The language of our reflective, conscious mental system, the mind we know well, is information, logic, and reason. That is why most definitions of persuasion speak of convincing by reasoned argument. But reasoned argument is not the way to persuade the lizard—far from it.
The lizard inside, our automatic, nonconscious mental system, has its own language. As the last 25 years of psychological, behavioral economic, and neurological research has demonstrated, the language of the automatic system has a basic grammar:
• Mental availability.
It also has its own style:
• Preferences of others.
Because the lizard is in charge of most of our decisions and influential ...