IELTS ACTUAL TESTS – READING & LISTENING ACADEMIC MODULE IELTSMATERIAL.COM 152 B. Cialdini's towel experiments (more of them later), are part of his research into how we persuade others to say yes. He wants to know why some people have a knack for bending the will of others, be it a telephone cold-caller talking to you about timeshares, or a parent whose children are compliant even without threats of extreme violence. While he's anxious not to be seen as the man who's written the bible for snake-oil salesmen, for decades the Arizona State University social psychology professor has been creating systems for the principles and methods of persuasion, and writing bestsellers about them. Some people seem to be born with the skills; Cialdini's claim is that by applying a little science, even those of US who aren't should be able to get our own way more often. "All my life I've been an easy mark for the blandishment of salespeople and fundraisers and I'd always wondered why they could get me to buy things I didn't want and give to causes I hadn't heard of," says Cialdini on the phone from London, where he is plugging his latest book. C. He found that laboratory experiments on the psychology of persuasion were telling only part of the story, so he began to research influence in the real world, enrolling in sales-training programmes: "I learn how to sell automobiles from a lot, how to sell insurance from an office, how to sell encyclopedias door to door." He concluded there were six general "principles of influence" and has since put them to the test under slightly more scientific conditions. Most recently, that has meant messing about with towels. Many hotels leave a little card in each bathroom asking guests to reuse towels and thus conserve water and electricity and reduce pollution. Cialdini and his colleagues wanted to test the relative effectiveness of different words on those cards. Would guests be motivated to co-operate simply because it would help save the planet, or were other factors more compelling? To test this, the researchers changed the card's message from an environmental one to the simple (and truthful) statement that the majority of guests at the hotel had reused their towel at least once. Guests given this message were 26% more likely to reuse their towels than those given the old message. In Cialdini's book "Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion",co-written with another social scientist and a business consultant, he explains that guests were responding to the persuasive force of "social proof', the idea that our decisions are strongly influenced by what we believe other people like US are doing.
IELTS ACTUAL TESTS – READING & LISTENING ACADEMIC MODULE IELTSMATERIAL.COM 153 D. So much for towels. Cialdini has also learnt a lot from confectionery. Yes! cites the work of New Jersey behavioural scientist David Strohmetz, who wanted to see how restaurant patrons would respond to a ridiculously small favour from their food server, in the form of an after-dinner chocolate for each diner. The secret, it seems, is in how you give the chocolate. When the chocolates arrived
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