Written by Lazy Gardens
Someone commented, “I know we talk about brain washing here, and cult dynamics, but honestly I still haven’t read a good reason why this worked on me and how it still works on women who normally would NOT be so compliant.” The simple answer is, because you are human and you are hardwired to take shortcuts in decision processes, and also hardwired to react to certain influences. You can overcome the wired effects, but you have to be aware of what triggers them.
An excellent website explains how we are influenced, how influence is exploited, and how to defend against being exploited. It’s too complex to explain in a blog post, but it’s too important to pass up. Bookmark this post and read the links at your leisure.
The site The Lucifer Effect is by Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist who ran the infamous “Stanford prison experiment .” “The enduring interest in the Stanford Prison Experiment over many decades comes, I think, from the experiment’s startling revelation of “transformation of character”—of good people suddenly becoming perpetrators of evil as guards or pathologically passive as prisoners in response to situational forces acting on them.”
I spent my radical hippie youth learning how to influence people, “the system”, and life in general. It’s scarily easy to do, provided you don’t run into someone who knows the tricks and wants to stop you, or just doesn’t react as expected. I try to use my awesome powers for good, not evil.
About influence, based on Cialdini’s work on sales organizations
The “altar call” effect explains why your director wants lots of bodies at meetings.
Who is Immune:
It’s interesting to note that even the researcher got sucked into the Stanford Prison Experiment