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Six Degrees of Social InfluenceScience, Application, and the Psychology of Robert Cialdini$
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Douglas T. Kenrick, Noah J. Goldstein, and Sanford L. Braver

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199743056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199743056.001.0001

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A Multiprocess Approach to Social Influence

A Multiprocess Approach to Social Influence

(p.49) Chapter 5 A Multiprocess Approach to Social Influence
Six Degrees of Social Influence

Richard E. Petty

Pablo Briñol

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes a multiprocess approach to social influence, with emphasis on the relationship between thoughtful information processing and the use of simple influence heuristics. Drawing on Robert Cialdini's principles of influence, it considers whether a non-expert can sometimes be more influential than an expert. It first outlines the six key factors that Cialdini believes guide most social influence attempts: scarcity, authority, social proof, liking, commitment, and reciprocity. It then explores the idea that any variable can influence people in many different ways in a variety of situations before turning to a discussion of two of the most studied influence variables, authority and social proof or consensus, along with the multiple processes by which they can work. It argues that variables such as scarcity affect judgments in different ways depending on how motivated and able people are to think about the appeal or request, a notion that is in accord with contemporary multiprocess theories of influence such as the elaboration likelihood model and the heuristic-systematic model.

Keywords:   social influence, information processing, heuristics, Robert Cialdini, scarcity, authority, social proof, liking, commitment, reciprocity

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