com/lietome/lightmantests/ Neural substrates of basic emotions Neuropsychology of emotion In addition to the researchers mentioned in each section, a number of studies have also been conducted in collaboration with Andy Young (University of York), Dave Perrett (University of St Andrews), and Andrew Lawrence(Cardiff). Research discussed below addressing the neural underpinnings of fear and disgust are summarised in a review article - 'The Neuropsychology of Fear and Loathing' (Calder, Lawrence, and Young, 2001b; Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2(5), 352-363). Here we argue that brain mechanisms underlying these two emotions are coded by separate, but overlapping systems. A system for fear in which the amygdala appears to be critical, and another for disgust in which the important neural structures are the insula and parts of the basal ganglia (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Research summarised below discusses the involvement of the amygdala in fear processing and insula/basal ganglia regions in disgust processing. This graphic illustrates the position of these structures in the brain. Impaired recognition of fear and anger following bilateral amygdala damage An investigation of two cases with bilateral amygdala damage, DR and SE revealed that both have problems in recognising facial expressions of fear, and to a lesser extent anger (Calder et al., 1996b). Additional collaborative projects with Ralph Adolphs (Caltech, USA) and Paul Broks (Plymouth), have confirmed the amygdala's role in processing facial expressions of emotion, and in particular fear (Adolphs et al., 1999; Broks et al., 1998). A collaborative project with Sophie Scott (University College London), addressed the contribution of the amygdala to the recognition of emotion from vocal cues (Scott et al., 1997) in case DR. Results showed that DR demonstrates an identical pattern in the vocal domain (i.e., impaired recognition of vocal signals of fear and anger), supporting the view that the amygdala contributes to the recognition of these emotions across different sensory modalities (Calder et al., 2001b). This proposal is also supported by a 1

collaborative functional imaging (fMRI) project with Mary Phillips (Institute of Psychiatry) (Phillips et al., 1998), which showed enhanced amygdala signals for facial and vocal signals of fear (see below). A Neural Response in the Human Amygdala to Fearful Facial Expressions Collaborative projects with Ray Dolan at the Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to investigate participants' perception of different intensities of facial expressions of fear and happiness (see perception of facial expressions page) (Figure 2) (Morris et al, 1996; 1998). The results demonstrated that fear, but not happy facial expressions produced increased rCBF in the amygdala. Moreover, activation in the amygdala was positively correlated with increasing intensity of facial expressions of fear, and negatively correlated with increasing intensity of facial expressions of happiness (Figure 3).

Figure 2: The two image sequences show examples of the morphed continua used. The sequences ranged between neutral and afraid (top) and neutral and happy (bottom) expressions (100%), and then beyond to caricatured (125%) versions of each expression. Participants viewed examples of the images in a block design. Different levels of exaggeration of each emotion were presented in separate blocks (i.e., 25% fear images, 75% happy images were shown in separate blocks).


Figure 3: Activation in the amygdala showed a linear relationship with decreasing intensity of happiness and increasing intensity of fear (see Figure 2). A fear minus happy contrast also showed increased rCBF in the amygdala. Impaired recognition of disgust Collaborative work with Reiner Sprengelmeyer has demonstrated that Huntington's disease causes a disproportionate impairment in recognising facial expressions of disgust (Sprengelmeyer et al., 1996; Sprengerlmeyer et al., 1997). To investigate further the role of the basal ganglia in coding this emotion, an additional project examined two psychiatric disorders associated with abnormal metabolic activity in this brain region obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (Braun et al., 1995; Rapoport, 1989; Rapoport & Fiske, 1998). The results showed that the OCD group and sub-group of the Tourette's group with co-morbid OCD symptoms showed a selective impairment in recognising disgust facial expressions. These findings emphasise the role of the basal ganglia in recognising disgust. In addition, it was proposed that the presence of OCD symptoms in the patients' childhood years may have led to a weakened mapping between self-experienced emotion and the facial expressions of others. Functional imaging studies of disgust Huntington's disease, OCD and Tourette's syndrome are not characterised by focal neuropathology. Hence, although these patient-based studies point towards the probable involvement of the basal ganglia in disgust, the evidence is indirect. In this respect functional imaging research has been particularly informative. Collaborative work with Mary Phillips (IOP) (Phillips et al., 1998; Phillips et al., 1997) has identified two areas involved in processing facial expressions of disgust - the insula and the basal ganglia (Figures 4&5). Insula involvement is particularly interesting given its identified role in gustatory function (Augustine, 1996; Small et al., 1999). Of equal relevance is research 3

showing that lesions to the insula or pallidum of rats interferes with conditioned taste aversion (Dunn & Everitt, 1988; Hernadi, Zaradi, Faludi, & Lenard, 1997). Together these findings concur with Rozin and colleagues' (Rozin & Fallon, 1987; Rozin, Lowery, & Ebert, 1994) proposal that disgust has developed from a more primitive system involved in distaste.

Figure 4: Examples of stimuli used by Phillips et al (1997). Two levels of disgust and fear expressions were used â€" morphed (blended) images containing 75% of the expression and 25% neutral, and 150% caricatures of the expressions (see perception of facial expressions page). The baseline condition contained morphs composed of 25% happiness and 75% neutral.

Figure 5: Left - the neural correlates of viewing disgust facial expressions (disgust minus baseline [25% happy condition]) for both 75% and 150% disgust images. Both show significant signals in the insula and basal ganglia. Right â€" anterior insula activation


associated with the 150% disgust minus 75% disgust contrast. Contrasts involving the fear expressions replicated the involvement of the amygdala discussed above (Figure 3). A cross-model system for recognising disgust We have provided further evidence for the role of the insula/basal ganglia regions in processing disgust in the form of a case study of a man (NK) with a focal lesion affecting these areas (Calder, Keane, Manes, Antoun, & Young, 2000b). NK's damage is lateralised to the left and includes the insula, putamen, internal capsule, globus pallidus, and the head of the caudate (Figure 6). NK showed highly selective impairments in recognising disgust from facial and vocal cues; his self-reported experience of disgust was also significantly reduced. NK's results are consistent with damage to a system involved in both the recognition of disgust from different sensory modalities and the experience of this emotion.

Figure 6: Axial (left) and coronal (right) T1-weighted MR images showing a left hemisphere infarction involving the posterior part of the anterior insula, posterior insula, internal capsule, the putamen and the globus pallidus. Coronal (right) image also shows damage to the head of the caudate nucleus. To aid interpretation, the intact right putamen (P) and intact right globus pallidus (GP) (axial section (left)), and intact right head of caudate (CN) (coronal section (right)) have been traced. Insula lesion is identified by a white arrow (I). Differential effects of ageing on the recognition of fear and disgust In line with the proposal that separate neural systems underlie the recognition of fear and disgust, we have found differential effects of ageing on the recognition of these emotions (Calder et al., 2002). On two tests of facial expression recognition with five age groups ranging from 20-30 years to 60-70 years, increasing age produced a progressive reduction in the recognition of fear and, to a lesser extent, anger. In contrast, older participants showed absolutely no reduction in recognition of facial expressions of disgust, rather there was evidence of an improvement. Recognition of other facial expressions showed no significant evidence of deterioration (or enhancement) across age groups. These results are consistent with the differential effects of ageing on two brain regions underlying the recognition of fear and disgust. In relation to fear, research has shown that 5

medial temporal pathology (including the amygdala) is a consequence of normal ageing (Anderton, 1997), while fMRI research has demonstrated reduced amygdala activation to negative facial expressions with increasing age (Iidaka et al., 2001). In contrast, the gross structure and neurochemistry of a region of the basal ganglia implicated in taste aversion (Hernadi et al., 1997), OCD, and fMRI studies of disgust (Calder et al., 2002), is largely spared by ageing (Raz, 2000). The contribution of frontal systems to facial expression recognition The work discussed above identifies separate neural mechanisms involved in processing fear (amygdala) and disgust (insula and basal ganglia). Other studies, however, have emphasised the important role of the frontal lobes in processing emotional cues in general, and some have suggested that the systems involved in coding individual emotions may feed into more general emotion systems in frontal cortex (Sprengelmeyer, Rausch, Eysel, & Przuntek, 1998). If this is correct, then we would expect to see general emotion recognition impairments following frontal cortex damage. We recently investigated this issue in a case series of patients with frontal variant frontotemporal dementia (fvFTD) (Keane, Calder, Hodges, & Young, 2002), a condition that largely affects the frontal regions of the brain but particularly the ventromedial frontal lobes. The results showed that fvFTD was associated with impaired recognition of a number of emotions from both facial and auditory cues. In contrast, there was no evidence of impaired recognition of identity from faces. These results emphasise a role for the frontal lobes in processing emotional cues from different sensory modalities. In addition, they suggest that previous reports of impaired facial expression recognition in the absence of impaired facial identity recognition, may have been incorrect to interpret this pattern as the antithesis of prosopagnosia (impaired facial identity recognition). Rather, as suggested by the results of the fvFTD study, this pattern may instead reflect impaired recognition of emotion. Perceptual and motor codes involved in facial expression recognition It is tempting to think of the perceptual mechanisms underlying facial expression recognition as analogous to those for facial identity. However, we should be cautious of adopting this view for a number of reasons. Foremost amongst these is that we not only recognise expressions in other people's faces, we generate them ourselves. Hence, in addition to a visual code, the mental representation of facial expressions has the added requirement of a motor-program code (to produce the expression). The extent to which these two codes interact is unclear. To investigate this issue, we studied a group of participants with a rare congenital disorder that causes facial diplegia (Möbius Syndrome) (Calder, Keane, Cole, Campbell, & Young, 2000a), meaning that they have never produced facial expressions. Anecdotal reports had suggested that this group are severely impaired at recognising facial expressions, but until now, there has been no systematic research. We found no evidence of marked deficits in facial expression recognition in the Möbius individuals. These findings demonstrate that there is minimal interaction between motor-code and visual representations for facial expression recognition. Eye gaze processing


We have explored the role of eye gaze in social interaction using functional imaging (PET) (Calder et al., 2002). This initial study investigated Baron-Cohen's (1997) proposal that the interpretation of gaze plays an important role in a normal functioning theory of mind (ToM) system. Consistent with this proposal, previous functional imaging research has shown that both ToM and eye gaze tasks engage a similar region of posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS). However, a second, more prominent brain region associated with ToM, the medial prefrontal (MPF) cortex, had not been identified by the eye gaze research. Certain methodological issues that might account for the absence of MPF activation in these experiments were identified, and a PET study that controlled for these factors addressed the neural correlates of processing direct and averted gaze. The results showed that the MPF regions associated with ToM were indeed involved in processing gaze, but particularly averted gaze (Figure 7). Moreover, because participants were not explicitly asked to attend to the faces' gaze, the study demonstrates that simply viewing a face with averted gaze is sufficient to engage the mechanisms involved in ToM.

Figure 7: Medial frontal region (BA 8/9) involved in viewing faces with averted gaze. Selective impairment in anger recognition A collaborative project with Andrew Lawrence (CBU) investigated the neurochemical basis of emotion perception. Offensive aggression occurs in the context of resource/dominance disputes in a wide variety of species. Hence, the possibility arises that a specific neural system may have evolved to detect and coordinate responses to this specific form of threat. The dopamine system has been implicated in the processing of social signals of offensive aggression in social-agonistic encounters in several species. In this study, we found that dopaminergic antagonism in healthy male volunteers, following acute administration of the dopamine D2-class receptor antagonist sulpiride, produced a selective disruption in the recognition of facial expressions of anger, signals of offensive aggression in humans. In contrast, recognition of other emotions and the matching of unfamiliar faces, were not significantly affected.

