The popularity of Vermont’s Heady Topper beer is a classic example of persuasion’s scarcity principle at work: People are persuaded to act when an item is in short supply. Heady Topper is a craft beer, sometimes called a microbrew, that is made and sold only in Vermont, and customers find it so irresistable that they… Read more »

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A psychologist says that we remember more when we handwrite because the brain has time to absorb the meaning. People are increasingly using laptops to take notes in meetings and classes, because it’s faster and because everyone is accustomed to typing. Some studies in the past showed that in the context of remembering information, laptops… Read more »

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Learning to express displeasure politely invites a civilized discussion and increases the likelihood that the other person will accept your point of view.   This was a lesson that a Harvard Business School professor apparently did not consider before sending a series of arrogant emails to a Chinese restaurant owner whose prices did not match… Read more »

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Get-out-the-vote campaigns succeeded because of two persuasion principles A low voter turnout is a hallmark of mid-term elections, so a huge push in the fall to motivate people to go to the polls relied on two persuasion principles. The group America Votes sent residents a “voter report card” showing their historical voting record compared with their neighbors. Todd… Read more »

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Don’t underestimate the power of the clear, direct sentence, but creating rhythm, variety, and emphasis are other ways to make your writing compelling.   Here is a segment from a USA Today story looking back on pay phones in America: For a century, the pay phone has been the impersonal medium for some of our… Read more »

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