[ox-en] "The science of persuasion"
- From: "Per I. Mathisen" <per leftist.net>
- Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 19:50:44 +0000 (GMT)
Getting back on topic, there is a small gem of an article in the latest
Scientific American special edition on the human mind. It is called "The
Science of Persuasion" and is by Robert B Cialdini. I don't know if it is
available on the net somewhere, but I doubt it.
One of the things in the article that caught my attention was its
treatment of reciprocation as a basic human drive.
To quote a little:
"To understand the effect of the unsolicited gift, we must recognize the
reach and power of an essential rule of human conduct: the code of
All societies subscribe to a norm that obligates individuals to repay in
kind what they have received."
Although, I think I disagree with the article's attributing this to
biology: "Evolutionary selection pressure has probably entrenched the
behaviour in social animals such as ourselves." You could just as probably
attribute it to the evolutionary selection of human societies - as
societies in which there is no culture or ideology of reciprocity, there
would be no community.
Of course, since dog eat dog capitalism does not encourage reciprocity as
a human drive, we can hope it will soon face selection pressure in favour
of something better ;)
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