The Secrets of Persuasion
A Our mother may have told you the secret to getting what you ask for was to say please. The reality is rather more surprising. Adam Dudding talks to a psychologist who has made a life’s work from the science of persuasion. Some scientists peer at things through high-powered microscopes. Others goad rats through mazes or mix bubbling fluids in glass beakers. Robert Cialdini, for his part, does curious things with towels and believes that by doing so he is discovering important insights into how society works.
B Cialdini’s towel experiments (more of them later), are part of his research into how we persuade others to say yes. He wants to know why some people have a knack for bending the will of others, be it a telephone cold-caller talking to you about timeshares, or a parent whose children are compliant even without threats of extreme violence. While he’s anxious not to be seen as the man who’s written the bible for snake-oil salesmen, for decades the Arizona State University social psychology professor has been creating systems for the principles and methods of persuasion and writing bestsellers about them. Some people seem to be born with the skills; Cialdini’s claim is that by applying a little science, even those of us who aren’t should be able to get our own way more often. “All my life I’ve been an easy mark for the blandishment of salespeople and fundraisers and I’d always wondered why they could get me to buy things I didn’t want and give to causes I hadn’t heard of,” says Cialdini on the phone from London, where his is plugging his latest book.
C He found that laboratory experiments on the psychology of persuasion were telling only part of the story, so he began to research influence in the real world, enrolling in sales-training programmes: “I learnt how to sell automobiles from a lot, how to sell insurance from an office, how to sell encyclopedias door to door.” He concluded there were six general “principles of influence” and has since put them to the test under slightly more scientific conditions. Most recently, that has meant messing about with towels. Many hotels leave a little card in each bathroom asking guests to reuse towels and thus conserve water and electricity and reduce pollution. Cialdini and his colleagues wanted to test the relative effectiveness of different words on those cards. Would guests be motivated to co-operate simply because it would help save the planet, or were other factors more compelling? To test this, the researchers changed the card’s message from an environmental one to the simple (and truthful) statement that the majority of guests at the hotel had reused their towel at least once. Guests given this message were 26% more likely to reuse their towels than those given the old message. In Cialdini’s book “Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion”, co-written with another social scientist and a business consultant, he explains that guests were responding to the persuasive force of “social proof”, the idea that our decisions are strongly influenced by what we believe other people like us are doing.
D So much for towels. Cialdini has also learnt a lot from confectionery. Yes! Cites the work of New Jersey behavioural scientist David Strohmetz, who wanted to see how restaurant patrons would respond to ridiculously small favour from their food server, in the form of after-dinner chocolate for each diner. The secret, it seems, is in how you give the chocolate. When the chocolates arrived in a heap with the bill, tips went up a miserly 3% compared to when no chocolate was given. But when the chocolates were dropped individually in front of each diner, tips went up 14%. The scientific breakthrough, though, came when the waitress gave each diner one chocolate, headed away from the table then doubled back to give them one more each as if such generosity had only just occurred to her. Tips went up 23%. This is “reciprocity” in action: we want to return favours done to us, often without bothering to calculate the relative value of what is being received and given.
E Geeling Ng, operations manager at Auckland’s Soul Bar, says she’s never heard of Kiwi waiting staff using such a cynical trick, not least because New Zealand tipping culture is so different from that of the US: “If you did that in New Zealand, as diners were leaving they’d say ‘can we have some more?” ‘ But she certainly understands the general principle of reciprocity. The way to a diner’s heart is “to give them something they’re not expecting in the way of service. It might be something as small as leaving a mint on their plate, or it might be remembering that last time they were in they wanted their water with no ice and no lemon. “In America, it would translate into an instant tip. In New Zealand, it translates into a huge smile and thanks to you.” And no doubt, return visits.
THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF PERSUASION
F Reciprocity: People want to give back to those who have given to them. The trick here is to get in first. That’s why charities put a crummy pen inside a mailout, and why smiling women in supermarkets hand out dollops of free food. Scarcity: People want more of things they can have less of. Advertisers ruthlessly exploit scarcity (“limit four per customer”, “sale must end soon”), and Cialdini suggests parents do too: “Kids want things that are less available, so say ‘this is an unusual opportunity; you can only have this for a certain time’.”
G Authority: We trust people who know what they’re talking about. So inform people honestly of your credentials before you set out to influence them. “You’d be surprised how many people fail to do that,” says Cialdini. “They feel it’s impolite to talk about their expertise.” In one study, therapists whose patients wouldn’t do their exercises were advised to display their qualification certificates prominently. They did and experienced an immediate leap in patient compliance.
