January 13, 2017

"[P]eople are more cooperative when you ask for a favor using a sentence that includes the word because, even if the reason you offer makes little or no sense."

"Apparently the word 'because' signals reasonableness, and reasonableness allows people to let down their defenses and drop their objections. If the science is accurate, an effective way to ask for money might look something like this: 'May I borrow a hundred dollars, because I don’t get paid until next week?' That’s not much of a justification for borrowing money; no real reason is given. The person asking for money hasn’t even said why he needs it. It just feels as if a reason had been offered because of 'because.' I’ve tested this technique and it works surprisingly well."

From Scott Adams,  "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life" (citing studies by psychologist Robert Cialdini).

25 comments:

rhhardin said...

Erving Goffman ran a sociology class assignment, go to the subway and ask a random person if you can have their seat.

The result was that nobody could do it. There's some unwritten rule against it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The left still might want to try something a little more persuasive than because STFU.

JAORE said...

I think Unknown should take a 6 month vacation from posting, because....

(fill in the blank).

mccullough said...

Can I get a blowjob because I voted for Hillary

Henry said...

Every panhandler knows this score.

eric said...

You should have sex with me because sex feels great.

Meade said...

@mccullough: You probably can but not from me. I won't be giving you a blowjob because you voted for Hillary and it's a well-known fact that everyone who voted for Hillary suffers from Gonorrhea. By the way, the pustules on your hands is the reason I won't be shaken hands with you either. Why? Just because.

Fernandinande said...

People are more cooperative when you ask for a favor using a sentence that includes the word because, because words.

traditionalguy said...

Give me all your money because I want it. And give me everything anybody else has because Equality. And then give me your pussy because I am a celebrity.

It works, provided the concealed carry laws have first been repealed.

traditionalguy said...

More crafty is that giving a favor implies one can be demanded back. This is Godfather territory. Refuse all favors.

Curious George said...

I'm not so sure. My lefty friends say "Will you STFU because you are a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic asshole. And I'm not cooperative at all.

mccullough said...

Making Santino's bullet-riddled corpse presentable for an open-casket viewing was a fair trade for getting justice against his daughter's rapists.

Nonapod said...

If every a wonderful wiz there was, the Wizard of Oz is one

Static Ping said...

It's been well established that if you can fake like you know what you are doing, other people will generally assume you know what you are doing and react accordingly unless they have been trained to be suspicious. Using "because" implies some level of logical reasoning so it works to a certain extent. Going into a place of business with a clipboard also works. Just saying you work here is sufficient to get many people to go along.

The infamous IT story in this vein was an IT guy challenged another IT guy to steal the data off his company's new server which had the latest and greatest security features. The challenge was met when the hacker, who had no business there, bluffed his way into the building and physically carried the server out the door.

Birkel said...

The ask must be reasonable, as so many of the people above are demonstrating.
But knowing what is reasonable is a value judgment.

Value judgments make this sort of social science nearly worthless because other people disagree.

Unknown said...

Are you reading Scott's book? By the way it is very good. One of the things that stuck with me is his stack of skills. That you build up this stack and when an opportunity comes that might require "some design" for example, you have it. It also opens up your mind to get these different skills. Quite interesting.

Bob Ellison said...

It's a derivative of the fact that declarative statements are stronger than interrogatories. "Earth is going to hell because humans are killing it" is better than "Are humans killing the Earth?"

tcrosse said...

M-I-C See you real soon !
K-E-Y Why? Because we like you !

rhhardin said...

It's odd when a guy sends in morse code that his name is lloyd.

You're used to the beginning ll in print but not in morse. It's a mid-word rhythm.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I learned a decade ago over at Protein Wisdom you should always start your last paragraph with an all-capitol 'because' and continue in all caps until you hit the exclamation point as opposed to a mere period.

BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY!

Mr Wibble said...

That you build up this stack and when an opportunity comes that might require "some design" for example, you have it. It also opens up your mind to get these different skills. Quite interesting.

Luck is all about preparation. Opportunities come at us all the time, but most people are either oblivious, or unprepared to take advantage of them.

Bob R said...

Would you go out on a date with me, because I have this assignment from class? Might have worked in 1974.

Yancey Ward said...

Nigerian princes and princesses always use "because".

tcrosse said...

Because the world is round it turns me on
Because the world is round...aaaaaahhhhhh
Because the wind is high it blows my mind
Because the wind is high...aaaaaaaahhhh…

Bad Lieutenant said...

mccullough said...
Making Santino's bullet-riddled corpse presentable for an open-casket viewing was a fair trade for getting justice against his daughter's rapists.
1/13/17, 10:14 AM


False. "She kept her honor." They *merely* beat her like an animal so that she would never be the same again, but she defended the net.