Emotion is one of the most controversial topics in psychology, a source of intense discussion and disagreement from the earliest philosophers and other


thinkers to the present day. Most psychologists can probably agree on a description of emotion, e.g., what phenomena to include in a discussion of emotion. The enumeration of these parts of emotion are called the "components of emotion" here. These components are distinguished on the basis of physiological or psychological factors and include emotion faces, emotion elicitors, and emotion neural processes. Components of Emotion The component that seems to be the core of common sense approaches to emotion, the one that most people have in mind when talking about human emotions, is the feeling component, i.e., the passion or sensation of emotion. For example, people generally agree that the state of mind during anger is different from that when one is happy. This component is also one of the most contentious in scientific discussions of emotion, raising many questions such as:

Common representation of angry emotion experience: "steamed up" with hot glowing eyes, and uncontrolled appearance. Is it the same across people?

Interpersonal aggression in the form of instrumental behaviors produced by skeletal muscles is often a concomitant of anger.

• • • •

to what extent are such feelings, especially the claimed differences in quality, based on real physical differences? is the feeling quality of a particular emotion shared among people? what is the nature of the differences in quality among emotions? what underlies or produces these feelings? what importance or function do such feelings have?

A bright idea can bring a pleasant emotion, or pleasant emotions can foster bright ideas.

Another obvious descriptive component of emotion is the set of behaviors that may be performed and observed in conjunction with an emotion. These behaviors are produced by the striated muscular system and are of two general types: gross behaviors of the body effected by the skeletal muscles and the socalled emotion expressions. These categories shade into each other because any behavior can be interpreted as expressing emotion. The gross body behaviors may have no apparent adaptive value, e.g., wringing and rubbing the hands or tapping a foot, or they may be directed towards a goal, e.g., striking something or running away. In the field of animal behavior, discovering the adaptive function and organization of behaviors in situations analogous to human emotion, and speculating on the evolutionary patterns of these behaviors is an established endeavor. This emphasis has not typically been given to the study of human emotions by psychologists. The facial and bodily behaviors called "emotion expressions" are indicators of emotion, as opposed to effecting some 8

and thoughts that occur during emotion. possibly piloerection. Finally. such as what foods are relished or rejected with disgust. blanching. The most widely discussed and investigated emotion expressions are the emotion faces (see the examples of emotional expressions). thinking about a lost pet may evoke feelings of sadness. the death of one's own child typically elicits sadness. which may in turn evoke memories of a romance now finished. for example. stomach activity. and flushing of the skin. The circumstances that give rise to emotions comprise another component. muscles and glands. such as heart rate. usually by the blood. imagery. to act in diverse ways on the nervous system and other organs. such as the constriction or dilation of the iris of the eye. e. Other things. These elicitors might be internal or external to the organism. Chemicals secreted by the body's various glands are activated during emotion and spread to other parts of the body. A less obvious component of emotion is the set of Adrenalin is a secretion that affects many organs and internal bodily changes caused by the smooth may contribute to the felt quality of emotion. and other responses that are relatively hidden. Smooth muscles of the digestive system. and can both give rise to an emotional event and be affected by Computers often elicit frustration and anger it. especially how the neurons and their emotional concomitants are organized centrally in the brain. and thus a lot of the research money. These expressions can differentiate one emotion from another.g. and sweating. 9 . Some events seem to activate similar emotion in people of all cultures. circulatory system..g. e. Since thoughts and other cognitions. and saliva production. cannot be directly observed and are hard to measure. Many contemporary research studies. the neural processes that underlie much of the preceding activities can be considered a component of the emotion process. is focussed on anatomical and functional aspects of brain activity in regard to emotion. and other bodily components can shift from their typical level or type of operation during emotion under the effects of chemical and neural action. This component includes some behaviors that can be observed. like feelings. vary widely according to acculturation.action or achieving some goal. These aspects of emotion are also cognitive activities. a frightening pain in one's chest or a frightening dog at one's heels.. there is less understanding of how they fit into the emotion picture than other components. called the "elicitors" of emotion. Another less observable component in emotion consists of the ideation.

the term "expression" captures these behaviors' role less adequately than a reference to it as an aspect of the emotion reaction. that similar facial expressions tend to occur in response to particular emotion eliciting events. and they find the connotation of the term "expression" useful. actors. there are theories of emotion. Despite some unsettled theoretical implications of these findings. has facilitated resolving category issues. scientists. some behaviors tend to occur with other components of emotion. but at the descriptive level. The 10 . To match a facial expression with an emotion implies knowledge of the categories of human emotions into which expressions can be assigned. Disagreement characterizes the intellectual climate surrounding emotion theories. but there are several works in print that summarize these approaches for the interested reader. Research shows that people categorize emotion faces in a similar way across cultures. which attempt to specify the interrelationships among components as described above and the causes. though many other categories of human emotions are possible and used by philosophers. For millennia. thus. The Theories of Emotion page of this section summarizes some of the most important theoretical statements on emotion that emphasize the role of the face. and that people produce simulations of emotion faces that are characteristic of each specific emotion. Regardless of approach. certain facial expressions are associated with particular human emotions. sources. Emotion and Facial Expression Neither emotion nor its expression are concepts universally embraced by psychologists.Theories of Emotion Beyond the descriptive approach to emotion. Still other psychologists think that facial expressions have primarily a communicative function and convey something about intentions or internal state. scholars have speculated about categories of emotion. and functions of emotional responses. its expression is a non sequitur. The recent development of scientific tools for facial analysis. and recent scientific research has shown that facial expressions can be assigned reliably to about seven categories. and thus. and seem to reveal the quality of the emotion to an observer. The Emotion Expressions page of this section discusses the relations between emotion and facial expression. and the answer is summarized briefly below. Expression of Emotion Emotion expression is another area of controversy. Some of these theoretical views are discussed briefly on the Theories of Emotion page. such as the Facial Action Coding System. a consensus view is that in studies of human emotions. The term "expression" implies the existence of something that is expressed. and others concerned with emotion. it is often useful to know what facial expressions correspond to each specific emotion. Other psychologists think that the behaviors referenced by the term "expression" are part of an organized emotional response. Some psychologists deny that there is really any specific organic state that corresponds to our naive ideas about human emotions.

which can be observed early in newborns. Sad Sad expressions are often conceived as opposite to happy ones. Anger is a primary concomitant of interpersonal aggression. American culture contained a strong censure against public displays of sadness by men. such as Type A 11 . as daily stresses and frustrations underlying anger seem to increase. Click on the thumbnail image for each emotion category to access other facial expression illustrations and facial analysis commentary on the expressive elements of each emotion face. a positive disposition. shared by many psychologists. This page shows some thumbnails of emotion faces. but differences noted between these two expressions challenge this view. etc. Some of the differences in genuine versus false smiles are shown in the action of zygomatic major in Expression section. thus creating a positive feedback loop and increasing the likelihood of dangerous conflict. bereavement. opposition. Anger Anger expressions are seen increasingly often in modern society. is that sad emotion faces are lower intensity forms of crying faces. Although weeping and tears are a common concommitant of sad expressions. created a distribution of anger expressions that differed between the sexes. discomfort. which may account for the relative ease of finding pictures of sad expressions on female faces. and more illustrations are available by clicking the happy thumbnail on the right. Sad expressions convey messages related to loss. and potential attack. although the action of the mouth corners is opposite. Happy Happy expressions are universally and easily recognized. helplessness. Until recently. Anger is a common response to anger expressions. The uncontrolled expression of rage exerts a toxic effect on the angry person. and are interpreted as conveying messages related to enjoyment. A common sense view.most robust categories are discussed in the following paragraphs. pleasure. Consider this point when viewing invariably smiling political figures and other celebrities on television. pain. tears are not indicative of any particular emotion. though both are related to distress. Until recent times. but this view is too simple. and there are links to other emotion faces. happy expressions may be practiced behaviors because they are used so often to hide other emotions and deceive or manipulate other people. and chronic anger seems associated with certain patterns of behavior that correspond to unhealthy outcomes. and its expression conveys messages about hostility. but the expectation of reprisals decrease with the higher sense of personal security. and are readily produced by people on demand in the absence of any emotion. particularly uncontrolled rage expressions. and friendliness. In fact. a cultural prohibition on expression of anger by women. as in tears of joy. Detecting genuine happy expressions may be as valuable as producing good simulations. Examples of happy expressions are the easiest of all emotions to find in photographs.

Obnoxious smells are effective in eliciting disgust reactions. a disposition to flee. and they convey messages about something being unexpected. as escape becomes the peremptory goal. or other offensive materials that are rejected as suitable to eat. and may involve some of the same bodily responses. or likelihood of bodily harm. because the imminent possibility of personal destruction. such as rotting flesh. is the primary elicitor of fear. Disgust Disgust expressions are often part of the body's responses to objects that are revolting and nauseating. by people who appear suddenly or do something unexpected ("to scare you"). and is reduced. but if a stranger. more just environments. and to resist the imposition of injustice and tyranny. Anxiety is related to fear. Fear expressions convey information about imminent danger. a typical after-emotion is happiness. For example. perhaps intentionally. most of us have been surprised. such phrases indicate a simile. Both are associated with unhealthy physical effects if prolonged. A surprise seems to act like a reset switch that shifts our attention.behavior. anger is probably the most socially constructive emotion as it often underlies the efforts of individuals to shape societies into better. fecal matter and insects in food. but if the person is a friend. The experience of fear has an extremely negative felt quality. along with the bodily concommitants. because in most cases. when the threat has been avoided or has passed. novel.. The brief surprise expression is often followed by other expressions that reveal emotion in response to the surprise feeling or to the object of surprise. Surprise Surprise expressions are fleeting. Nevertheless. Although frequently associated with violence and destruction. Disgust expressions are often displayed as a commentary on many other events and people that generate adverse reactions. emotions such as happiness or fear. a nearby threat. They almost always occur in response to events that are unanticipated. The specific objects that can elicit fear for any individual are varied. Organization of behavior and cogitive functions are adversely affected during fear." etc. Other emotion expressions and related expressions 12 . or amazing. but have nothing to do with the primal origin of disgust as a rejection of possible foodstuffs. not an emotion. Surprise expressions occur far less often than people are disposed to say "that surprises me. and difficult to detect or record in real time. intellectual insights can elicit actual felt surprise and may spur scholarly achievements. and their expressions are quite different. fear. sudden. but is a longer term mood and the elicitors are not as immediate. Surprise is to be distinguished from startle. from interpersonal violence or impersonal dangers. and elicit surprise. Fear Fear expressions are not often seen in societies where good personal security is typical.

because its elicitors are different and its actions are more asymmetrical. These other emotion or related expressions include contempt. The startle expression is unique.Some psychologists have differentiated other emotions and their expressions from those mentioned above. more like a reflex to intense sudden stimulation. and involves some of the same actions. Contempt is related to disgust. and startle. in part. Shame also has a relation to disgust according to some psychologists. shame. but differs from it. Most psychologists consider startle to be different from any human emotions. but recent evidence suggests it may have a distinct expression. 13 .

