Chapter 9
“Why? Because! ”: The Explanation Game
In This Chapter
• Explanations drive behavior
• Attributing causality to internal or external forces
• Persuading positive internal attributions
• Why less is really more
People can explain anything. Kids listen in slack-jawed amazement as dads explain the principles of internal combustion engines and moms explain why you should always take your car to a trained mechanic after taking Dad to the emergency room. Much of our lives are spent either asking “Why?” or else declaring “Because.” And once we have our explanation, we know what to do. If believe our dads, we get the toolbox. If we believe our moms, we get the first-aid kit. So if we can persuade the explanation, we can drive action.

I Explain, ...

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