You’re Never Too Old to Learn

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duck-with-ducklings-1543709For some reason, I never felt part of my high school peers. Actually, I know the reason. I never fully accepted moving from the comfort of the community where I was born to this strange new place. Mind you, the non-acceptance didn’t start with me. It was quite mutual. But that’s another story.

This story is about psychology. I can’t remember what interested me in the subject, but it had to be something very early in my life. By ninth grade, I had psycho-analyzed the entire high school population, separating them into nine distinct demographic groups based on their psychological profile as determined by their observed behavior. I never showed it to anyone, but I’m pretty sure I Continue Reading “You’re Never Too Old to Learn”

Trump, Truth, and Confirmation Bias

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rorschach-fantasy-1617886_660x395I’ve been retired from active politics for more than two decades. In that time, I’ve focused on my primary business – picking winning stocks and avoiding losing stocks. It’s almost impossible to bat a thousand doing this, but I believe (and hope I’ve demonstrated) there’s a way to increase your odds.

Shortly after I left the political realm, I began in earnest to take on the financial industry establishment. (Truth be told, as readers of my initial run as publisher of The Sentinel know, I actually started this years before.) As a new firm, I had to find a position that differentiated our services from our competitors. Taking on the establishment wasn’t a rebel yell, it was a marketing imperative. Quite simply, no new business can survive if it Continue Reading “Trump, Truth, and Confirmation Bias”

The Dark Side: A Review of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert B. Cialdini et al

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Yes_50_Scientifically_Proven_Ways_to_Be_Persuasive_300

Luke: …Is the Dark Side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

In his first book, Robert Cialdini, psychology-professor-turned-marketing-guru wrote of his desire to learn “How to Say No” to itinerant marketers, aggressive solicitors and various other ne’er-do-wells. As a result, (and as I explain in my review of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion), Cialdini goes out of his way to show readers why we say “yes” when don’t want to and how to say “no” when we should. Furthermore, in his follow-up book (see my review of Influence: Science and Practice) Cialdini extends his discussion of the six principals of persuasion to specifically include Continue Reading “The Dark Side: A Review of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert B. Cialdini et al”

Don’t Be a Patsy! A Review of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

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Influence_The_Psychology_of_Persuasion_300Whether it was actually said by P.T. Barnum or about P.T. Barnum, few would discount the adage “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Truth be told, if you asked Robert Cialdini, a well-respected Regents Professor Emeritus of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University who many consider the guru of the science of persuasion, he would freely admit he was born during one of those minutes. Indeed, in his introduction to Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, this favorite author of marketers around the globe states in no uncertain terms, “All my life I’ve been a patsy.”

Cialdini attributes his long standing disposition as a sucker inspired his interest in the study of compliance. “Study of compliance?” you might ask. To the scholarly Cialdini, who cut his bones with a series of seminal academic papers on social psychology in the 1970’s, that phrase means “the psychology of persuasion” as in “how does one get another Continue Reading “Don’t Be a Patsy! A Review of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini”

A Book Cover to Judge: A Review of Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini

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Influence_Science_and_Practice_300Towards the end of Influence: Science and Practice, author Robert Cialdini tells a story of a rather nasty TV talk show host who regularly berated his publicity-seeking celebrity guests, often immediately after he introduced them. Many felt the host’s venom stemmed from a leg amputation suffered earlier in his life. Cialdini writes of the time in the 1960s when a long-haired Frank Zappa came on as a guest. The host introduced Zappa with this zinger: “I guess your long hair makes you a girl.”

Without hesitation, Zappa shot back: “I guess your wooden leg makes a table.”

This story reflects the motif of Continue Reading “A Book Cover to Judge: A Review of Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini”

The Effective Use of Nonverbal Communication as Related to the Game of Chess

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Does this three-decade-old High School Thesis Reveal How to Get Something from Nothing?

nilJan. 13, 1978
Psychology
Mrs. MJ Jepson

During the past few years, the study of nonverbal communication, or body language, has come into being. Basically, nonverbal communication is the translating of bodily movements into behavioral characteristics.1 The technical name for this science is kinesics, as coined by Dr. Ray Birdwhistell, the main progenitor of the scientific analysis of nonverbal behavior.2 In order to decipher body language, one must take it Continue Reading “The Effective Use of Nonverbal Communication as Related to the Game of Chess”