excitement. crosspatch Exasperation Exasperation. jubilation. Anger resentment Disgust Disgust. ferocity. caring. hate. sentimentality Love Lust/Sexual Arousal. gloom. thrill. glee. contempt. spite. Advanced opposite Optimism Anticipation + Joy Disappointment Love Joy + Trust Remorse Submission Trust + Fear Contempt Awe Fear + Surprise Aggressiveness Disappointment Surprise + Sadness Optimism Remorse Sadness + Disgust Love Contempt Disgust + Anger Submission Aggressiveness Anger + Anticipation Awe [edit] Emotions by groups Here is a categorised.. passion. triumph Optimism Eagerness. 14 . desire. surprise. fury. enjoyment. scorn. loathing Envy Envy. fondness. pleasure Joy Pride Pride. grouchiness. despair. outrage. zest.[2][3] Primary Secondary Tertiary emotions emotion emotion Adoration. dislike. Cheerfulness joviality. satisfaction.[1] Basic emotion Basic opposite Joy Sadness Trust Disgust Fear Anger Surprise Anticipation Sadness Joy Disgust Trust Anger Fear Anticipation Surprise Advanced emotion Composed of. glumness. elation. rage. annoyance. suffering. ecstasy. bliss. frustration Anger. wrath. zeal. jealousy Torment Torment Sadness Suffering Agony. vengefulness. astonishment Aggravation. Affection compassion.Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions in 1980 which consisted of 8 basic emotions and 8 advanced emotions each composed of 2 basic ones. delight. hurt. exhilaration Contentment Contentment. Irritation grumpiness. joy. optimism Enthrallment Enthrallment. hostility. lust. revulsion. rapture Relief Relief Surprise Surprise Amazement. euphoria Zest Enthusiasm. hopelessness. cheerfulness. anguish Sadness Depression. tree structured list of emotions as described in Parrot (2001). hope. gaiety.. Rage bitterness. irritation. infatuation desire Longing Longing Amusement. gladness. attraction. happiness. liking. agitation. tenderness. jolliness.

hysteria. isolation. terror. apprehension. embarrassment. fear. disappointment. dread [edit] In artificial languages [edit] EARL The HUMAINE Emotion Annotation and Representation Language (EARL) classifies the following 48 emotions. uneasiness. grief. distress. humiliation. shame. misery. defeat. neglect. Horror mortification Anxiety. unhappiness. remorse Alienation. fright. insecurity. panic. dejection. Neglect homesickness. sorrow. regret. loneliness. displeasure Shame Guilt. shock. Nervousness worry. woe. insult Sympathy Pity. melancholy Disappointment Dismay. horror. rejection.Fear sadness. nervousness. sympathy Alarm. tenseness.[4] • • • • • • Negative and forceful o Anger o Annoyance o Contempt o Disgust o Irritation Negative and not in control o Anxiety o Embarrassment o Fear o Helplessness o Powerlessness o Worry Negative thoughts o Doubt o Envy o Frustration o Guilt o Shame Negative and passive o Boredom o Despair o Disappointment o Hurt o Sadness Agitation o Stress o Shock o Tension Positive and lively o Amusement o Delight o Elation o Excitement o Happiness o Joy o Pleasure 15 .

then it makes sense to understand how you can (and cannot) use your body to say what you • Evaluating body language: Judging and deciding about something.• Caring Affection Empathy Friendliness Love Positive thoughts o Courage o Hope o Pride o Satisfaction o Trust Quiet positive o Calm o Content o Relaxed o Relieved o Serene Reactive o Interest o Politeness o Surprised o o o o • • • http://changingminds. Recognizing a whole cluster is thus far more reliable than trying to interpret individual elements. depending on the internal emotions and mental states. • Dominant body language: Dominating others. • Greeting body language: Meeting m Using Body Language Techniques > Using Body Language Message clusters | Core patterns | Parts-of-body language | Other notes | See also Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating. • Closed body language: Many reasons are closed. Message clusters Body language comes in clusters of signals and postures. • Bored body language: Just not being interested. • Attentive body language: Showing real interest. 16 . • Aggressive body language: Showing physical threat. If you wish to communicate well. • Defensive body language: Protecting self from attack. • Deceptive body language: Seeking to cover up lying or other deception. • Emotional body language: Identifying feelings.

• Body language caveat: You can't control all of your muscles. Teeth. Here's details of the contributions of each part of the body. Eyes. Shoulder. Hips • Legs: Thigh. even though you are pretty certain you will 17 . Hair • Arm: Elbow. Chest. Fighting can hurt you. Opening. • Body as Cue. Power body language: Demonstrating one's power. Hand. Striking and Touching Parts-of-the-body language You can send signals with individual parts of the body as well as in concert. Belly. Core patterns A number of core patterns can be identified that include clusters of body movements: • Crossing. Eyebrow. Shaping. Knee. Evidence. Foot Other notes Remember that body language varies greatly with people and especially with international cultures (so be very careful when applying Western understanding to Eastern non-verbal language). Bottom. Cheek. • Touching: Using physical touch. Expanding. even for powerful people. Forehead. Aggressive body language Techniques > Using body language > Aggressive body language Body positions | Gestures | See also A significant cluster of body movements is used to signal aggression. So why bother? • Emphasis with body language: Adding emphasis to what you are saying. This is actually quite useful as it is seldom a good idea to get into a fight. Repeating. Chin. Relaxed body language: Comfortable and unstressed. Moving forward. Romantic body language: Showing attraction to others. Lips. Ready body language: Wanting to act and waiting for the trigger. Back. Moving away. Submissive body language: Showing you are prepared to give in. Tongue. Mouth. Nose.• • • • • • Open body language: Many reasons for being open. Preening. Persuasion: How we shape changes how we feel. • Head: Face. • Social distances: The space between us. Finger • Torso: Neck.

chin tilts and so on are used. Single and double fingers pointed up. preventing the other person seeing where you are looking. Exposing oneself Exposing oneself to attack is also a form of aggression. the greater your ability to have 'first strike'. Many gestures are sexual in nature. Invasion Invading the space of the other person in some way is an act of aggression that is equivalent to one country invading another. It is saying 'Go on .' It can include not looking at the other person. they give visual signal such as clenching of fists ready to strike and lowering and spreading of the body for stability. that you (or someone else) are having sex with their partner. from which an opponent may not recover. Touching Touching the person is another form of invasion. with adults. Mock attacks 18 . you are effectively invading their territory. although many of these do vary across cultures (which can make for hazardous accidental movements when you are overseas). relaxing the body. In addition. Attack signals When somebody is about to attack.I dare you. They are also likely to give anger signs such as redness of the face. arm thrusts. turning away and so on. I will still win. crotch displays. from disapproving frowns and pursed lips to sneers and full snarls. Approach When you go inside the comfort zone of others without permission. False friendship Invasion is often done under the cloak of of familiarity. They may also squint. Even touching social touch zones such as arm and back can be aggressive. fighting is often socially unacceptable and aggression through words and body language is all that may ever but without being invited. many gestures that have the primary intent of insulting the other person and hence inciting them to anger and a perhaps unwise battle. and so on. Threat Facial signals Much aggression can be shown in the face. The close you get. where you act as if you are being friendly and move into a space reserved for friends. The eyes can be used to stare and hold the gaze for long period. This gives the other person a dilemma of whether to repel a 'friendly' advance or to accept dominance of the other. Gestures Insulting gestures There are many. indicating that the other person should go away and fornicate.

from phone calls to other people interrupting. you met his peer Benjamin Disraeli. Attentive body language Techniques > Using body language > Attentive body language Listening | Wanting more | See also When you are in conversation or otherwise attending to what others are saying or doing. Listening A person who is attentive is first of all listening. with not even internal dialogue being allowed to distract. then you would come away thinking that you were the most intelligent and witty person. This is saying 'Here is what I will do to you!' Physical items may be used as substitutes. it would seem. then they send strong and flattering 'I am interested in you' signals. you body sends signals to the other person as to how interested you really are. Tilted head 19 .Gestures may include symbolic action that mimics actual attacks. When the listener is largely still. including waving fingers (the beating baton). Large gestures The size of gestures may also be used to signal levels of aggression. If a person ignores distraction. head-butts. perhaps better to hear everything you have to say. shaking fists. Ignoring distractions There are many competing stimuli that demand our attention. leg-swinging and so on. It was said that if you met with the English 19th century politician William Gladstone. was somewhat more skilled at paying attention. for example banging of tables and doors or throwing . signaling your level of aggression and testing the other person's reactions. Stillness Body movement often betrays distracting thoughts and feelings. Leaning forward When I am interested in you and what you have to say I will likely lean slightly towards you. you would come away thinking he was the most intelligent and witty person in the country. If. however. Again. from simple finger movements to whole arm sweeps. sometimes even with exaggerated movements of the entire body. Disraeli. This can be of varying intensity though attentive listening is deep and interested. this is saying 'This could be you!' Sudden movements All of these gestures may be done suddenly. Attentive body language sends a strong signal of real and deep interest that is both flattering and likely to result in reciprocal attention. the implication is of forgetting everything else except the other person.

almost for fear of missing something. Wanting more An attentive person seeks not just to hear but to be ready to listen to everything the other person has to say. Reflecting activities range from matching body language to paraphrasing what they say. Gaze An attentive person looks at the other person without taking their gaze away. listening until they have finished speaking and not butting in with your views. understand and want to hear more. Distraction A bored person looks anywhere but at the person who is talking to them.An attentive head may be tilted slightly forward. So if you are trying to persuade them. don't bother (unless you are trying to bore them into submission). Patience When you want to hear more from the other person you are patient. Language of boredom A ready body is poised for action. Furrowed brow Concentration may also be shown in the forehead as the eyebrows are brought together as the listener seeks to hear and understand the other person. whilst a slower nod indicates understanding and approval. Even when you have something to say or when they pause. They find other things to do. you still patiently seek a full understanding of them and give them space in which to complete what they have to say. they whole body is telling you. It also may show curiosity when tilted to the side (although this may also indicate uncertainty). They will likely blink less. Bored body language Techniques > Using body language > Bored body language Language of boredom | Reasons for boredom | See also When a person is bored. Interest noises Little noises such as 'uh huh' and 'mmm' show that you are interested. Fast nodding may show impatience. They thus encourage the other person to keep talking. 20 . from doodling to talking with others to staring around the room. They may also keep looking at their watch or a wall clock. Reflecting When you reflect the other person back to them they feel affirmed and that you are aligned with them. Slow nodding Nodding shows agreement and also encourages the other person to keep talking. Open body Open body language shows that you are not feeling defensive and are mentally open to what they have to say (and hence not closed to their thoughts).

