Flipnosis: The Art of Split-Second Persuasion
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'What if I were to tell you that a psychopathic arsonist might also be the person most likely to save you from a burning building'? This book is about a special kind of persuasion: 'flipnosis'. It has an incubation period of just seconds, and can instantly disarm even the most discerning mind. Flipnosis is black-belt mind control. It doesn't just turn the tables, it kicks them over. From the malign but fascinating powers of psychopaths, serial killers and con men to the political genius of Winston Churchill - via the grandmasters of martial arts, Buddhist monks, magicians, advertisers, salesmen, CEOs and frogs that mug each other - Kevin Dutton's brilliantly original and revelatory book explores what cutting-edge science can teach us about the techniques of persuasion.
reaction is almost identical. Take age. Studies have shown that infants as young as four months look longer at pictures of infant faces than they do at those of older children or adults. And that, by 18 months, this preference for infant faces is accompanied not only by increased smiling, but by gesturing and vocalising too. More surprising still, perhaps, is that this doesn’t just happen in humans. From the age of about two months on, rhesus monkeys reared in isolation show a similar preference
associate’ of the basketball player. As such, it seems far more likely that the two of them will be working together than it does that 6′ 5″ and the bank manager will be in partnership. In the more orthodox language of cognitive psychology, we form, on the basis of previous experience, a schema or an associative network of basketball players and bank managers – a general concept of ‘who they are’ – and these schemas are underwritten by certain ultra-salient descriptives such as ‘tall’ or ‘wears a
the University of Bristol conducted an experiment which illustrated precisely the kind of arrangement that we have with natural selection. Indeed, the experiment proved so revealing that it’s since become a classic, lending its name to an entire paradigm within social psychology: the minimal group paradigm. What Tajfel did was this. First, he took a sample of secondary-school students and showed them a display of dots. ‘How many dots do you see on the screen in front of you?’ he asked each one
pretty much tripled the previous consent rate. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to work out what’s going on here. The power of reciprocity, concluded Cialdini, extends far beyond the distribution of gifts and favours. It may also be applied to the kinds of concessions we make to one another. If you reject my larger request and I, ostensibly, make a concession by retreating from that larger request to a smaller one, then you’re likely to concede in kind by ‘meeting me halfway’. Which means,
and your 29 buddies – will each receive a free 21-day vacation anywhere in the world of your choosing. However if, on the other hand, at any point during that ten-minute period someone does press the buzzer, then whoever it is will receive a free six-day vacation, and you and everyone else will get nothing. The clock’s ticking. What do you do? On first encountering the Wolf’s Dilemma3 – which, in case you were wondering, is what this is – most people don’t need to be asked twice. It’s plain as