SEVENTEEN

Persuasion by Social Proof

ONE OF THE most powerful influences on thinking is what other people “like me” have done in a similar situation. We are inordinately influenced by the behaviors of other people with whom we identify and to whom we relate.

Keeping Up with the Joneses

I remember a door-to-door magazine saleswoman coming to my home one day. She was friendly and cheerful. She introduced herself and then said, “I’ve been calling on your neighbors, and the average person I talk to subscribes to six of the magazines that I represent. I thought you might be interested in looking at this list as well.”

To paraphrase the words from the movie Jerry Maguire, “She had me at hello.”

Before we had a chance to think about it, we had subscribed ...

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