Lighter arm crossing may include resting an arm on a table or leg. the figure-four (ankle on opposite knee) and the tense wraparound. lean against a wall or just sag where they are standing. including the ankle cross. Legs may also wrap around convenient other objects. then they may become bored. The disinterest may also be feigned if they do not want you to see that they are interested. or loosely crossed with wrists crossing. likewise can be crossed. There are several styles of leg crossing. The repetition may escalate as they try to signal their boredom. They may yawn and their whole body may sag as they slouch down in their seat. Reasons for boredom Lack of interest If the person is not interested in their surroundings or what is going on. such as closing a sale. from a relaxed droop to tight tension and holding on to the body or other arms. 21 . Varying levels of tension may be seen in the arms and shoulders. Arms across In a closed positions one or both arms cross the central line of the body.Repetition Bored people often repeat actions such as tapping toes. Language of closure Closure literally closes the body up. Extreme cases may also include rhythmic rocking of the body to and fro. Readiness A bored person may actually be ready for the actions you want. the knee cross. Legs across Legs. Closed body language Techniques > Using body language > Closed body language Language of closure | Reasons for closing | See also A significant cluster of body movements are all about closing. This is sometimes misinterpreted solely as indicating defensiveness. Their face may also show a distinct lack of interest and appear blank. swinging feet or drumming fingers. Sales people are known to keep on the sales patter long after the customer is ready to sign on the dotted line. It may range from a slight bringing together of the limbs to curled up into a tight ball. There may also be holding one another. They may be folded or tightly clasped or holding one another. Tiredness A person who feels that they are unable to act to relieve their boredom may show signs of tiredness. Watch for leaking signs of readiness in these cases. such as chair legs.

Looking down or away The head may be inclined away from the person. stand up and so on. When we close. a closed position may indicate self-nurturing. Hiding Closing also may serve the purpose of hiding something that we do not want the other person to see. Moving them to an open position can significantly increase your chances of persuading them. We also may be signaling to the other person that we are not a threat to them.When legs are crossed but arms are not. Force hand use A common method sales people use to break a crossed-arms closed position is to give the person something to hold or otherwise ask them to use their hands. We use closure to place the barriers of our arms and legs across in front of us to defend ourselves from attack. for example asking them to hand over something. turn over a page. nothing more. In a variant of this. In particular look for the transition when the body closes and the triggers that may have caused this change. Huddling up reduces exposed body area and reduces heat loss. and particularly may be tucked down. Holding the body still prevents it from betraying our thoughts. This is particularly true when legs are hidden under a table. Relaxing And we also cross our arms and legs when we are relaxing. Cold A more pragmatic form of closure is when we are cold. reducing the size of the target. Following 22 . Thus the held-in arms shows that we are not attacking and looking away from them removes aggressive staring. The person is effectively holding or hugging themselves in an imitation of a parent or other caring person. It can just be a comfortable place to put those gangly limbs. Holding warmer parts of the body against colder parts evens the temperature and prevents extremities from being chilled too much. We may look away because we are thinking. Looking away prevents the other person from seeing our expression that may show dislike or lying. then their standing or sitting in a closed position is usually a signal that they are not ready to be persuaded. particularly where the person is holding themselves. it can show deliberate attempts to appear relaxed. we also make our body smaller. we are protecting the exposed throat. Defending When we feel threatened. our body language becomes defensive. Reasons for closing There can be several reasons for closed body language. When we tuck our chin down. Opening When you are trying to persuade a person. This is one reason why reading body language can be hazardous and you should take into account other factors.

Deceptive body language Techniques > Using body language > Deceptive body language Language of deception | Reasons for deception | See also When a person is seeking to trick or deceive you. If they are sufficiently bonded then they will follow you. Finally. Language of deception A deceptive body is concerned about being found out -. so they may drift off or pause as they think about what to say or hesitate during speech. minor twitches of muscles (especially around the mouth and eyes). jerky movements and clumsiness or oscillation between open body language and defensive body language.and this concern may show. This may include sweating. for example unfolding your arms in order to use your hands to illustrate what you are saying. For example. Anxiety A deceptive person is typically anxious that they might be found out (unless they are psychopathic or good at acting). there may be signs of attempted friendly body language. there may be various signs of over-control. you then open your position. showing limited (or exaggerated) emphasis.The other common method of opening a person is to first adopt a closed position like them. For example: Biting the inside of the mouth (George W. changes in voice tone and speed. The person may also try to hold their body still. If they do not follow you. unfolding arms and legs. moving around the place or paying attention to unusual places. Then some effort is put into building a bond with them. This should be done naturally and steadily. For example they may hold their arms in or put their hands in their pockets. they there are many different body signal they may use.or under-react to events. such as forced smiles (mouth smiles but eyes do not). This can be particularly seen when they emphasizing something with their voice and their body does not align. such that they start to like you and are attaching their identity to yours. Do remember that anxiety can be caused by many other factors other than deceptiveness. Bush). patting head (Prince William). They may also be distracted by the need to cover up. Thus their natural timing may go astray and they may over. hands in pockets (Tony Blair). sudden movements. These signals are almost impossible to stop as we start them very young. 23 . Many of us have hidden anxiety signals. so they may send signals of tension. Control In order to avoid being caught. to avoid tell-tale signals. return to the closed position and work further at bonding before trying again. Distracted A person who is trying to deceive needs to think more about what they are doing. Anxiety may be displaced into actions such as fidgeting.

Seeking escape Flicking the eyes from side to side shows that the person is looking for a way out. The arms may be held across the chest or face. Covering vital organs and points of vulnerability In physical defense. Fending off Arms may be held out to fend off attacker. Using a barrier Any physical object may be placed held in front of the person to act as a literal or figurative barrier. The groin is protected with knees together. People may thus huddle into a smaller position. This can be a small as a pen or as large as a table.Reasons for deception There can be many good reasons for deception. where the sole goal is to get away with something. Avoiding detection Deception also may be more self-oriented. Rigidity also freezes the body. Straddling a reversed chair makes some people comfortable in conversation as they look relaxed whilst feeling defensive. Persuading Deception may be an act that is intended to get another person to say or do something. possibly straight out or curved to deflect incoming attacks. 24 . Becoming small One way of defending against attack is to reduce the size of the target. making the muscles harder in order to withstand a physical attack. the defensive person will automatically tend to cover those parts of the body that could damaged by an attack. The chin is held down. covering the neck. they will take defensive body postures. Barriers can also protect the other person and if I am powerful. crossed legs or covering with hands. Defending from attack The basic defensive body language has a primitive basis and assumes that the other person will physically attack. I may use a simple barrier to make you feel less defensive. It also means I control the barrier. Rigidity Another primitive response is to tense up. possibly avoiding movements being noticed or being interpreted as preparing for attack. even when this is highly unlikely. Defensive body language Techniques > Using body language > Defensive body language Defending from attack | Pre-empting attack | See also When a person is feeling threatened in some ways. perhaps by avoiding answering incriminating questions. keeping their arms and legs in.

such as a Rolex watch or having many subordinates. for example by putting them on a lower seat or by your standing on a step or plinth. there may be conflicting signs appearing together. Legs may be placed apart to increase size. This can be territorial. 25 . Making the body high Height is also important as it gives an attack advantage. This power to decide one's own path is often displayed in breaking of social rules. avoiding looking at the other person. and may also include additional aspects. or displays of wealth or power. as the person uses 'attack as the best form of defense'. Ownership Owning something that others covet provides a status symbol.Pre-empting attack Giving in Pre-empting the attack. the defensive person may reduce the. control and dominance is indicated. Size signals The body in dominant stances is generally open. The body may thus be erect. keeping the head down and possibly crouching into a lower body position. Dominant body language Techniques > Using body language > Dominant body language Size | Superiority | Greeting | Responding | See also Dominant body language is related to aggressive body language. thrust forward and with attacking movements. generally using submissive body language. Superiority signals Breaking social rules Rulers do not need to follow rules: they make the rules. though with a less emotional content. Making the body big Hands on hips makes the elbows go wide and make the body seem larger. A dominant person may thus stand with feet akimbo and hands on hips. Thus the upper body may exhibit aggression whilst the legs are twisted together. Occupying territory By invading and occupying territory that others may own or use. from invasion and interruption to casual swearing in polite company. Where attack and defense both appear together. such as a larger office. Attacking first Aggressive body language may also appear. So also does standing upright and erect. with the chin up and the chest thrust out. This can be achieved by standing up straight or somehow getting the other person lower than you.

putting feet up on their furniture and being over-friendly with their romantic partners. When a person is dominant here. Faces can also look bored. Belittling others Superiority signals are found both in saying 'I am important' and also 'You are not important'. They may also be offering 'come and get it!' to women. Other actions include sitting on their chairs. The dominant greeting When people first meet and greet. but in body language it is the flaunting of these. Another form of dominant handshake is to use strength to squeeze the other person. often casually. preventing the other person seeing where you are looking. They may also look at anywhere but the other person. it is to some extent a tease or invitation to men but may also be an emulation of the male display. thus saying 'I am as strong as a man'. Holding the other person's hand for longer than normal also shows that you are in control. Dominant people often smile much less than submissive people. Phallic displays Dominant men will often expose their crotch. leaning on their cars. When women do this. Invasion A dominant act is to disrespect the ownership of others. Eyes 26 . symbolically being on top. The eyes can be used to stare and hold the gaze for long period.Just owning things is an initial symbol. Invasion says 'What's yours is mine' and 'I can take anything of yours that I want and you cannot stop me'. their first interaction sets the pattern for the future relationship. that is the power display. whilst showing off. amused or express other expressions that belittle the other person. for example getting to close to them by moving into their body space. effectively saying that 'you are not even worth looking at'. This appears in standing or sitting where the legs are apart. invading their territory. They may also squint. The handshake A classic dominant handshake is with the palm down. It may be emphasized by scratching or adjusting of the crotch. Facial signals Much dominance can be shown in the face. including when the other person can hear them. Thus a senior manager will casually take out their Mont Blanc pen whilst telling their secretary to fetch the Havana cigars. then they will most likely continue to be dominant. They may also criticize the inferior person. from disapproving frowns and pursed lips to sneers and snarls (sometimes disguised as smiles). effectively saying to other men 'I am safe from attack' or 'my penis is bigger than yours'. Thus a dominant person may ignore or interrupt another person who is speaking or turn away from them.

Contextual clues may also be used. Baring of teeth and snarling. Leaning forward and invasion of body space. rubbing throat. for example: • Out-stare them (a trick here is to look at the bridge of their nose. unafraid way.' The dominant person may alternatively prevent eye contact. Fear. • When they butt in to your speech. either by talking for longer or by managing the questions. • • • • • • Neck and/or face is red or flushed. drinking water. • When they do a power handshake. emotions may be detected from non-verbal signs. A good way to do this is in a curious.' Speaking The person who speaks first often gets to control the conversation. 27 . • Not looking at the other person. I can break the rules. unblinking eye contact acts like overplaying the handshake -. from mild anxiety to blind terror. in particular what is being said to the person or what else is happening around then. either before they touch you or immediately when they touch you. saying 'You are beneath me and I do not want even to look at you. Another response is to fight dominance with dominance. anxiety and nervousness Fear occurs when basic needs are threatened. talk more loudly and say 'let me finish!' Another approach is to name the game. Continue to appear friendly and ignore their subtle signals. grab their elbow and step to the side. speed up. Ask them why they are using dominant body language. • Dry mouth.Prolonged. Responding to dominance If others display dominant body language you have a range of options. Emotional body language Techniques > Using body language > Emotional body language With careful observation. which is what they probably want. which may be indicated by licking lips. not their eyes). • Touch them. The many bodily changes caused by fear make it easy to detect. • Pale face. Other aggressive body language. Clenched fists. • A 'cold sweat'. Remember that these are indicators and not certain guarantees. The simplest response is simply not to submit. There are many levels of fear. Anger Anger occurs when achievement of goals are frustrated. Use of power body says 'I am powerful.

elbows drawn in to the side. Tears. including crossed arms and legs and generally drawing in of limbs. Embarrassment Embarrassment may be caused by guilt or transgression of values. Flat speech tone. • Sweating. Smiling (including eyes). Surprise Surprise occurs when things occur that were not expected. Trembling lip. judging or making some decision. Open body language Evaluating body language Techniques > Using body language > Evaluating body language Language of evaluation | Reasons for evaluation | See also A notable cluster of body movements happens when a person is thinking. Open mouth. • • • General relaxation of muscles. • Tension in muscles: clenched hands or arms. Not looking them in the eye. • Grimacing. • Trembling lip. • Gasping and holding breath. Widening of eyes. false smile.• Damp eyes. • Varying speech tone. • Speech errors. Happiness Happiness occurs when goals and needs are met. • Fidgeting. legs wrapped around things. • Ready body language (for fight-or-flight) • Other symptoms of stress Sadness Sadness is the opposite of happiness and indicates a depressive state. 28 . jerky movements. Sudden backward movement. • • • • Drooping of the body. • Looking down or away from others. • Defensive body language. • Visible high pulse (noticeable on the neck or movement of crossed leg. changing the topic or otherwise trying to cover up the embarrassment. • Voice tremors. • • • • Raised eyebrows. • Neck and/ or face is red or flushed.

