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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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Designed for Social Influence

Designed for Social Influence

(p.90) Chapter 9 Designed for Social Influence
Six Degrees of Social Influence

John T. Cacioppo

Louise C. Hawkley

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which people are “designed for social influence.” Drawing on Robert Cialdini's principles of influence, it describes the physiological mechanisms that underlie people's motivations to connect with, care for, and seek the approval of, others. Although these design features can sometimes make us overly sensitive to social rejection, the chapter argues that they enabled our ancestors to navigate the many obstacles to getting along in human groups. It also discusses the genetics of the social brain, along with the concept of social adhesion. The chapter concludes by explaining how the aversive state of loneliness influences social connections and promotes the consideration of and concern for others.

Keywords:   social influence, Robert Cialdini, genetics, social brain, social adhesion, loneliness, social connections

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