H Commitment/consistency: We want to act in a way that is consistent with the commitments we have already made. Exploit this to get a higher sign-up rate when soliciting charitable donations. First, ask workmates if they think they will sponsor you on your egg-and-spoon marathon. Later, return with the sponsorship form to those who said yes and remind them of their earlier commitment.
I Linking: We say yes more often to people we like. Obvious enough, but reasons for “linking” can be weird. In one study, people were sent survey forms and asked to return them to a named researcher. When the researcher gave a fake name resembling that of the subject (eg, Cynthia Johnson is sent a survey by “Cindy Johansen”), surveys were twice as likely to be completed. We favour people who resemble us, even if the resemblance is as minor as the sound of their name.
J Social proof: We decide what to do by looking around to see what others just like us are doing. Useful for parents, says Cialdini. “Find groups of children who are behaving in a way that you would like your child to, because the child looks to the side, rather than at you.” More perniciously, social proof is the force underpinning the competitive materialism of “keeping up with the Joneses”.
Choose the correct letter A, B, C or D.
1. The main purpose of Cialdini’s research of writing is to
A explain the reason way researcher should investigate in person
B explore the secret that why some people become the famous salesperson
C help people to sale products
D prove maybe there is a science in the psychology of persuasion
2. Which of the statement is CORRECT according to Cialdini’s research methodology
A he checked data in a lot of latest books
B he conducted this experiment in the laboratory
C he interviewed and contract with many salespeople
D he made lot phone calls collecting what he wants to know
3. Which of the following is CORRECT according to towel experiment in the passage?
A Different hotel guests act in a different response
B Most guests act by the idea of environment preservation
C More customers tend to cooperate as the message requires than simply act environmentally
D People tend to follow the hotel’s original message more
4. Which of the following is CORRECT according to the candy shop experiment in the passage?
A Presenting way affects diner’s tips
B Regular customer gives tips more than irregulars
C People give tips only when offered chocolate
D Chocolate with bill got higher tips
Do the following statements agree with the information given in reading passage? In boxes 5-8 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
5. Robert Cialdini experienced “principles of influence” himself in realistic life.
6. Principle of persuasion has different types in different countries.
7. In New Zealand, people tend to give tips to attendants after being served chocolate.
8. Elder generation of New Zealand is easily attracted by extra service of restaurants by the principle of reciprocity.
Use the information in the passage to match the category (listed A-E) with correct description below. Write the appropriate letters A-E in boxes 9-13 on answer sheet. NB You may use any letter more than once.
A Reciprocity of scarcity
C Previous comment
E Social Proof
9. Some expert may reveal qualification in front of clients.
10. Parents tend to say something that other kids are doing the same.
11. Advertisers ruthlessly exploit the limitation of chances.
12. Use a familiar name in a survey.
13. Ask colleagues to offer a helping hand.
Western Immigration of Canada
A By the mid-1870s Canada wanted an immigrant population of agricultural settlers established in the West. No urban centres existed on the prairies in the 1870s, and rural settlement was the focus of the federal government’s attention. The western rural settlement was desired, as it would provide homesteads for the sons and daughters of eastern farmers, as eastern agricultural landfilled to capacity. As well, eastern farmers and politicians viewed western Canada, with its broad expanses of unpopulated land, as a prime location for expanding Canada’s agricultural output, especially in terms of wheat production to serve the markets of eastern Canada.
B To bolster Canada’s population and agricultural output, the federal government took steps to secure western land. The Dominion of Canada purchased Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870. In 1872, the federal government enacted the Dominion Lands Act. This act enabled settlers to acquire 160 acres of free land, as long as settlers remained on their land for a period of three years, made certain minor improvements to the land, and paid a $10.00 registration fee. The Canadian government also created a Mounted Police Force in 1873. The Mounties journeyed west to secure the area for future settlers. By 1876 the NWMP had established themselves in the West. The major posts included Swan River, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Calgary, Fort Walsh and Fort Macleod. All of these initiatives attracted a number of eastern-Canadian settlers, as well as European and American immigrants, to Canada’s West, and particularly to the area of Manitoba.
C The surest way to protect Canadian territory, and to achieve the secondary goal for joining British Columbia to the rest of the country, was to import large numbers of Eastern Canadian and British settlers. Settling the West also made imperative the building of a transcontinental railway. The railway would work to create an east-west economy, in which western Canada would feed the growing urban industrial population of the east, and in return become a market for eastern Canadian manufactured goods.