When they are deep inside their own world. Reasons for evaluation There can be several reasons for a ready body language. often of the chin but possibly other parts of the face. Judging In their decision-making. they may be mentally trying out ideas to see if they will work. Deciding A person who is evaluating may be making an important decision. or with linked fingers and with index fingers only pointing upwards. for example saying 'we're in the same club'. they may be close to the point of closure. Formality is often an important factor. Perhaps this is you. 29 . they may be trying to fit your idea into their own model of the world. Greeting is a ritual that helps break the ice and paves the way for appropriate other interaction. The person seems to be unafraid or even unaware of danger. Greeting body language Techniques > Using body language > Greeting body language Handshake | Salute | Bowing | Waving | Hugging | Kissing | Facial signals | Words | Other | See also There are many possible components of greeting as the styles vary significantly across social groups and cultures. something you are saying or something else. Thinking Sometimes the evaluation is only on an internal point. either looking like they are praying. If you have suggested something. and when you move from a formal greeting to an informal greeting is an important factor in development of a friendship. stroking the side of the nose and (if worn) peering over the top of spectacles ('To look more carefully at you'). they may be judging. Watch how they change with what you say and try to figure this one out. Other actions Other evaluative signals include pursing lips. Relaxed intensity The body may well be relaxed and open. The fingers pointing upwards may touch the lips. Too early and it is an insult. The chin may be resting in one or both palms. Greetings can include signals that may even be secret. If they are buying from you. with both hands pressed together. However there is also a level of concentration. Another common evaluative movement is stroking. perhaps with pursed lips and an intense gaze. Too late and it you may be considered arrogant or distant.Language of evaluation Hand movements The classic signal of evaluation is the steepled hands which are clasped together.

partial) Duration (brief . A firm grip by men also indicates they are more sensation-seeking.Handshake Variables Handshake variables include: • • • • • • • • • Strength (weak .curved) Style 30 . the origins may be in potentially aggressive situations where holding of another could be construed as a threatening act. elbow. A long handshake can indicate pleasure and can signal dominance. or where closed fists are tapped. whilst a limp grip may indicate timidity.slower) Head-touch (forehead . wrist. Palm sideways indicate equality.none) Styles A firm grip shows confidence. arm or shoulder).intermittent . particularly if one person tries to pull away and the dominant person does not let them.smooth) Eye contact (prolonged . where open palms are touched high in the air. Palm up indicates submission. such as at the wrist.long) Speed (slow . Hand-touching is also used.none) Shape (up-down . Responses to the dominant handshake can include counter-touching (use your other hand to hold their hand. arm or shoulder.dry) Fullness of grip (full . This may also indicate affection or pleasure (which allows for an ambiguous signal).fast) Complexity (shake . for example the 'high five'. A variant of the dominant handshake which is used by politicians who are being photographed and hence shake hands side-by-side is to stand on the left hand side of the other person. particularly in men (women may be expected to be more gentile). Where the other person is not gripped. This may also be done by gripping the shaken hand with both of your hands. Palm down indicates dominance and a feeling of superiority ('I am on top').curved) Speed (fast .dance) Texture (rough .hot) Moisture (damp . Dominance may also be shown by using the other hand to grip the person. Salute Variables Salute variables include: • • • • Shape of hand (straight . elbow. This means your hand will be on the outside and it will look like you are the dominant party to those viewing the photograph.strong) Temperature (cold . hugging (pull them in). thrusting (push them away by pushing your hand towards them) and stepping the side.

There are several possible origins of this. It is often used in the military in a strictly prescribed manner and situation. the greater the respect that is demonstrated.curtsey) Style Bowing is another formal greeting and can be as extreme as a full 90 degree bend from the waist to even complete prostration on the floor. In countries such as Japan it is clearly defined and an important part of greetings. Waving Variables Variables for waving include: • • • • Open palm (flat . In other countries it is less important or maybe seen as obsequious. Looking down as you bow indicates submission.waist) Duration (short . Bowing amongst peers is commonly used in a severely contracted form as a slight nod of the head.very low) Pivot (head . If eye contact is maintained during a bow.held low) Direction (sideways rotation .The salute is a formal greeting where the open hand is brought up to the forehead. this puts the person lower than the other person and into a position of greater vulnerability. Bowing Variables Bowing variables include: • • • • Lowering (slight .small) Raised (above head . which again can be a full sinking to the floor or a slight bob. • An abbreviation of raising one's hat or tugging the forelock (in the absence of a hat). it can signify either mistrust or liking. • Raising helmet visor to show the face (to allow recognition and dispel fears of enmity). • Raising the hand to show it does not contain a weapon. the lower and longer the bow.long) Gender style (bow . This allows for greeting when you first spot another person. Similarly to bowing. Bowing is different in different cultures. The female variant on the bow is the curtsey. Even in the shortened form.curved) Movement angle (big .up-down) Style Waving can be done from a distance. although this also can just be a formal action. It also allows for 31 . including: • Shading the eyes from the brilliance of a superior person. This averts the eyes ('I dare not look at your majesty') and exposes the head ('You can kill me if you wish').

man/woman) Styles Hugging is a closer and more affectionate form of greeting than shaking hands and perhaps reflects a desire for bonding. for example hugging in America is far more common between women than between men. this can be a timid or safe signal from a child position ('I won't harm you . holding the rest of the palm still. held up and facing out is far less obvious and may be flashed for a short period. Light shoulder-only hugs are more common as social greetings. particularly if the other person is looking at you (all you need is that they see the greeting). fuller hugs often signal greater affection and may happen between people who have not seen one another for some time. Longer. Hugging Variables Hugging variables include: • • • • • • Hand placement (shoulder. including between men. overhead wave can attract a person from some distance. in which people lean forward in order not to break rules about touching breasts or genitalia.) Arms touch (none .please don't harm me.Waves gain attention and a big. A stationary palm.').side .strong) Body touching (none .full) Gender (man/woman . Hugging is generally more common between friends. it may be perceived as such). and is usually only done by friends who trust one another implicitly. Greeting children is often done with a small up-and-down movement of fingers. Gender rules may also apply. etc. Harassment laws may also limit touching of the other person in what may be interpreted as an intimate way. this still can be a deliberate romantic advance or act of domination (even if not. one-handed hugs are safer and can be a friendly touch. This tends to limit their use to romantic greetings. Kissing Variables Contact during kissing can be: • • Lip/cheek to lip/cheek Duration (peck . This also makes others look at you and is not likely from a timid person. Hugging someone from behind can be surprising and even threatening.smooch) 32 . although they are still used in some cultures. although its usage does vary across cultures and is common in some places. Between adults.behind) Pressure (light . Full-body hugs create contact with breasts and between genitalia and hence may be sexually suggestive or stimulating. Even so. Side-on.wrap) Body position (front .

full) Styles In some cultures. though mostly using arms to include a hug (and steady the body). greeting is very formal and a fixed set of words are required in specific situations.'). The type of kiss is governed strongly by the relationship. dislike ('I do not want to see you') or dominance ('You are unimportant and below my interest.• • • Tongue (involved . Social greetings are relatively short. and may involve double or triple kissing. Other greetings There are many other ways in which people greet and further subtleties around the actions above. a dominant signal may be sent under cover of the 'friendly' greeting. kissing is a part of social greeting. Facial signals The face is used a great deal in sending greeting signals. 'Good day' and so on. 'Greetings'. Little or no eye contact can indicate timidity ('I dare not look at you'). Words The words used in greetings can change significantly with the culture and context. alternating either side of the face. father of us all and master of the world'. Eye contact is particularly important in greeting and is usually held for a socially prescribed period. In some cultures. 'Greeting. Raised eyebrows: I am surprised to see you. and accompanies other greeting activity for example saying: • • • • • • Smiling: I am pleased to see you. Formal meetings use more formal language. This may or may not include manman and man-woman (which can lead to significant cross-cultural embarrassment). 'Yay' and so on. 'Watcha'. General friendship kissing may be longer and with more body contact. including: • • • • Touching or raising a hat Pressing or rubbing noses Touching or pressing bodies together in certain places and ways Moving the body through a defined locus 33 . Eyebrows together: I do not know your name. The most intense kiss is the romantic kiss which may well include full-length body touching. As with the handshake. such as 'Hello'. Expressionless: I do not care about you. caressing with hands and lip-to-lip kisses that may even include interplay of tongues. Prolonged eye contact can indicate both affection and dominance. Formality Informal greetings often use non-words and short forms like 'Hi'. Looking down: I am inferior to you. O holy one. Frowning: I am angry with you.not) Gender (man/woman to man/woman) Body involvement (none .

for which there are many similar rituals. Arms open Arms are not crossed and may be animated and moving in synchronization with what is being said or held wide. Legs open Open legs are not crossed. such as removing a jacket and unbuttoning a collar. They may even be stretched apart. Language of openness The open stance has arms and legs not crossed in any way. showing that they care for the other person. Palms are also relaxed and may be quite expressive. Passive threat 34 .• • Giving of gifts Touching palms or fists Greetings may also be extended to parting. the person may be offering a 'mock hug'. Reasons for opening There can be several reasons for open body language. Gestures may be slower and symbolize gentleness. This is sometimes misinterpreted solely as indicating being relaxed and untense. Looking around and at the other person The head may be directed solely towards the other person or may be looking around. including handshakes. Eye contact is likely to be relaxed and prolonged. Accepting When arms rounded and palms are sideways. which is likely to be in response to what the other person has said or done. Often they are parallel. Relaxed clothing Clothing is likely to hang loosely and actions to loosen clothing may take place. Open hands show that nothing is being concealed. When you open or close. In particular look for the transition when the body opens and the triggers that may have caused this change. They may also be moving in various ways. you are signaling a change in the way you are thinking or feeling. for example appearing to hold things and form more detailed shapes. The feet are of interest in open legs and may point forward or to the side or at something or someone of interest. bows and words of praise Open body language Techniques > Using body language > Open body language Language of openness | Reasons for opening | See also A significant cluster of body movements are all about being open. Remember that perhaps the most significant part of being open or close is the act of opening or closing.

