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Special Education Director's Blog

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In our department we are starting a book study on the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I am thinking I may want to share relevant parts of the book with you at our Director Meetings. The simple, real-life principals in the book enlighten us as to how to become skilled persuaders. I am thinking this has personal as well as professional implications!

Just last week, I fell victim (that may be too harsh a word!) to one of the principles —Reciprocation. Basically, reciprocation means that if someone has done for me, than I am more likely to do for them. We have all experienced it . . . buying a Christmas present for someone we barely know because they bought one for us . . . giving to a charity because they sent us address labels along with the request letter (yes, that is exactly their intent…they read the book!).

Anyway, I just wanted to share that though I am of at least average intelligence (barely) and I am a psychologist . . . I am also a sucker! Last week I bought a car from a man because he picked me up at CarMax (where I had just sold my old car) and gave me a ride to the dealership. I felt a huge obligation to buy from him because of his kind gesture. Not the best reason to buy a car . . . I admit . . . but I still was caught in the reciprocation cycle!

These powerful principles can also be used for good! I used them as a behavioral consultant to persuade resistant teachers to implement behavioral interventions for students.

I would love to hear your feedback (about discussing this at the meeting . . . not about my behavior!). Have a great weekend! :-)

7145 West Tidwell Road | Houston, Texas 77092-2096 | 713.462.7708