4. Information Manipulation Theory
This theory uses the four components that form the truth to influence someone. The Information Manipulation Theory “involves a persuasive person deliberately breaking one of the four conversational maxims,” adds Kevan. The four maxims are:
- Quantity: Information provided is full and complete.
- Quality: Information provided is accurate and truthful.
- Relation: Information is relevant to the current conversation.
- Manner: Information is delivered in an easily comprehensible way with non-verbal language and gestures that support the statement
Although this is one of the rare persuasion theories that mentions the term manipulation, as long as you provide truthful information, this theory can be applied logically, sensibly and without fear or worry. However, you must be sincere and possess adequate knowledge regarding the topic being discussed.
Read also: How To Spot Manipulation
We can influence someone through stimuli which affects the way they think, behave and act in the short run. “Priming occurs when a stimulus is provided by the persuader that may influence someone’s thoughts and actions, even when the stimulus is non-related.” explains Psych2go. Priming can exist in multiple ways and the main intention is to “either introduce new thoughts or bring old thoughts from the subconscious up to the surface,” it adds.
It is a strategy that often uses wordplay to trigger the person being primed. It depends largely on associations that are deeply ingrained in our memory. So by activating a memory or a sensation, we can trigger everything associated with that memory for a short while. According to Exploring Your Mind, “Priming has to be very subtle. This way, the person that is being stimulated is not aware of how they are being stimulated.” However, they are aware that “they are in a state of influence,” else this would become manipulation.
6. Conversion Theory
This is one of the most well-known persuasion theories which shows how a minority group can successfully persuade the majority group to accept their views and support their cause. This notion is firmly based on four primary factors – resistance, confidence, consistency and being unbiased.
“The minority in a group can have a disproportionate effect on influencing those in the majority,” explains marketing expert Kevan Lee. He believes that usually people in the majority are highly susceptible and may join the minority’s cause as they believe there is no other option or it is the easier choice. Kevan adds “Consistent, confident minority voices are most effective.”
7. Reciprocity Norm
“A common social norm, reciprocity involves our obligation to return favors done by others,” writes Kevan. There is an unwritten social rule that if you give or offer something to someone, you should await for the person to return that favor. Although it is socially accepted and established, this is not a voluntary action.
According to Psych2go, “Reciprocity is commonly practiced in which one person helps someone else so that the other individual returns the favor later down the road.” So when you give your time, attention or money to someone and they appreciate it, then it can be expected that the person will return the favor when you need it. However, you must also make sure that you don’t give excessively and then ask them to return the favor.
8. Yale Attitude Change Approach
This is one of the few persuasion theories that have been extensively studied for years. Based on significant research conducted by Yale University, this theory discovered various factors found in persuasive communication and speech. These include the attractiveness and credibility of the speaker, the ideal target demographics, and when & how the message is delivered.
Psych2go states this theory “emphasizes that the speaker should not be so quick to persuade and ease into using this approach slowly. If the speaker is too enthusiastic to use it, the audience will grow aware that it is being used and it won’t be effective.”