A limp hand. stops them doing a power shake. palm down. Grab their palm firmly. Opening the body in supplication is also saying 'Here. This is very attractive and is a form of Hurt and Rescue. When this is relaxed. | See also Power is often expressed in communication as a combination of strength and humanity. Greeting Handshake As the other person approaches. The handshake is. Movements may be particularly sudden and designed to test the other person's reactions. the open body may simply be the body at rest. This is saying 'Please don't hurt me'. especially if fists are clenched. 35 . pull them in and hold their elbow with your left hand. you can hurt me if you wish' and is equivalent to a dog who rolls over on its back and exposes itself to indicate that it is not a threat. Supplicating When palms are held upwards. Touching Touching is power symbol. then this may be a sign of significant aggression. it may be saying 'I am so powerful and you are so weak. this may form a pleading gesture and may be combined with lowering of the body. extend your arm horizontally. Aggression is also seen when the body is square on to the other person and is relatively close to them. Holding the elbow further controls them. you are unable to attack me even when I am exposed. Relaxing And finally. The horizontal arm is an unmissable signal. Palm on top is being dominant.. relaxed and comfortable. a touch. palm down (be first to do this).An open posture may also be associated with a passive threat. and can lead to further touching. and is used by leaders to demonstrate power. Touching people can be threatening. putting yourself on top. When the person casually 'exposes themself'. which.' Males with knees apart are also doing a crotch display. The royal handshake is outstretched arm to keep the other at their distance. for example by opening their body and looking away they are opening themselves for attack. such as the elbow grip and patting shoulders and back. Power body language Techniques > Using body language > Power body language Greeting | Speaking | And. of course. move to left side. as well as casually exposing vulnerabilities is effectively says to other males 'Look: I have a large penis than you!' Aggression When there is tension in the open body. The person is effectively holding their body open in readiness for a fight..

be in front of them. Wear heels. Stand over people. This may be as subtle as a foot or as obvious as the whole body leaning. Greet them with a hand on the back. a palm or even a fist (which is rather aggressive). If sitting. Attention is away from everything except the intended direction. A neat trick is to bite the lower lip. go first. if you are going to an audience. Kink elbows outwards. Emphasize and exaggerate your points. Tension The body is tensed up and ready for action. palm down and out. Walking Walk with exaggerated swinging of arms. It shows you are human. And. but in the right place only. Hooking 36 . Eyes may also repeated flash over in the intended direction. go last (guiding others through shows dominance). Pause in the middle of speaking and look around at everyone. making the body seem wider. Look around. as it shows both emotion and control (Bill Clinton did it 15 times in 2 minutes during the Monica Lewinsky 'confession'). This may be another person or the door. Ready body language Techniques > Using body language > Closed body language Language of readiness | Reasons for readiness | See also A significant cluster of body movements are all about being ready for something. Legs are tensed ready to lift the body. Touch them on the elbow or other 'safe' areas. hands may hold onto armrests in readiness to get up. If you are not interrupted they are probably respecting your power. Emoting It is powerful to show that you have emotion. Position Generally be higher. Speaking Talking Talk with confidence and use the body beat in time with assertions. Sit on a higher chair. Beat with a finger. Language of readiness A ready body is poised for action. Things in the hand are gripped.. Pointing Any part of the body may be pointing at where the person is thinking about. At other times it emphasizes how you are in control. gazing into people's eyes for slightly longer than usual. When walking with others.Guide people with a palm in the small of the back. Stand confidently without speaking.. Drive a higher car. Use silences too. If you are going from an audience. When going through doors. Add a slight swagger.

Movement is fluid and the person seems happy or unconcerned overall. Color The color of the skin is generally normal. Leaving The person may want to leave. Movement Where there is movement. They point at the thing they want to buy or the contract that needs selling. then they may send readiness signals. it is in preparation for further movement. This is like a not-quite putting of hands in pockets. for example on the neck or cheeks. they put their body in a position where they can move quickly. It may also be well-balanced. When you are talking and they show readiness signals. Shoulders are not tensed up and generally hang loosely down. Reasons for readiness There can be several reasons for a ready body language. and so on.The hands may slightly hook clothing. Relaxed body Torso The torso may sag slightly to one side (but not be held there by irregular tension). straighten clothing. though it may curl up in a restful pose. 37 . Breathing Breathing is steady and slower. Ready to buy When a person is ready to buy. There are no unusual patches. Relaxed body language Techniques > Using body language > Relaxed body language Relaxed body | Relaxed limbs| Relaxed head | See also A relaxed body generally lacks tension. Muscles are relaxed and loose. Perhaps they have another appointment. This may make the voice a little lower than usual. Legs uncross. maybe they just want to say something. Hands grab bags. Ready to fight When a person sees a real or verbal fight coming up. nor pale with fear. being neither reddened by anger or embarrassment. either to attack or to defend. Perhaps they are uncomfortable with the situation and just want to get out of there. Continuing conversation Readiness may also be to talk more. The whole body leans in the intended direction. It does not curl up with fear. in particular with thumbs hooked into the waistband. indicating the person is relaxed but ready to move quickly. with the shoulders balanced above the pelvis.

Relaxed head There are major signs of a relaxed person in their face. and with little blinking. They may move in time to music. The sides of the face are not drawn back. Any crossing. Note that legs can be a particular sign of hidden tension when the person is controlling the upper body and arms. with tapping toes. They are generally open and may shape ideas in the air. A relaxed gaze will look directly at another person without staring. Arms Tense arms are rigid and may be held close to the body. of course can indicate some tension. unless as a position of comfort. Folding arms may just be comfortable. If arms cross one another. Eyes The eyes smile with the mouth. Romantic body language Techniques > Using body language > Romantic body language From afar | Up close | See also 38 . neither with small movements nor large movement. Relaxed hands hang loose or are used to enhance what we are saying. They do not twitch and seldom cross one another. Mouth The person may smile gently or broadly without any signs of grimacing. They may be crossed. they hand loosely. Legs Legs when sitting may sit gently on the floor or may be casually flung out. Relaxed arms either hang loosely or move smoothly. When the head moves. Otherwise the mouth is relatively still. They may move in suddenly. They do not frown. but are not wound around one another. particularly in the little creases at the side of the eyes. not sudden nor tense. but the legs may be held tense and wrapped. it is smoothly and in time with relaxed talk or other expression. hold ourselves or otherwise show tension. When they are sitting at a table. Eyebrows are stable or may move with speech. a staccato manner.Relaxed limbs Relaxed limbs hang loosely. Hands When we are anxious. we often use our hands to touch ourselves. what you see may be relaxed. Gestures are open and gentle. Other areas Other muscles in the face are generally relaxed The forehead is a major indicator and lines only appear in gentle expression. The eyes are generally dry. When talking. The voice sounds relaxed without unusually high pitch and without sudden changes in pitch or speed. the mouth opens moderately.

for example rolling and stroking them. again for a longer period. a person may look at you for slightly longer than normal. brushing hair with hand. signaling to a person of the opposite sex that you are interested in partnering with them. Preening There are many preening gestures. neck. Enacting Remote romantic language may also include enactment of sexually stimulating activities. It can start with the head with a simple tilt or may use the entire torso. wiggled or otherwise highlighted. Objects held may be also used in enactment displays. thrust forward. This may either say 'I would like to stroke you like this' or 'I would like you to stroke me like this'. strong and able to protect the woman and her child.A significant cluster of body movements has to do with romance. This includes tossing of the head. Pointing A person who is interested in you may subtly point at you with a foot. Eyes The eyes do much signaling. Displaying Attractive parts of the body may be exposed. It also tests to see whether they lean towards you or away from you. Holding out shoulders and arms makes the body look bigger. then look away. Pressing together muscles gives the impression of higher muscle tone. again showing particular interest in them. leg or face. and particularly the crotch (note that women seldom do this). It is effectively a signal that says 'I would like to go in this direction'. Faking often happens. What you are basically saying with this is 'I am making myself look good for you'. For men it includes a muscular torso. Initially and from a distance. Women show that they are healthy and that they are able to bear and feed the man's child. arm or head. including cigarettes and wine glasses. the person (women in particular) may lick and purse their lips into a kiss shape and leave their mouth slightly open in imitation of sexual readiness. From afar From afar. Other displays 39 . for example caressing oneself. the first task of body language is to signal interest (and then to watch for reciprocal body language). arms or legs. Leaning Leaning your body towards another person says 'I would like to be closer to you'. This is often playing to primitive needs. knee. Similarly. For women this includes breasts. Holding in the abdomen gives the impression of a firm tummy. The man shows he is virile. Pressing together and lifting breasts (sometimes helped with an appropriate brassiere) makes them look firmer and larger. bottom and legs. polishing spectacles and brushing clothes. This may be coupled with listening intently to what they say. for example stroking arms. then look back up at you.

Other forms of more distant display that are intended to attract include: • Sensual or dramatic dancing (too dramatic. I do like you.' Up close When you are close to the other person. Looking at other parts of the body may mean 'I want to touch'. perhaps holding them and more. Touching Touching signals even closer intimacy. Body positions The body in fearful stances is generally closed. as if to say 'Yes. • Nodding gently. Copying Imitating the person in some way shows 'I am like you'. followed by touching of 'safe' parts of the body such as arms or back. to invoke envy or hurry a closer engagement. Making the body small 40 . This is common in animals. which are often slightly moist and with the head inclined slightly down. You many also use what are called 'doe eyes' or 'bedroom eyes'. the body language progressively gets more intimate until one person signals 'enough'. you will holding each other's gaze for longer and longer periods before looking away. Close in and personal In moving closer to the other person. you move from social space into their personal body space. showing how you would like to get even closer to them... It may start with 'accidental' brushing. Lovers' gaze When you are standing close to them. Standing square-on to them also blocks anyone else from joining the conversation and signals to others to stay away. and may also include additional aspects. Where the eyes go is important. A very subtle signal that few realize is that the eyes will dilate such that the dark pupils get much bigger (this is one reason why dark-eyed people can seem attractive). • Faked interest in others. This can range from a similar body position to using the same gestures and language. Caressing is gentle stroking that may start in the safer regions and then stray (especially when alone) to sexual regions. Submissive body language Techniques > Using body language > Submissive body language Body positions | Gestures | See also A significant cluster of body movements is used to signal fear and readiness to submit. Looking at lips means 'I want to kiss'. where fighting (that could terminally harm each animal) is avoided by displays of aggression or submission. where (particularly male) legs are held apart to show off genitalia. and it can have the opposite effect). • Crotch display.

Head Head down Turning the chin and head down protects the vulnerable neck from attack. Hands out and palms up shows that no weapons are held and is a common pleading gesture. There may also be signs such as whiteness of the face and sweating. the chance of being seen is. Head We look a lot at the other person's head. Mouth Submissive people smile more at dominant people. it also reduces the chance of accidentally sending signals which may be interpreted as being aggressive. reduced (which is why many animals freeze when they are fearful). It also avoids looking the other person in the face (staring is a sign of aggression). Eyes Widening the eyes makes you look more like a baby and hence signals your vulnerability. Other gestures and actions that indicate tension may indicate the state of fear. These may be slow to avoid alarming the other person. in a natural setting. which can be very useful. Looking attentively at the other person shows that you are hanging on their every word. Motionlessness By staying still. limiting the potential of being hit and protecting vital areas. In a natural setting. Arms are held in. face touching and jerky movement. It also signals submission in that you are ready to be struck and will not fight back. 41 .Hunching inwards reduces the size of the body. This includes hair tugging. This is approaching the curled-up regressive fetal position. although tension may make them jerky Parts-of-the-body language Techniques > Using Body Language > Parts-of-the-body language You can send signals with individual parts of the body as well as in concert. A crouching position may be taken. Many are subconscious. being small may also reduce the chance of being seen. Here's details of the contributions of each part of the body. then small gestures are often made. When exposed. Gestures Submissive gestures There are many gestures that have the primary intent of showing submission and that there is no intent to harm the other person. which is used to send many signals to us. Small gestures When the submissive person must move. but they often smile with the mouth but not with the eyes. even slightly with knees slightly bent.

