We all have a lot of automatic reactions, don’t we?
These are the things we do without our mind truly engaging in a deep way.
- We scream and cheer when our team scores.
- We yelp in pain when we stump our toe.
- And we reach for water when we are thirsty.
But this is not only about the obvious. This idea has implications for persuasion too.
I mean, in what ways are we allowing others to influence us without even realizing it?
I think that reciprocity is a great example of these automatic reactions. It causes an automatic reaction without so much as a flicker.
To explain this, Cialdini begins here with the example of a Turkey. And – if i am honest – the “cheep-cheep” sound reminds me of an iPhone going off.
Understand: Turkeys are ridiculous.
Turkey mothers are good mothers—loving, watchful, and protective. They spend much of their time tending, warming, cleaning, and huddling the young beneath them. But there is something odd about their method. Virtually all of this mothering is triggered by one thing: the “cheep-cheep” sound of young turkey chicks. Other identifying features of the chicks, such as their smell, touch, or appearance, seem to play minor roles in the mothering process. If a chick makes the “cheep-cheep” noise, its mother will care for it; if not, the mother will ignore or sometimes kill it.
-Robert Cialdini, Influence