Considerations in human influence.


When we’re trying to get what we want in life, it helps if we understand the desires, biases and triggers of others, especially those human truths that remain consistent from generation to generation. Understanding these areas unlocks the secrets to effectively navigating social scenarios and helps you to achieve your desired outcomes while also becoming aware of others goals and motivations.

Part 1: Desires

Stage 1: Security and Variety

Money is a motivation for most people because it’s the most clear cut way to achieve the lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, certainty and security as well as variety in life’s experiences. However, when the majority of these needs are met our motivation for money becomes less important.

Stage 2: Autonomy

Once you get past money, autonomy becomes incredibly important. Our desire to be self-directed and independent in our pursuits makes us feel free and able to make independent choices.

Stage 3: Significance

We want to be good at something and we want to be constantly bettering ourselves. We want to feel unique and important and to believe that we’re making a valued contribution to others.

Stage 4: Love and Connection

The desire to want to feel a strong sense of connection with someone.

Step 5: Growth

The pursuit of self-actualization, to expand our capacity and capability of our understanding of the external world and ourselves.

Step 6: Contribution

A sense of service and focus on giving support to others.

Part 2: Biases

Now that we have a blanket idea of the basic progression of human motivation, the next step is to become more attuned to the subconscious biases that many people possess. These biases are often habitual, deeply engrained behaviors that are acquired through experience and are highly difficult to override.

Bias 1: Self-Serving Bias

The process where by success is often justified as internally derived, but task failure is attributed to external ascriptions.

Bias 2: Bandwagon Effect

The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do the same.

Bias 3: Confirmation Bias

The tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.

Bias 4: Déformation Professionnelle

The tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one's own profession, forgetting any broader point of view.

Bias 5: Endowment Effect

The tendency for people to demand more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it".

Bias 6: Impact Bias

The tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.

Bias 7: Information Bias

The tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.

Bias 8: Mere Exposure Effect

The tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.

Bias 9: Omission Bias

The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).

Bias 10: Planning Fallacy

The tendency to underestimate task-completion times.

Bias 11: Selective Perception

The tendency for expectations to affect perception.

Bias 12: Status Quo Bias

The tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same.

Bias 13: Anchoring

The tendency to rely too heavily, or anchor on a past reference, trait or piece of information when making decisions.

Bias 14: Framing

Drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented.

Bias 15: Frequency Illusion

The phenomenon in which people who just learn or notice something start seeing it everywhere.

Bias 16: Overconfidence Effect

The tendency to overestimate one's own abilities.

Bias 17: Positive Outcome Bias

A tendency in prediction to overestimate the probability of good things happening to them

Bias 18: Dunning-Kruger Effect

When people are so incompetent that they make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it.

Bias 19: Projection Bias

The tendency to unconsciously assume that others share the same or similar thoughts, beliefs, values, or positions.

Bias 20: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy 

The tendency to engage in behaviors that elicit results which will (consciously or subconsciously) confirm our beliefs.

Part 3: Persuasion Triggers

Now that we understand peoples desires and have touched on some people's cognitive biases, the last thing we need to understand are the triggers that can be used to persuade others to take the actions we seek them to take.

1:   Likability

People are much more willing to trust and cooporate with people they like. The most common reasons for liking someone is that they are similar to us. That they have mutual respect. And that they give us possitive reinforcement. 

2:     Social Proof

A perception that you create in the eyes of others by seeking universally acknowledged validation that makes you more inclined to be listened to or trusted by others.

3: Scarcity

The desire to have more of what there is less off and the fear of missing out.

4: Authority

People defer to experts. Therefore, you can become a trusted source by being a leading figure in a particular space with high levels of knowledge and credibility. 

5: Reciprocity

The desire for people to give back as a result of a meaningful or generous offering from someone else. Basically, give what you wish to receive.

6: Consistency

The belief that an individual who has a congruent message and path is more likely to have the correct answer than someone who lacks specific direction.

7: Continuation

The likelihood that someone will follow through with a transaction having subsequently provided a smaller contribution.

8: Consensus

The act of people looking to others to help make or validate their own decisions.


To Conclude

The truth is, most of us are far more formulaic than we wish to believe. While we all have subtle differences, there are still a number unconscious actions that most of us take when making decisions. The more we become aware of these biases, the more we can use them to our own advantage in building momentum and success in our own lives.

I hope you enjoyed this article. I'f you felt you took something away from it then why not pass it on to someone else you feel needs the advice? Or maybe you could follow me to see what I publish in the future. Thank you for your time.


Ricky RichardsComment