• • • • • • • Neck body language Shoulder body language Chest body language Back body language Belly body language Bottom body language Hips body language Legs The legs often betray body language when the person is trying to control their body (and often forget the lower half). windmilling as we describe with arms and hands what we are saying. though often ignored. contains the main mass of the body and can give important signals.• • • • • • • • • • • • • Head body language Face body language Cheek body language Chin body language Mouth body language Lips body language Teeth body language Tongue body language Nose body language Eyes body language Eyebrow body language Forehead body language Hair body language Arms We often talk with our arms. • • • • Arm body language Elbow body language Hand body language Finger body language Torso The torso. if you can look down you may find another story. • • • • Leg body language Thigh body language Knee body language Foot body language Head body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Head body language Lowering | Raising | Tilting | Oscillating | Rotating | Pointing | Touching | See also 42 . Particularly when seated.

This makes the body smaller and protects the neck. Raising the head and looking at the ceiling may signal boredom. This is typically accompanied by other expressions of interest such as raised eyebrows. Tilting Tilting the head sideways can be a sign of interest. effectively saying 'I dare not even look at you'. typically by women. particularly if the head is pushed forward. Another alternative is where a person wants to focus on the sound and is thus averting the eyes in order to concentrate on the sound. we focus just on movement of the head as affected by the neck muscles. Again it may be a deliberate concealment. The head is rather heavy and a tired person's head will sag. Lowering A lowered head covers the neck with the chin and hence can be a defensive posture that can occur as a result of any perceived threat (not just physical threat). as if the person was trying to look at the subject in a different way in the hope of seeing something new. a quick flick upwards can be a sign of query ('What do you mean?'). lowering the head is just a sign of exhaustion. Raising When the head is low. From a level position. It can also be a sign of defiance or caution. for example when showing respect to an enemy ('You are strong and I do not trust you'). This is a common greeting. 43 . It can be driven by affection ('you are so wonderful') or fear ('you might hurt me if I look at you'). Lowering the head can be a part of ducking as the person reflexively pulls the head down to avoid a real or imagined hazard. The eyes are typically also lowered here. It may also be a signal of power ('I am so powerful people are paying will notice even a small nod'). uncertainty or query. the greater the uncertainty or the greater the intent to send this signal. A single short lowering of the head can be an abbreviated nod. It says 'You are superior and I just can't take my eyes off you'. The greater the tilt. Lowering the head also lowers the eyes and hence can be a sign of submission. Here. It can also be a flirting signal as it says 'I am interested in you!' Tilting can similarly indicate curiosity. Lowering the head whilst maintaining eye contact can also be a strong flirting signal. raising it may be a sign of interest as the person moved to looking at the point of interest. It may also indicate a visual thinker who is looking at internal images. which may be in what is said or happening. perhaps as a small bow. Sometimes. sending covert agreement to a colleague.The head can send such a wide range of signals that the face and other parts of the head are covered in other pages.

This can be very insulting as it denies the existence of the other person. Alternately tilting the head at an angle to each side can say 'I'm not sure'. Nodding or shaking the head whilst talking is an encouragement for the other person to agree (which works surprisingly often). The may range from a subtle encouragement to agree to a rapid and aggressive tilt. Turning the head from side to side usually indicates disagreement or disapproval and may originate in infant refusal of food. This can be very disconcerting and this 'one-eye' gaze may be used as an act of dominance (It may also be used in the act of 'giving the evil eye'). sharp nod can symbolize a head-butt. Rotating Rotation of the head in a circle is a relatively rare gesture and may just be the person exercising a stiff neck (if they should be paying attention. Shaking the head when saying something positive is a negative signal and may indicate the person does not believe what they are saying. To make eye contact they thus have to focus on one eye. Shaking the head shows disagreement and they may either stop and seek your view or redouble their attempts to persuade you. Oscillating (nodding and shaking) Nodding up and down signals agreement in most cultures and may well be accompanied by smiling and other signs of approval. Turning the head away removes attention and thus may say 'I do not want to communicate with you'.A tilted head pulled back tends to indicate suspicion. Again. Nodding whilst the other person is talking sends approval signals and encourages them to keep talking. whilst slow nodding may indicate conditional agreement (and so may be questioned if you want full agreement). as the uncertainty of the tilt is combined with a defensive pulling back. speed of swinging indicates strength of feeling. A slight head turn also puts one eye in the middle of your head as the other person sees it. perhaps better to hear them. 44 . A short. A nod can be used when emphasizing a point. A head tilted down whilst swinging may signal particular disapproval ('I don't even want to look at you'). though in Southern India it means 'Yes'. it may be tiredness or an expectation of continued interest ('This is so interesting!'). The tilted head exposes the carotid artery on the side of the neck and may be a sign of submission and feelings of vulnerability. indicating the desire to strike the other person (this may be in emphasis or for other reasons). Turning the head slightly to the side points the ear at the other person. this may thus indicate boredom). If the head is propped up by the hand. A vigorous nodding probably indicates strong agreement. This is usually accompanied by continued eye contact and the hand may be cupped behind the ear.

the less significant people are not looked at often. Color Red A generally red face may indicate that the person is hot as the blood come to the to surface to be cooled. for example when they are excited and energized. Pointing the head and face at another person shows interest in them. They may heat up either from exercise or emotional arousal. Covering eyes. Touching We can touch the head in many places. the head is considered the part of the body that is most spiritual. indicating primary or external agreement but with a certain amount of disagreement too (which may be significant if they feel coerced into agreement). either under the chin or at the side. ears or mouth may say we do not want to see. In some cultures. this can also be a signal that somebody else is considered stupid. for example where a nod has a slight additional side-to-side movement. Likewise. Pointer We tend to point at people and things in which we are interested in some way. using its various features in concert. Propping up the head also happens when a person is thinking or evaluating. hear or say something. making decisions and judging others. for example where you do not want the indicated person is being pointed at. It can thus be used to send many non-verbal signals. Tapping the head can be self-punishment and hence signal regret. Note that. Pointing at a person in this way without looking can be insulting and can be subtle. Touching the head can be considered wrong in such contexts Face body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Face body language Color | Moisture | Emotions | See also The face has around 90 muscles in it. In groups and meetings. The head is heavy and when tired we may prop it up. for example tapping the forehead with the heel of the hand ('I'm stupid!'). with about 30 of these purely for expressing emotion. Boredom makes us tired so propping the head may indicate this. Touching the face is a common sign of anxiety and people tend to have preferred places they touch or stroke when they are concerned. This is a classic pattern that poker players look for in other players as signs of having good or bad hands. you can often see power people as others often look at them. We can also point with a twitch of the head in any given direction. depending on context. 45 .A slight rotation on top of oscillation may indicate incomplete agreement or disagreement. We may touch the side of the nose or stroke the chin when we are thinking.

A red face is typical of a person who is angry. White skin is also an indication of fear. possible laughter. Do note that these are only possible indicators: not all signals are needed and not all signals indicated here necessarily indicate the associated emotion. Sometimes the whole face goes red. Eyes staring. lips pinched. jutting chin. This can also indicate coldness or extreme fear. lips slightly parted or puckered or smiling. corners of Fear Anger Happiness Sadness Envy Desire Interest Boredom 46 . white face. flared nostrils. Blue The skin can also take on a bluish tinge. red face. perhaps to make the skin slippery and hence prevent an opponent from taking a firm grasp. eyebrows pulled down (especially in middle). mouth open or corners turned down. eyebrows slightly pushed together. mouth corners turned down. head level. face generally immobile. Emotions Here are some of the facial signals that you might see for different emotions. head tilted forward. chin pulled in. mouth flattened or clenched teeth bared. Moisture Sweating is the body's natural cooling mechanism when it gets hot. Sweat is also associated with fear. With others it is mostly the cheeks. People blush with embarrassment in various ways. head slightly tilted down. head erect or pushed forward. crowsfeet wrinkles at sides of sparkling eyes. slightly raised eyebrows. This happens as the blood abandons a surface that might be cut. trembling lower lip. raised eyebrows. Eyes wide. slightly raised eyebrows. Steady gaze of eyes at item of interest (may be squinting). Emotion Anxiety Facial signals Eyes damp. lips slightly pressed together. Eyes cast down and possibly damp or tearful. Eyes looking away. chin jutting. going to muscles where its power is needed more. head down or to the side. slightly raised eyebrows. nose turned in sneer. possibly from excitement and emotional arousal. head down. White White skin may be a sign of coldness as the blood goes deep to avoid cooling further. Some people's neck goes red. wrinkled forehead. closed or pointing down. Eyes wide open with dilated pupils. Mouth smiling (open or closed). warning the other person that they may be harmed if they do not back down. This is a clear danger signal. often extreme. chin possibly wrinkled. Eyes wide and staring. head down.

This typically happens when a person is frightened as the blood is moved to the muscles in readiness to flee. chin jutting. Surprise Eyes wide open. such as enlarged and staring eyes. skin blushing red. Cheeks pale when blood drains from them. Relief Disgust Shame Pity Calm Cheek body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Cheek body language In-out | Redness | Internal | Touching | See also Cheeks can speak body language. In-out Cheeks can be drawn in or blown out. This may be exaggerated by the person actually blowing air from their mouth ('Pfoof . 47 . When cheeks are blown out.mouth turned down or lips pulled to the side. mouth either tilted down or smiling. head tilted to side. Watch here for other anger signs. nostrils flared. Watch for them becoming red (some people just have natural red cheeks).what do I do now??'). Redness Red cheeks is a classic sign of embarrassment. Eyebrows tilted outwards (lowered outer edges). Internal Chewing the inside of the cheek or mouth can be a hidden sign of nervousness and may indicate lying. Perhaps mouth turned up slightly at sides in gentle smile. head tilted. If the person has been exercising the face may also be red and sweaty. eyebrows slightly pulled together in middle or downwards at edges. it indicates disapproval. Pale cheeks can also be a sign of coldness. Blown out cheeks can also be a sign of exhaustion. head held back or tilted to side. mouth turned down at corners. Eyes and head turned down. mouth closed. eyebrows held low. Eyes in extended gaze and possibly damp. this can signify uncertainty as to what to do next (watch also for raised eyebrows and rounded eyes). Relaxed facial muscles and steady gaze with eyes. mouth dropped wide open with consequent lowered chin. head propped up with hand. eyebrows raised high. although admittedly not very much. When pulled in and particularly when linked with pursed lips. Eyes and head turned away. Cheeks sucked in to the extent that the lower lips curl can indicate pensiveness which may be uncomfortable (look also for a furrowed brow). Red cheeks may also be a sign of anger. nose twisted in sneer. possibly with tongue protruding.