D Winnipeg became the metropolis of the West during this period. Winnipeg’s growth before 1900 was the result of a combination of land speculation, growth of housing starts, and the federal government’s solution in 1881 of Winnipeg as a major stop along the CPR. This decision culminated in a land boom between 1881 and 1883 which resulted in the transformation of hamlets like Portage la Prairie and Brandon into towns, and a large increase in Manitoba’s population. Soon, Winnipeg stood at the junction of three transcontinental railway lines which employed thousands in rail yards. Winnipeg also became the major processor of agricultural products for the surrounding hinterland.
E The majority of settlers to Winnipeg, and the surrounding countryside, during this early period, were primarily Protestant English-speaking settlers from Ontario and the British Isles. These settlers established Winnipeg upon a British-Ontarian ethos which came to dominate the society’s social, political, and economic spirit. This British-Ontarian ethnic homogeneity, however, did not last very long. Increasing numbers of foreign immigrants, especially from Austria-Hungary and Ukraine soon added a new ethnic element to the recent British, the older First Nation Métis, and Selkirk’s settler population base. Settling the West with (in particular) Eastern Canadians and British immigrant offered the advantage of safeguarding the 49th parallel from the threat of American take-over, had not the Minnesota legislature passed a resolution which provided for the annexation of the Red River district. The Red River in 1870 was the most important settlement on the Canadian prairies. It contained 11,963 inhabitants of whom 9,700 were Métis and First Nations. But neighbouring Minnesota already had a population of over 100,000.
F Not all of the settlers who came to western Canada in the 1880s, however, desired to remain there. In the 1870s and 1880s, economic depression kept the value of Canada’s staple exports low, which discouraged many from permanent settlement in the West. Countries including Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the United States competed with Canada for immigrants. Many immigrants and thousands of Canadians chose to settle in the accessible and attractive American frontier. Canada before 1891 has been called “a huge demographic railway station” where thousands of men, women, and children were constantly going and coming, and where the number of departures invariably exceeded that of arrivals.”
G By 1891 Eastern Canada had its share of both large urban centres and problems associated with city life. While the booming economic centres of Toronto and Montreal were complete with electricity and telephones in the cities’ wealthiest areas by the turn of the century, slum conditions characterised the poorest areas like the district known as ‘the Ward’ in Toronto. Chickens and pigs ran through the streets; privy buckets spilled onto backyards and lanes creating cesspools in urban slums. These same social reformers believed that rural living, in stark contrast to urban, would lead to a healthy, moral, and charitable way of life. Social reformers praised the ability of fresh air, hard work, and open spaces for ‘Canadianizing’ immigrants. Agricultural pursuits were seen as especially fitting for attaining this ‘moral’ and family-oriented way of life, in opposition to the single male-dominated atmosphere of the cities. Certainly, agriculture played an important part in the Canadian economy in 1891. One-third of the workforce worked on farms.
H The Canadian government presented Canada’s attractions to potential overseas migrants in several ways. The government offered free or cheap land to potential agriculturists. As well, the government established agents and/or agencies for the purpose of attracting emigrants overseas. Assisted passage schemes, bonuses and commissions to agents and settlers and pamphlets also attracted some immigrants to Canada. The most influential form of attracting others to Canada, however, remained the letters home written by emigrants already in Canada. Letters from trusted friends and family members. Letters home often contained exaggerations of the ‘wonder of the new world.’ Migrant workers and settlers already in Canada did not want to disappoint, or worry, their family and friends at home. Embellished tales of good fortune and happiness often succeeded in encouraging others to come.
The reading passage has eight paragraphs A-H. Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-H from the list below. Write the correct number, i-xii, in boxes 14-20 on your answer sheet
List of Headings
i. Not all would stay in Canada forever
ii. Government’s safeguard in the West
iii. Eastern Canada is full
iv. Built-up to the new infrastructure
v. An exclusive British domination in Ontario established ever since
vi. Ethnics and language make-up
vii. Pursuing a pure life
viii. Police recruited from mid-class families
ix. Demand of western immigration
x. Early major urban development of the West
xi. Attracting urban environment
xii. Advertising of Western Canada
Example: Paragraph A ix
14. Paragraph B
15. Paragraph C
16. Paragraph D
17. Paragraph E
18. Paragraph F
19. Paragraph G
20. Paragraph H
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of reading passage. Using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.
