Were you ever convinced by a salesperson that you truly wanted a product, done something too instinctively, or made choices that seemed entirely not in your league, then you have had an idea planted in your head. Here’s how people go about doing this.
Reverse psychology has become an enormous influence and one of the most used methods, especially when it comes to parents teaching children what to do and not to do The idea came about at around the time the movie Jumanji was released in 1995. The problem is that most people look at reverse psychology in too simplistic terms. For example, you’d say “I don’t care if you want to go risk your life jumping out of a plane” to try and convince someone not to go skydiving. This isn’t reverse psychology—it’s more of a passive-aggressive approve.
There are people and corporations out there that actively study and utilize reverse psychology to get what they want from you, especially the pesky telemarketers who call your home at the most inappropriate times. While many people feel this is a form of manipulation, not all experts agree with that assessment.
According to Hank Davis, Professor of Psychology at University of Guelph and author of Caveman Logic, reverse psychology is used by almost everyone—consciously or unconsciously.
“Some people criticize the use of ‘reverse psychology’ for being manipulative,” he told Saludify. “I don’t agree. It’s no worse than the behavior modification techniques people use on each other every day, or the product placement techniques we find in supermarkets or in commercial films. The bottom line is we all do what we can – consciously or unconsciously – to create the environments we find rewarding.”
Hide The Idea
Getting a person to want to do something can be a hard task if you know they’re not going to want to do or buy it, so you need to make them believe it was their own creativity and their own idea in the first place. This is a common instruction, especially for salespeople, but it’s much easier said than done. You have to look at planting ideas in the same way you’d look to find the solution to the mystery clue. Slowly without pushing you offer the person a few clues until they come to the obvious conclusion. The key is to be patient, because if you rush through your “clues” it will be obvious and will not work. If you take it slow, the idea will come naturally in their mind without you being to obvious.
In essence, we are saying that you need to be careful about how you present your idea. Don’t come right out and show all your cards. Instead, lead into it and have the target discover it him/herself. The best way that I know how to do that is play dumb. When someone comes to you for help with something, you might have exactly the idea they need to fix their problem, but if you offer it to them, they won’t follow through because any success they have is your accomplishment, not theirs. Instead, lay out the pieces and pretend like you can’t put it all together yourself. If you toss enough hints out, they can make the important connections that lead to the solution by themselves.