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How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the art and science of persuasion and motivation by Susan Weinschenk

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8. Tricks of the Mind

You’ve Probably Seen optical illusions like the one shown in Figure 8.1.

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Figure 8.1. The Müller-Lyer illusion.

The line on the top looks shorter than the line on the bottom, but they are actually the same size. Just as we can fall prey to optical illusions, we can be taken in by cognitive illusions. Our brains can fool us into thinking that something is true when it isn’t. If you understand these “tricks of the mind,” then you can start to understand how people think, or more likely, how they aren’t thinking, but rather reacting automatically. You can use these automatic thinking patterns to get people to do stuff.

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