With the saturation of Eastern Canada, the Western rural area would supply (21)…………………. for the descendants of easterners. Politicians also declared that Western is got potential to increase (22)…………….. of Canada according to (23)…………………. crop that consumed in the East. The federal government started to prepare and made it happen. First, the government bought land from a private (24)…………….., and legally offered a certain area to people who stayed for a qualifying period of time. Then, mounted (25)……………… was found to secure the land. However, the best way to protect citizens was to build a (26)………………. to transport the migrants and goods between the West and the East.
Memory and Age
A Aging, it is now clear, is part of an ongoing maturation process that all our organs go through. “In a sense, aging is keyed to the level of vigor of the body and the continuous interaction between levels of body activity and levels of mental activity,” reports Arnold B. Scheibel, M.D., whose very academic title reflects how once far-flung domains now converge on the mind and the brain. Scheibel is professor of anatomy, cell biology, psychiatry, and behavioral sciences at the University of California at Los Angeles, and director of the university’s Brain Research Institute. Experimental evidence has backed up popular assumptions that the aging mind undergoes decay analogous to that of the aging body. Younger monkeys, chimps, and lower animals consistently outperform their older colleagues on memory tests. In humans, psychologists concluded, memory and other mental functions deteriorate over time because of inevitable organic changes in the brain as neurons die off. Mental decline after young adulthood appeared inevitable.
B Equipped with imaging techniques that capture the brain in action, Stanley Rapoport, Ph.D., at the National Institutes of Health, measured the flow of blood in the brains of old and young people as they went through the task of matching photos of faces. Since blood flow reflects neuronal activity, Rapoport could compare which networks of neurons were being used by different subjects. “Even when the reaction times of older and younger subjects were the same, the neural networks they used were significantly different. The older subjects were using different internal strategies to accomplish the same result in the same time,” Rapoport says. Either the task required greater effort on the part of the older subjects or the work of neurons originally involved in tasks of that type had been taken over by other neurons, creating different networks.
C At the Georgia Institute of Technology, psychologist Timothy Salthouse, Ph.D., compared a group of very fast and accurate typists of college age with another group in their 60s. Since reaction time is faster in younger people and most people’s fingers grow less nimble with age, younger typists might be expected to tap right along while the older ones fumble. But both typed 60 words a minute. The older typists, it turned out, achieved their speed with cunning little strategies that made them far more efficient than their younger counterparts: They made fewer finger movements, saving a fraction of a second here and there. They also read ahead in the text. The neural networks involved in typing appear to have been reshaped to compensate for losses in motor skills or other age changes.
D “When a rat is kept in isolation without playmates or objects to interact with, the animal’s brain shrinks, but if we put that rat with 11 other rats in a large cage and give them an assortment of wheels, ladders, and other toys, we can show–after four days– significant differences in its brain,” says Diamond, professor of integrative biology. Proliferating dendrites first appear in the visual association areas. After a month in the enriched environment, the whole cerebral cortex has expanded, as has its blood supply. Even in the enriched environment, rats get bored unless the toys are varied. “Animals are just like we are. They need stimulation,” says Diamond.
E One of the most profoundly important mental functions is memory-notorious for its failure with age. So important is memory that the Charles A. Dana Foundation recently spent $8.4 million to set up a consortium of leading medical centers to measure memory loss and aging through brain imaging technology, neurochemical experiments, and cognitive and psychological tests. One thing, however, is already fairly clear–many aspects of memory are not a function of age at all but of education. Memory exists in more than one form. What we call knowledge–facts-is what psychologists such as Harry P. Bahrick, Ph.D., of Ohio Wesleyan University calls semantic memory. Events, conversations, and occurrences in time and space, on the other hand, make up episodic or event memory, which is triggered by cues from the context. If you were around in 1963 you don’t need to be reminded of the circumstances surrounding the moment you heard that JFK had been assassinated. That event is etched into your episodic memory.
F When you forget a less vivid item, like buying a roll of paper towels at the supermarket, you may blame it on your aging memory. It’s true that episodic memory begins to decline when most people are in their 50s, but it’s never perfect at any age. “Every memory begins as an event,” says Bahrick. “Through repetition, certain events leave behind a residue of knowledge, or semantic memory. On a specific day in the past, somebody taught you that two and two are four, but you’ve been over that information so often you don’t remember where you learned it. What started as an episodic memory has become a permanent part of your knowledge base.” You remember the content, not the context. Our language knowledge, our knowledge of the world and of people, is largely that permanent or semipermanent residue.
