Are you a puppet?
Think about that question for a moment. Look at everything you have bought in the last week, consider all the decisions you have made, places you have gone, agreements you have made, favors you have given … and then answer the question.
The truth is, if you have a combination of X and/or Y chromosomes and identify as a human being … you probably are a puppet of life, and like a marionette, you are often pulled here and pulled there, without even knowing it. What you buy, decide to invest in, commit to and relinquish in life is greatly influenced by the following 16 compliance tactics first discovered by American sociologists Gerald Marwel and David Schmitt.
16 Highly Effective and Persuasive Compliance Tactics
So, what is a compliance tactic, and why is it so important to learn about? Well in essence, a compliance tactic is basically a way of intentionally trying to alter your behavior, or in other words, it’s a way of controlling your decisions. Compliance tactics are more forceful than simple persuasive techniques in that they actually target the behavior of a person, rather than their mental processes.
Sound a tad manipulative? You bet. And it happens to you almost daily … without you ever knowing it. Friends, family, work colleagues, strangers, magazines, internet and TV advertisements … almost everyone and everything in your life subtly uses compliance tactics to control the outcome of your behavior. Hell, even you are a culprit at times. And while this may not always necessarily be a bad thing, it is important for you to gain a level of self-awareness in life that not only allows you to understand why you bought that $3,000 surround sound system with 3 bonus cup holders, but also how you can prevent yourself from being scammed, conned and duped.
If we desire to gain a level of self-mastery in our lives, we first need to be conscious of what is impacting our mental processes.
Here are 16 tactics you should be aware of:
Tactic 1: Reward
Or … If you do this: ____ I will reward you. For example: “If you buy this pair of $250 shoes today, I will throw in an extra pair absolutely FREE!”
Tactic 2: Punishment
Or … If you don’t do this: ____ I will have to deprive or take something away from you. For example: “If you don’t accept my offer today, I won’t be able to give you this offer again.”
Tactic 3: Positive Experience
Or … You will feel really good and receive all of these benefits if you: ____ For example: “If you begin to use our skin care products, you will find yourself developing 60% more beautiful skin. Girls/guys will love you more because you will look more attractive”.
Tactic 4: Negative Experience
Or … You will feel really bad and you won’t receive any of these benefits if you don’t: ____ For example: “Vitamin D is good for you. If you don’t buy our Vitamin D, you may find that the quality of your health is significantly reduced.”
Tactic 5: Liking/Ingratiation
Or … Another person attempts to become more likeable or affable, usually by flattering or complementing you, in order to gain compliance from you. For example: “Gee, you look so stunning in the color blue! Now, what do you say about signing these documents?”
Tactic 6: Gifting/Pre-giving
Or … Giving another person a present or gift before asking for something (usually a favor of some sort) that benefits you. For example: “Here’s a little something we thought you’d like. Now, how ’bout we review these contracts?”
Tactic 7: Debt
Or … Proclaiming that someone owes you something due to a past favor you have given. For example: “Aw, really? After everything I have done for you? Come on! This time it’s me who needs the favor.”
Tactic 8: Aversive Stimulation
Or … Continuously punishing someone for doing something you don’t like, and rewarding them by stopping the punishment when they comply. For example: “I’m going to play my TV show full ball if you continue to insist on playing your video games full ball. When you turn yours down, I’ll turn mine down”.
Tactic 9: Moral Appeal
Or … Finding common moral ground and using the moral commitments of a person to gain compliance. For example: “You don’t believe animals should be tortured, do you? You believe all animals should have the right to live in peace, right? Then you should donate to our cause!”
Tactic 10: Positive Self-Feeling
Or … You will feel better about yourself if you do this: _____ For example: “If you join our gym, you’ll feel much better about your health because you know that you’re making an investment in your well-being.”
Tactic 11: Negative Self-Feeling
Or … You will feel bad/unhappy if you don’t do this: _____ For example: “If you don’t turn yourself in, you will feel guilty for the rest of your life.”
Tactic 12: Positive Altercasting
Or … If you’re a good person, you would do this: _____ For example: “If you’re an intelligent person, you will know that it’s best to sign up to our long term deposit Bank Account.”
Tactic 13: Negative Altercasting
Or … Only bad/crook/unintelligent people do this: _____ For example: “Only dumb asses and drug addicts drop out of University.”
Tactic 14: Altruism
Or … Because you’re such a good person, can you please do me this favor? For example: “Could you lend me some money? I know you’re a good guy and all, and I really need some help at the moment.”
Tactic 15: Positive Esteem of Others
Or … If you do: _____ people will think more highly of you. For example: “You’ll gain more respect if you decide to accept this deal.”
Tactic 16: Negative Esteem of Others
Or … If you don’t do: _____ people will think that you’re a bad person. For example: “You don’t want your friends and family to think that you’re a failure, do you?”
I hope that this article has helped to open your mind to the world of compliance tactics, and their ability to manipulate your thoughts and control your behavior. Only by developing self-awareness can we hope to gain a better hold over our decisions and actions.
Feel free to leave a comment, or experience below!