#25 The final persuasion principle: Authority

The sixth and final persuasion principle of Dr. Robert Cialdini is authority.

Have you ever heard of the Milgram experiment?

Milgram experiment was a research project by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted in 1961. The purpose of this experiment was to study the power of authority and why did the Second World War happen in the first place.
In the slightly disturbing procedure, there were three different participants; an experimenter, a teacher and a learner.
In the experiment, the teacher was assigned to ask the learner questions and if the learner did not answer correctly to the question, the teacher was instructed to give an electric shock to the learner. The experimenter was giving instructions to the teacher and monitoring the voltage of the electric shocks.
The bottom line was that the teacher was willing to deliver nearly deadly amounts of electricity to the learner when insisted so by the experimenter. In most of the cases, the teacher became blindly obedient to the authority of the experimenter who was the expert of the subject. Many of the teachers protested and objected but it did not matter. Despite of that, at the end of the day, they did exactly as the experimenter asked.
Luckily, the learner in this experiment was only an actor and was acting as she was being electrocuted.
The implications were clear; authority has much more influence on behavior than was thought earlier.
Establishing authority position in your IP subject or niche should be one of your goals. Obviously in a way that is ethical. Check the video commentary for three different ways on how to do it!
Cialdini PhD, Robert B..: Influence: Science and Practice 1984

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