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persuasion, intrinsic motivation, and why IKEA is a trap!
Mar 6, 2017
Joseph Ducreux. Not be confused with Blaise Pascal.

What our friends say.

When we try to get someone to change their mind, how do we do it? Do we deconstruct their decision through logical argument? Do we appeal to a higher rationale? 

How about agreeing with them?

That is the path that 17th century French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal (yes, the same guy in your Calculus textbook who owns Pascal’s Triangle) pursued:
 
"When we wish to correct with advantage, and to show another that he errs, we must notice from what side he views the matter, for on that side it is usually true, and admit that truth to him, but reveal to him the side on which it is false. He is satisfied with that, for he sees that he was not mistaken, and that he only failed to see all sides.”

Or in ye-ol-plain English: using empathy, acknowledge that he is correct from his point of view, but also point out that from our point of view it could be false.

This approach works because while nobody is offended at not seeing everything, nobody likes to be mistaken. Our perception is belief so arguing against our perception is essentially challenging our beliefs. 

Experimental psychologists have followed up this 17th century thought and have confirmed that the best first step is to agree. Agreement leads to cooperation. And cooperation leads to an opportunity to persuade.

The next trick? Inception.
 
"People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”
 
How doth ye convince?
When money ain't worth it.
According to a 2015 brief from the Economic Policy Institute, America’s top CEO’s earn 10 times more than they did 30 years ago. Embarrassingly, in a study done by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, they found the relationship between pay and performance to be “negligible at best.” Ouch. 

After decades of studies, researchers identified this phenomenon as the “over justification effect,” or "the idea that an external reward will decrease a person’s internal drive to do a job well.”

But here’s the catch. We have to subsist off something. So if a ton of cash doesn’t help, is there an optimal level of pay? Actually, they also found that getting paid to do what we love may mean that we start loving what we do a little less over time

Ultimately, it seems we must recognize that external motivation can become moot and so it's better to tie our motivation to intrinsic motivation.
 

Hear, hear!

Got that friend or co-worker you talk alot about "life" stuff with? 

Get 'em onboard!
Therapy.
They say you don’t really know someone until you live with them. Yes. Let me add one caveat. You don’t really know someone until you go shopping with them at IKEA.

IKEA knew this. That’s why they have a site naming products after relationship therapy. This is because IKEA furniture shopping can cause decision fatigue. Should we get this weird Swedish-named desk or that weird named bed frame? It can be quite stressful on our own, but add in a partner and it becomes ripe for conflict. Now we have to balance our needs and desires against our partner’s needs and desiers. 
 
"Once the arguing starts, you find yourself trapped: both literally, in that it’s impossible to find your way out of Ikea, and figuratively, in that the fight can bring unrelated past grievances to the surface."

IKEA isn’t just a place for furniture. IKEA is an experience. It’s the millennial’s Infinity Gauntlet Challenge. Will you make it out unscathed?
 
Here's to conquering our 20s and 30s together. See you back in your inbox tomorrow!

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