G Probing the longevity of knowledge, Bahrick tested 1,000 high school graduates to see how well they recalled their algebra. Some had completed the course as recently as a month before, others as long as 50 years earlier. He also determined how long each person had studied algebra, the grade received, and how much the skill was used over the course of adulthood. Surprisingly, a person’s grasp of algebra at the time of testing did not depend on how long ago he’d taken the course–the determining factor was the duration of instruction. Those who had spent only a few months learning algebra forgot most of it within two or three years.
H In another study, Bahrick discovered that people who had taken several courses in Spanish, spread out over a couple of years, could recall, decades later, 60 percent or more of the vocabulary they learned. Those who took just one course retained only a trace after three years. “This long-term residue of knowledge remains stable over the decades, independent of the age of the person and the age of the memory. No serious deficit appears until people get to their 50s and 60s, probably due to the degenerative processes of aging rather than a cognitive loss.”
I “You could say metamemory is a byproduct of going to school,” says psychologist Robert Kail, Ph.D., of Purdue University, who studies children from birth to 20 years, the time of life when mental development is most rapid. “The question-and-answer process, especially exam-taking, helps children learn–and also teaches them how their memory works This may be one reason why, according to a broad range of studies in people over 60, the better educated a person is, the more likely they are to perform better in life and on psychological tests. A group of adult novice chess players were compared with a group of child experts at the game. In tests of their ability to remember a random series of numbers, the adults, as expected, outscored the children. But when asked to remember the patterns of chess pieces arranged on a board, the children won. “Because they’d played a lot of chess, their knowledge of chess was better organized than that of the adults, and their existing knowledge of chess served as a framework for new memory,” explains Kail.
J Specialized knowledge is a mental resource that only improves with time. Crystallized intelligence about one’s occupation apparently does not decline at all until at least age 75, and if there is no disease or dementia, may remain even longer. Special knowledge is often organized by a process called “chunking.” If procedure A and procedure B are always done together, for example, the mind may merge them into a single command. When you apply yourself to a specific interest–say, cooking–you build increasingly elaborate knowledge structures that let you do more and do it better. This ability, which is tied to experience, is the essence of expertise. Vocabulary is one such specialized form of accrued knowledge. Research clearly shows that vocabulary improves with time. Retired professionals, especially teachers and journalists, consistently score higher on tests of vocabulary and general information than college students, who are supposed to be in their mental prime.
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
27. What does the typist’s experiment show in the passage?
A Old people reading ability is superior
B Losses of age is irreversible
C Seasoned tactics made elders more efficient
D Old people performed poorly in driving test
28. Which is correct about rat experiment?
A Different toys have different effect for rats
B Rat’s brain weight increased in both cages.
C Isolated rat’s brain grows new connections
D Boring and complicated surroundings affect brain development
29. What can be concluded in the chess game of a children’s group?
A They won game with adults.
B Their organization of chess knowledge is better
C Their image memory is better than adults
D They used different part of brain when chessing
30. What is the author’s purpose of using “vocabulary study” at the end of the passage?
A Certain people are sensitive to vocabularies while others aren’t
B Teachers and professionals won by their experience
C Vocabulary memory as a crystallized intelligence is hard to decline
D Old people use their special zone of brain when study
Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of reading passage, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 30-36 on your answer sheet.
It’s long been known that (31)……………… declined with age. Charles A. Dana foundation invested millions of dollars to test memory decline. They used advanced technology, neurochemical experiments and ran several cognitive and (32)………………….. experiments. Bahrick called one form ” (33)………………… “, which describes factual knowledge. Another one called “ (34)………………….“contains events in time and space format. He conducted two experiments toward knowledge memory’s longevity, he asked 1000 candidates some knowledge of (35)……………………, some could even remember it decades ago. Second research of Spanish courses found that multiple course participants could remember more than half of (36)……………….. they learned after decades, whereas single course taker only remembered as short as 3 years.
Use the information in the passage to match the people (listed A-F) with opinions or deeds below. Write the appropriate letters A-F in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.
A Harry P. Bahrick
B Arnold B. Scheibel
C Marion Diamond
D Timothy Salthouse
E Stanley Rapport
F Robert Kail
37. Examined both young and old’s blood circulation of brain while testing,
38. Aging is a significant link between physical and mental activity.
39. Some semantic memories of an event fade away by repetition.
40. Rat’s brain developed when put in a diverse environment.