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Persuasion and Influence Have Shaped History

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    Persuasion and Influence is plays a major role in everyone’s daily lives, from politics to religion. Humans need to be accepted in society and this leads to what they wear, and how to act in front of others. There is different types of social influence and persuasion, and how it has lead people to commit gruesome acts. Persuasion is also seen in the things we shop for, and holidays.

    Influence and Persuasion

    In order for people to have a better chance at survival they need to belong in a group, be accepted for who they are based in beliefs, culture, values, behavior and attitude. From the beginning of time humans have been able to persuade and influence other humans into religions, cults, wars, politics, genocides and selling. James Warren Jones is a great example of persuasion and influence over other people, by making his followers feel like they belong to something greater than themselves. Influence and persuasion controls how the world works from economics, to politics. Some people such as sellers make a living out of persuasion and influence.

    Being Enjoyable and Recognized

    As previously mention people want to belong to society. In this case James Warren Jones is an example of people being wanted and recognized. James Warren Jones knew exactly what type of public would follow him, people that were not being accepted in society because the color of their skin or beliefs, and that is the reason why he started an interracial church on 1955. Seventy families follow him to California with hopes to be accepted. James Warren Jones was the king to his castle, he controlled the people and the way they would raise their children.

    In 1977 he decided to move his congregation once more to another country in South Africa, Guyana, and people followed him and during his time in Guyana his congregation grew to nine hundred members. James Warren Jones had complete authority over his followers, making them work harsh hour in the fields, under poor living and harsh conditions. His followers were normative influenced in order to be accepted no matter how they were living. Eventually James Warren Jones was found out by the media, and forced him to commit the one of the biggest atrocity in history, forcing nine hundred and fourteen people in his cult to commit suicide by drinking poisoned, including children.

    Normative Influence

    Solomon Asch explains that people are willing to go against their beliefs in order to belong to any group. He conducted an experiment where a group of men where sitting next to each other and all got ask the same questions, the majority of the group always gave the wrong answered, but the one man that knew they were all wrong decided to give the wrong answer to, just to feel that he was being part of the group. Humans can not handle social rejections.

    Social Rejections. As previously stated people can’t stand being rejected by society and always need to be part of a group. Take the holocaust for example, Hitler needed someone to blame in order to rise in Germany and that someone was the Jews. Hitler believed in one great and clean German race and in 1933 he accomplished his goal to persuade the German people against the Jews making some Germans public compliance. His army committed atrocities and placed the Jewish in concentrations camps, the soldiers under Hitler’s army only followed orders from their chain of command. Hitler knew how to persuade and conquer and anyone that did not follow him were murdered, inflecting fear on the people.

    Informational Influence

    People are influence by the person that appears to be more knowledgeable than they are. This influences group norms, where people just accept certain statements to exist and be true. The cult of James Warren Jones is an example of group norms, and other groups like the Ku Klux Klan, a group the believes that one race stands above all others, and Scientology, a religion or cult that maintain their activities in secrecy and harm families that want to separate from the church.


    Foot-in-the door is when sellers are trying so hard to sell a product, and prevent the door from closing with their foot. This is also seen with religions, people trying to recruit others to join the church they belong to. Jehovah witnesses knocking door to door to get the people to read their magazines and joined their church. Cults use this technique as well, asking people for small offerings and later on asking for bigger and outrageous offerings such as James Warren Jones cult.

    Consistency and Labeling

    Anyone loves to be label, from children to adults. If a child was to get label by its teacher as a smart student, most likely that child is going to want to please its teacher. The same goes with people and sellers take advantage of labeling people in order to sell their product. For example hair products at the mall, sellers search for someone they can sell their product to and as soon as find a customer they label them by calling them beautiful. This label leads the consumer to beauty standards, and if their hair does not match those beauty standards if forces them to buying the product making it easier for the seller to sell.

    Bait-and-Switch and Low-Ball technique

    Bait-and-switch technique is use by all type of retailers, including electronic stores. Electronic stores adore to put their electronics on sale and in short supply, making it a more attractive deal to the consumer. Stores know that scarcity of supply makes it more desirable, and it they run out it gives them a chance to send their employees to sell another similar product to the consumer.

    Low-ball technique is when recruiters ask people to join the military with all type of benefits, and chances to have a career and be successful. After basic training that person does have all those benefits but are not doing what they thought they would be doing in the military for a career. Instead they out cutting grass with scissors or washing the military truck under the rain using a hose.


    This can be seen in marriages where two people are committed to each other, and take care of each other. It is also seen in families, adults taking care of their parents as they age, this is part of being a human taking care of someone else and being rewarded with the same care. Door in the face is an example of a mother asking a child to do dishes and later on the child doesn’t want to do the dishes, so the mother ask for a much smaller task to persuade the child that the mother is being reasonable. That’s not all technique is also used by sellers to sell their product, for examples commercials on television selling a product such as cell phones and giving a twenty percent discount and a small screen television for free.

    Conclusion and Discussions.

    Persuasion and influence can be seen daily in politics, television, wars, sellers and consumers, and religion. Persuasion and influence have shaped history to what it’s today with some great rulers and also awful rulers. Without persuasion and influence humans would not be able to belong into society, and belonging is part of human nature. If it wasn’t because of sellers influence and persuasion into their products people will not have jobs. People love to be label because it makes them feel like they belong, whether that label be good or bad. Humans are committed to help each other based in beliefs and human nature.

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