And he right about the DAs office going hard on guys who dont cooperate Youre

And he right about the das office going hard on guys

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be able to do it because we’ve got enough evidence right now. And he’s right about the D.A.’s office going hard on guys who don’t cooperate. You’re looking at five years, man, five years! Now, I don’t want to see that happen to you. So if you admit you robbed that place right now, before he gets back, I’ll take charge of your case and put in a good word for you to the D.A. If we work together on this, we can cut that five years down to two, maybe one. Do us both a favor, Kenny. Just tell me how you did it, and then let’s start working on getting you through this.” A full confession frequently follows. Good Cop/Bad Cop works as well as it does for several reasons: The Robert B. Cialdini Ph.D / 141
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fear of long incarceration is quickly instilled by Bad Cop’s threats; the perceptual contrast principle ensures that compared to the raving, venomous Bad Cop, the interrogator playing Good Cop will seem like an especially reasonable and kind man; and because Good Cop has in- tervened repeatedly on the suspect’s behalf—has even spent his own money for a cup of coffee—the reciprocity rule pressures for a return favor. The big reason that the technique is effective, though, is that it gives the suspect the idea that there is someone on his side, someone with his welfare in mind, someone working together with him, for him. In most situations, such a person would be viewed very favorably, but in the deep trouble our robbery suspect finds himself, that person takes on the character of a savior. And from savior, it is but a short step to trusted father confessor. Conditioning and Association “Why do they blame me , Doc?” It was the shaky telephone voice of a local TV weatherman. He had been given my number when he called the psychology department at my university to find someone who could answer his question—a question that had always puzzled him but had recently begun to bother and depress him. “I mean, it’s crazy, isn’t it? Everybody knows that I just report the weather, that I don’t order it, right? So how come I get so much flak when the weather’s bad? During the floods last year, I got hate mail! One guy threatened to shoot me if it didn’t stop raining. Christ, I’m still looking over my shoulder from that one. And the people I work with at the station do it, too! Sometimes, right on the air, they’ll zing me about a heat wave or something. They have to know that I’m not re- sponsible, but that doesn’t seem to stop them. Can you help me under- stand this, Doc? It’s really getting me down.” We made an appointment to talk in my office, where I tried to explain that he was the victim of an age-old click, whirr response that people have to things they perceive as merely connected to one another. In- stances of this response abound in modern life. But I felt that the ex- ample most likely to help the distressed weatherman would require a bit of ancient history. I asked him to consider the precarious fate of the imperial messengers of old Persia. Any such messenger assigned the role of military courier had special cause to hope mightily for Persian battlefield successes. With news of victory in his pouch, he would be
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