Week 5 Discussion

Influence Chapter 1

People operate under the belief that something expensive is of high quality. A material of high quality is often costly and vice versa. People stereotyped that expensive products are good and ended up buying the turquoise jewel at a double price marked by accident.

I once chose to buy a cheaper laptop to save some money instead of an expensive one. Although the expensive one had excellent features, I still decided to go for the cheaper one. After using the cheaper one for a while, it began to develop issues that made my task difficult. I was forced to go for the second one, and it indeed served me well.

The use-value of a Timex and Rolex watch is giving time, for beauty, or sentimental value. The exchange value of a Rolex watch is 200 dollars, while a Timex watch is 100 dollars. I would probably choose a Rolex watch that is less accurate instead of a Timex watch that has fantastic features. I prefer a Rolex watch due to the clock’s higher exchange value and its prestige.

Our brain tends to link products that are expensive with high quality and perfections. When we drink wine worth 45 dollars, we trigger our minds to believe that it is sweeter and quality than 5 dollars wine. Therefore we incorporate a higher feeling of pleasure while taking the same drink because of its elevated price.

The best way to utilize the mental shortcut is by hiking a product and then lowering the price to normal. When people see the canceled new and lower cost, they will automatically believe that they are of high quality. 

When we believe expert opinion without evaluation, we are ignorant that the expert must be correct. For example, crew workers refusing to correct a flight captain despite noting a mistake is due to a lack of involvement. The inability to questions an expert occurs when there is a lack of information (Cialdini, 2009). For instance, we believe an engineer complicated report because we cannot comprehend the expert’s view.  

Influence Chapter 2

It is essential to know that when we give others something memorable and enormous, we create a long term feeling of obligation. If our favor has a crucial significance on the target group, they will give back on regular occasions because they feel compelled to do so (Cialdini, 2009).  

Sheldon was prepared with many presents since he knew that Christmas Eve involves the exchange of gifts. Sheldon anticipated that he would receive a gift from a girl he may have feelings for and that could mean a lot to him and felt he must reciprocate.

When someone grants me a favor and refuses to accept my offer, I feel incomplete and uncomfortable. I sometimes feel immoral when I fail to do nothing to pay back a favor.

Society categorizes non-reciprocators with negative words because it is the human culture to do something in return once they have received a favor. Our lives depend on the rule of reciprocity we provide what we have, or we are good at and expect something we may not have.

We are most likely to do favors for someone we like. However, we may find ourselves granting favors to people we dislike when they give us something before making requests. The urge to repay a debt is powerful enough to make anyone go past resentments to remove the feeling of indebtedness from their shoulders.

Human beings’ nature to reciprocate upon receiving a favor makes us give yes responses when asked for requests. Scientists reported favoring the pharmaceutical industry due to the funds and trips they had been awarded by the latter. However, the problem is that the sense of obligation could cloud our judgment in giving honest remarks.

In many cases, we appreciate offers rather than turning them down. I have found myself borrowing money or products to remove the burden of owing someone. The girl refused the kindness of men offering her drinks because they would ask her to give her body to them in return. 

When applying the contrast principle to prompt reciprocation, it is not advisable to over-exaggerate to avoid creating a losing scenario where one will feel manipulated. People feel a sense of obligation to buy or search for customers to a salesperson who fails to make a sale and then request a favor. We are likely to reject a sale person request that appears and ask if we knew someone who would buy a product due to the absence of reciprocation. 

There was a time I had planned to spend my weekend with my girlfriend. I was eagerly anticipating for the day, and nothing could stand in my way. However, my dad hoped I would join him in a particular social gathering that I did not find interesting. I guess my dad noticed I had planned to spend time with my girlfriend and made an offer that I can come along with her. My dad gave me a concession that I was happy to accept, although I had no intention to attend the meeting.

Influence Chapter 3

Commitment creates a powerful reason to remain consistent, which can be used as an influence. Convincing an already made-up mind not to marry may bear no success. The person will not give a logical reason to why he/she thinks so but will give an irrational justification of the decision.

It sounds crazy for the woman to say yellow is red and red is black. I have had a friend who blindly loved a drug peddler boyfriend. No one could tell her anything against her boyfriend and make her believe. Due to the love and commitment my friend had towards the man, she defended him despite the truth that was open to us. 

Parents cannot fail to keep their promises to kids because it would create a negative impression on kids. No parent would like to be called a liar or regarded as inconsistent by their children. As a parent, it is better to fall out of the trap by buying kids the toy after two months because the company knows the trick in using parenting consistency. The company will frequently play gaming ads because they know parents will have to buy toys to cover up when they do not heed their promise. 

Children will like a consistently lousy parent despite being imperfect. The kids will learn to accept their bad parents and remain consistent in loving them. However, an inconsistent parent creates no sense of commitment to make the family remain loyal to decisions or situations.

The sample called to talk about donating three hours to the charity society must have promised they would willingly. Asking before suggesting the deal gave them time to think and decide why they would help. When approached later, they agreed due to the need for consistency.

We tend to remain faithful to the commitment that we make on our own without social pressure. I once requested my dad to buy me an Xbox video game decoder if I scored an A, and he agreed. However, I scored a B and still got the price. Although I failed to get an A, I trapped my dad in a lowballing situation since he gifted my effort.


Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Influence: Science and practice (5th ed.). Prentice Hall.

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