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The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts by Matthew Willcox

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9. Make People Feel Smart, Attractive—or Even Lucky...

How people feel at the time of a choice can change the choice they make and how they make it.

Years ago, a copywriter I worked with told me that he was continually surprised by how even the most intelligent people were susceptible to flattery. I was doubly flattered when he then proceeded to flatter me.

Behavioral science backs up my colleague’s observation. Even a disembodied voice is capable of effective flattery. A computer voice was used to flatter participants while they completed a quiz, and the flattering comments led people to not only perform better on the quiz but also to report more positive emotions, more positive evaluations of the interaction, and more positive regard for the ...

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