When it Comes to Persuasion, Little Things Make a Big Difference

Dec 18, 2014

You can significantly increase your ability to influence others by making very small shifts. 

Did you know? People are more likely to donate to hurricane relief funds if the name of the hurricane starts with the same letter of their first name.

 That’s according to UK based social scientist and author Steve Martin. He says that when it comes to getting people to do things, it’s the little things, and other people, that matter.

“In a study in England, we told people how many other people were paying their taxes on time. After that letter when out, significantly more people paid on time. We are social creatures, and we want the approval of others…. What everyone else is doing is highly motivating for us.”

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe talks with Martin about what influences our behavior and how we can become better at influencing the behaviors of those around us. He writes about more than 50 different sublet changes that can bring about huge shifts in behavior in the book “The Small Big: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence,” which he co-authored with social scientists Robert Cialdini and Noah Goldstein.