The Monitor spoke with Robert Cialdini, who wrote the now infamous Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, about his work and its influence.
At one point in the interview, Cialdini talks about the best way job-seekers can use persuasion to help them land a job.
Consistency is a good weapon of influence in job-hunting — the idea being that if you make a public statement, there are strong pressures to stay consistent with that, both internal and external. Let’s say you’ve got a job interview, and you know that you’re among a variety of candidates. Say something like, “I’m very pleased to be here, and I look forward to giving you all the information you’d need to know about me, but before we begin, would you mind telling me why it is that you selected me to interview.” And let them speak. Let them, in a public, active way, describe your plusses. And they will spend much of the rest of the meeting validating what they are on record as having valuing about you, because people want to stay consistent with what they’ve previously claimed. And you’re entitled to that. Why be in the dark?
In his seminal book on the topic, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Cialdini went undercover to learn the tricks mastered by used-car dealers and Fortune 500 executives alike, bringing persuasion research to psychology’s forefront. Cialdini also co-authored a how-to guide, Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive.
Behavioral economics is motivated by a range of empirical facts that are at apparent odds with assumptions of standard economic theory. But while behavioral approaches are becoming common in academia, it is unclear how behavioral models should inform economic policymaking in general, and central banking in particular. This conference, entitled “Implications of Behavioral Economics for Economic Policy,” discussed the implications of behavioral economics for macroeconomic policy, with special attention to the regulatory and monetary policy responsibilities of central banks.
Behavioral Economics: Its Prospects and Promises for Policymakers
Christopher L. Foote, Lorenz Goette, and Stephan Meier
2. Behavioral Aspects of Price Setting
Behavioral Aspects of Price Setting and Their Policy Implications
Julio J. Rotemberg, with comments by Jonas D. M. Fisher and John Leahy
3. Household Savings Behavior
Household Savings Behavior in the United States: The Role of Literacy, Information, and Financial Education Programs
Annamaria Lusardi, with comments by Alan S. Blinder and David I. Laibson
4. Fairness and the Labor Market
The Behavioral Economics of the Labor Market: Central Findings and Their Policy Implications
Ernst Fehr, Lorenz Goette, and Christian Zehnder, with comments by George P. Baker and John A. List
5. Behavioral Economics and the Housing Market
U.S. House Price Dynamics and Behavioral Economics
Christopher J. Mayer and Todd Sinai, with comments by Andrew Caplin and Robert J. Shiller
6. Should Central Banks Maximize Happiness?
Happiness, Contentment, and Other Emotions for Central Banks
Rafael Di Tella and Robert MacCulloch, with comments by Alan B. Krueger and N. Gregory Mankiw
7. Behavioral Economics and Economic Policy in the Past and in the Future
Behavioral Economics and Public Policy: Reflections on the Past and Lessons for the Future
James M. Poterba
Implications of Behavioral Economics for Monetary Policy
Janet L. Yellen
Behavioral Economics as “Psychologically Informed” Economic Inquiry
Lawrence H. Summers