The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo  

Resisting Influence

Prepared by Philip Zimbardo and Cindy X. Wang

Cialdini’s Principles of Social Influence

Liking [Context: Friendship]

The Basics

  • People prefer to say “yes” to individuals they know and like

  • We want people to like us and we like those who show that they like us

How It’s Exploited
  • Persuasion experts manipulate common factors that influence their likeability.

  • Features that influence liking:

    • Physical attractiveness – engender “halo” effect that extends to favorable impressions of other traits such as talent, kindness, and intelligence – attractive people usually more successful in changing attitudes and getting requests granted

    • Similarity – we like people who are like us; we more willing to say “yes” to them, often in an unthinking manner

    • Praise – compliments generally enhance liking and compliance; although can backfire if used excessively and transparently

    • Familiarity – repeated contact with a person or thing normally facilitates liking; holds when contact takes place under positive, not negative circumstances

    • Association – making connections to positive things, profiteers seek to share positivity through process of association

    • Shadowing- influence agent exhibits non-verbal behaviors that match those of the target individual, creates a pseudo-comparability

Best Defense
  • Resist this principle by developing a special sensitivity to suspicious and undue liking from the requester

  • Separate the requester from the request, and make compliance decisions based solely on the merits of the offer – not your emotions about the requester.

©2006-2016, Philip G. Zimbardo

About the Book

About the Movie

About Phil Zimbardo

Stanford Prison Experiment

Celebrating Heroism

Resisting Influence


Other Links and Information

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