Social Scientists spend a lot of time thinking about Marketing.
One example of their fascination is a book I recently read entitled Influence: Science and Practice by Dr. Robert Cialdini, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University.
In the book, Cialdini goes into mind-numbing detail explaining every aspect of how marketers (whom he refers to as “Influence Practitioners”) persuade us to do their bidding through marketing, advertising and sales techniques.
It’s a pretty dry read. Not one I’d recommend to the faint of heart.
Except for Chapter 6: Authority.
That’s right, Cialdini devotes an entire chapter to what he calls Directed Deference – deference to Authority and the power that it wields.
This chapter caught me completely by surprise because I was reading the book on audio. I didn’t have the chance to review the table of contents in advance.
But there Cialdini was, in his usual level of detail, explaining every reason why Authority is such an effective marketing technique and even offering a few tips on how to resist its power.
So if you’re not going to believe me, you HAVE to believe the guy in the white lab coat, right?