voltage that would kill anyone. Just because the person in authority was telling them to.

Do not underestimate the power of this principle.

Always think how you can apply it. In marketing, you should get testimonials from people in authority like doctors – this doubles up social proof with authority. Think about the way you dress. Think about your credentials. And think about who the person you are trying to influence sees as authority figures.
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owner: El_Misterio - (no access) - 69 ways to influence.pdf, p17


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