People everywhere differentiate each other by liking (warmth, trustworthiness) and by respecting (competence, efficiency).
Essentially they ask themselves: (1) Is this person warm? and (2) Is this person competent?
The “warmth dimension captures traits that are related to perceived intent, including friendliness, helpfulness, sincerity, trustworthiness and morality, whereas the competence dimension reflects traits that are related to perceived ability, including intelligence, skill, creativity and efficacy.”
“In sum, although both dimensions are fundamental to social perception, warmth judgments seem to be primary, which reflects the importance of assessing other people’s intentions before determining their ability to carry out those intentions.”
Like all perception, social perception reflects evolutionary pressures. In encounters with conspecifics, social animals must determine, immediately, whether the ‘other’ is friend or foe (i.e. intends good or ill) and, then, whether the ‘other’ has the ability to enact those intentions. New data confirm these two universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Promoting survival, these dimensions provide fundamental social structural answers about competition and status. People perceived as warm and competent elicit uniformly positive emotions and behavior, whereas those perceived as lacking warmth and competence elicit uniform negativity. People classified as high on one dimension and low on the other elicit predictable, ambivalent affective and behavioral reactions. These universal dimensions explain both interpersonal and intergroup social cognition.
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Most people thought the Internet represented a liberation from conformity where ideas, freedom of information, creativity ruled. But what role does our need to belong play? What role does the simple “like” button play in social approval? The WSJ article below argues that “As a result,” of the like button, “we can now search not just for information, merchandise and kitten videos on the Internet, but for approval.
Just as stand-up comedians are trained to be funny by observing which of their lines and expressions are greeted with laughter, so too are our thoughts online molded to conform to popular opinion by these buttons. A status update that is met with no likes (or a clever tweet that isn’t retweeted) becomes the equivalent of a joke met with silence. It must be rethought and rewritten. And so we don’t show our true selves online, but a mask designed to conform to the opinions of those around us.
Conversely, when we’re looking at someone else’s content—whether a video or a news story—we are able to see first how many people liked it and, often, whether our friends liked it. And so we are encouraged not to form our own opinion but to look to others for cues on how to feel.
“Like” culture is antithetical to the concept of self-esteem, which a healthy individual should be developing from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Instead, we are shaped by our stats, which include not just “likes” but the number of comments generated in response to what we write and the number of friends or followers we have. I’ve seen rock stars agonize over the fact that another artist has far more Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers than they do.
Because it’s so easy to medicate our need for self-worth by pandering to win followers, “likes” and view counts, social media have become the métier of choice for many people who might otherwise channel that energy into books, music or art—or even into their own Web ventures.
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If you look in the Guinness Book of World Records you’ll discover that a car salesman named Joe Girard is one of the most successful salespeople ever. Wait, a car salesman?
In fact, he has sold more “big ticket” items “one-at-a-time” than any other sales-person in any retail industry.
We can learn a lot from studying success.
So how does this guy, who sells one car at a time to everyday customers, go on to become one of the most successful sales people in history?
Girard offers a simple answer: “People want a fair deal from someone they like.”
When questioned about what he does to get people to like him, he says “I tell them that I like them.”
While seemingly simple that answer is psychologically sound. We’re more likely to say ‘Yes’ to people that we like. One way to get people to like you is to flatter them; even if you’re lying.
I like you.
Need to woo a partner in time for Valentine’s? Follow these simple, evidence-based instructions for boosting your irresistibility.
When asking a lady for a dance or for her number, your chances will be improved by lightly touching her on the arm. Try not to do it in a creepy way.
Use mimicry, bodily and verbal. Use mimicry, bodily and verbal (see what I did there?)
If you’re male, try to make yourself look taller and vice versa for women.
Hire a sports car, if you’re a man, but don’t bother if you’re a woman. Both sexes should avoid Toyotas – that’s a joke, please don’t sue, they’re lovely cars.
When flirting with a man, use direct, no-nonsense chat up lines rather than the subtle or witty approach. Men are very easily confused.
When wooing a woman, use chat-up lines that demonstrate your helpfulness, generosity, athleticism, ‘culture’ and wealth. Don’t bother with jokes, empty compliments and sexual references. This ought to do it – ‘Hey gorgeous, sorry I’m late: the opera over-ran, then I had to race to my neighbour’s to help carry her piano upstairs – the one I bought her as a moving-in present’.
If all else fails, impress them by telling them you read Farnam Street.