Holding in the chin protects both it and the throat. Jutting out the chin towards a person exposes it and says 'Go on. along with an open mouth that says 'Oooh' indicate light surprise. Protecting The chin is vulnerable when fists are flying as a good upper-cut punch can knock you out. Chin body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Chin body language Protecting | Jutting | Touching | Beard | See also The chin. Touching The cheek is a wide area that can be touched without obscuring any of the functional organs. Touching Stroking the chin is often a signal that the person is thinking hard. Jutting The chin can be used as a subtle pointing device and a small flick of the head may give a small signal that only people in the know are likely to notice. Jutting may also exposes the teeth and is a thus a threat to bite which may be added to an aggressive display. Even more vulnerable than the chin is the throat. Touching both cheeks with the flat of the palm is an exaggeration of this and may indicate horror. where a predator might try to asphyxiate you or worse. try to hit me and see what happens!' This can thus be a signal of defiance. for 48 .Pushing the tongue into the cheek can show pensiveness as the person thinks about something and tries to come to a decision. Boredom can make you sleepy and a hand under the chin may be done to stop an embarrassing drop of the head. I dare you. Pointing at a person with the finger is a threatening act. Holding the chin also prevents the head from moving and can signal that the person wants to send a head signal but simultaneously does not want to send the signal. particularly if the conversation has offered them a choice or decision to make. which is a submissive gesture. Doing it briefly with the chin is more covert and can thus be an insult. particularly when the person is tired and it may drop. The head is a heavy object and is often propped up by holding the chin in a cupped hand. Holding the chin in also lowers the head. This is distinct from the defensive move as the head tilts down more and the eyes are often largely downcast. Touching the cheek is often done in surprise or horror. This can similarly be a shy or flirting gesture. A light touch. They may well be judging or evaluating something. if not towards the other person then instead towards some situation or person in the conversation. has its own body language. and hence is a naturally defensive move that people use when they feel threatened. as with other corners of the face.

from happiness to sadness. With typical the red face. A full beard is more likely to indicate a person who has no vanity needs and is confident and relaxed as they are.example when they emotionally agree and want to nod. A person who is frightened or angry by the fight-or-flight reaction may well open their mouth to get more oxygen in preparation for combat or running away. particularly in cultures where being clean-shaven is the norm. with able backup from the teeth and tongue. Mouth body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Mouth body language Emoting | Breathing | Speaking | Eating | Drinking | Covering | Smiling | Laughing | See also Generally speaking body orifices are not terribly desirable as they can cause problems such as being entries for disease or can be snagged on passing bushes. Breathing We usually breath through the nose. Short inhalation. frustration or boredom. from fear to disgust. particularly in a sequence. can indicate sadness. It may also point to a person for whom external appearance is unimportant. In emoting. such as a university intellectual. breathing and eating. exhaling sigh. Emoting The mouth is involved in the expression of many different emotions. can be like silent sobs and hence be an indicator of deep and suppressed sadness. this can be mistaken for anger (or vice versa). the lips play a major role in creating visible shapes. Stroking a beard can be a preening gesture. 49 . This may also involve breathing faster (panting). A beard may thus be an indicator of a nonconformist. Yawning is a process of taking a deep gulp of air as a quick 'pick-me-up' and often indicate a person who is tired or bored. but when we need more oxygen we use the mouth to gulp in greater amounts of air. Beard Beards and moustaches are sometimes controversial items. deep. A short. A hot person also pants hard. The mouth is perhaps the ultimate multi-function orifice as we use it for communicating. An unkempt beard that is left to grow wild may indicate an untidy mind or simply that the person is lazy. When the beard is shaped and neatly clipped. but intellectually want more information so they can have good reason before they say yes. symbolically making oneself look beautiful and hence sending 'I'm gorgeous' signals. it may indicate a more vain and fussy person who is particular about how they appear and what they do.

With closed eyes. Slow speakers may be deep thinkers who are being careful about finding the right words. may indicate someone who is relaxing or meditating. Drinking As with eating. they are seldom aware of what is going on around them and this may be done as an escape. deep breathing.Slow. snobbish gourmands who take great pleasure in eating may do it noisily as an expression of pleasure. and the way people eat can tell things about them. 50 .although again. It may also be done with loud glugging and followed by equally distasteful burping -. People who chew smaller amounts at the front of their mouth are like children whose molars have not developed and may be timid. Someone who is slooshing their drink around their mouth may well be thinking and deciding. They may also be looking upwards. They also do not speak when they have food in their mouth. On the other hand. This may also be a cultural variable and in some places noisy eating is not only acceptable but also desirable. in some cultures this is a desirable expression of pleasure. Eating The mouth is also used for eating. A well-mannered person opens their mouth the minimum to put in a moderate amount of food and keeps it closed whilst carefully chewing each mouthful. perhaps including incoherent mumbling. A mouth that moves a lot during speech can indicate excitement or dominance as it sends clear signals that 'I am speaking. Fast speakers are often visual thinkers who are trying to get out what they are seeing. In a curious reversal. sometimes with slightly parted lips. this may indicate an unwillingness to speak. an uncouth person gobbles large mouthfuls and opens their mouth as they chew and talk at the same time. They may also have an auditory preference as they carefully enunciate each word. People who chew for a longer time may be chewing on ideas at the same time. sipping smaller amounts and swallowing noiselessly. If the mouth moves little. this may also be pensive. Speaking The mouth sends additional signals when it is speaking. drinking may be done in a polite way. do not interrupt!' Careful shaping of words can also indicate a person with auditory preferences or a concern for precision and neatness. for example from shyness or from a fear of betraying themselves. When people slide their jaw sideways when they eat are grinding the food.

I don't buy that idea. but I'm not going to comment. A genuine smile is often asymmetric and usually larger on the right side of the face. Smiling in some cultures indicates a question or that you want the other person to speak. There are many variants on laughter and we all laugh differently. sarcasm or uncertainty ('Sorry. on one side of the face. happening for a few seconds. laughter is a relatively brief affair. A half-smile. from the suppressed titter to the loud and uproarious belly-laugh. may indicate cynicism. particularly including the eyes. Whilst smiling may happen over a longer period. such as a joke. The hand is also used to conceal the mouth when it will betray emotions that may be undesirable. This can lead to a satisfying bonding mechanism. may indicate embarrassment about unsightly teeth. laughter shows greater pleasure and happiness. which crease and 'twinkle'. women laugh at men they like whilst men like women who laugh at them ('It's working! She likes me. This may also be a reason for hiding a yawn. Smiling without opening the mouth. where the smiler wants to convey pleasure or approval but is actually feeling something else.'). Laughing Beyond smiling. It may also be a suppression of words ('I can see the funny side. In polite society. exposing the inside of your mouth may be considered rude.'). Lowering the jaw to show a D-shaped mouth can be a false smile as it is easy to do. This false smile is known as the Duchenne smile. Smiling Smiling indicates pleasure. A full smile engages the whole face. A false smile may be more symmetrical or larger on the left side of the face. and particularly with lips firmly pressed together. Smiling with lips only is often falsehood. False smiles also tend to last for longer. after the scientists who first described it in 1862. either that you are generally happy and are enjoying the other person's company or that you are amused by something in particular.Covering Sometimes the hand is used to cover the mouth. It may also be used by a person who is trying to gain attention. Smiling is also a sign of submission as the person effectively says 'I am nice and not a threat'. Thus we put our hands over impolite giggles and smirks.'). Louder and less suppressed laughter may indicate someone who is less self-conscious. so the hand is used to politely cover a yawn. It may also be a deliberate signal of amusement and and an invitation to laugh. We also cover the open mouth of surprise and the downturned mouth of sadness. 51 . In general.

The gulping of air in yawning can also be in preparation for action and a stressed person may yawn more. We do it when we are tired and blood oxygen is low. particularly if the lips are touched with the fingers. 52 . or at least take some bigger breaths. Yawning Yawning is opening the mouth wide and gulping in a large quantity of air. which makes it often impolite (also because it shows the inside of the body). including when it is suppressed. This results often in the yawn being covered with the hand or concealed such as by turning the head or holding the mouth more closed than it actually want to be. for example may get disguised as coughs and the person may turn away to hide their expression. Our muscles around them mean we can shape them with incredibly fine control. Boredom can indicated by yawning. Laughing at risqué jokes is a sign of acceptance of the other person (the alternative is to criticize or otherwise censure them). Lipstick is used to draw attention to the lips. Puckered A light puckering of the lips into a kiss shape typically indicates desire. Parting lips is the first stage in speaking and may thus be a signal that the person wants to talk. signalling that the other person is so uninteresting they are sending us to sleep. In such cases you may see suppressed grins and giggles as the person tries desperately to hide their feeling of amusement. It can also indicate uncertainty. Laughing and smiling at the misfortune of others is often socially unacceptable although we often find this funny (Germans call this 'schadenfreude'). Pursed lips are a classic sign of anger. Parted Lips which are slightly parted can be a strong flirting signal. particularly if the lips are then licked and even more so if done whilst holding the gaze of another person.'Funny' often gets equated to 'nice' and 'harmless' and the use of humor thus can a way of sending friendship signals. It is effectively holding the mouth shut to prevent the person saying what they feel like saying. Laughs. thus exaggerating further the signals sent by them. Pursed Lips which are pulled inwards from all directions are an indication of tension and may indicate frustration or disapproval. Lips body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Lips body language Parted | Pursed | Puckered | Flattened | Turned up | Turned down | Retracted | Moving | Twitching | Protruding | Biting | Relaxed | See also Lips can say a lot of things without words.

This may be in a broad smile or it may be a snarl of aggression. In a snarl. Turned up When the corners of the mouth are turned upwards.When you say 'oo'. This subvocalization often happens with very small movement and is often completely subconscious. but others are speaking and I feel I should wait'). they expose the teeth. Some people are so miserable so often. A full smile engages the whole face. This indicate disapproval ('If I spoke I would be very critical. Some people chew the insides of their mouths when they are nervous. Flattened Lips which are kept horizontal but squeezed flat are an exaggerated closing of the mouth and hence indicate a repressed desire to speak. for example a single twitch of the corner of the mouth that indicates cynicism or disbelief. lightning-fast movements of the mouth betray inner thoughts. The eyes should tell you which is which. either because of dislike of offered food or some other motivation. Stage mentalists use this when they ask their 'victims' to think hard of a word and then lip-read as they silently sound the word. Turned down Corners of the mouth turned down indicates sadness or displeasure. 53 . where the smiler wants to convey pleasure or approval but is actually feeling something else. Twitching Small. In a full smile. It can also indicate frustration ('I want to speak. the teeth are unlikely to be shown (although toothless smiles are also common). Smiling with lips only is often falsehood. the lips form the kiss shape. this can be a grimace of disgust or a smile of pleasure. this is the natural state of rest of their mouths (which is perhaps rather sad). Up and down movement may indicate chewing. Flattened lips can also indicate a refusal to eat. This is one reason that romantic songs often linger on words like 'you' and 'too'. the eyes are either narrowed or staring. In a grimace. the corners of the eyes are creased. evening out lipstick. Rolling in the lips so they roll across one another can be a preening gesture for women. It can also be a sign of uncertainty or disapproval (look for accompanying lowered eyebrows). Grimaces are often flatter and tenser. which I do not want to be'). Retracted When the lips are pulled back. particularly including the eyes. Moving Lips which are moving in the shape of words but without making sounds means that the person is thinking of saying the words.

Liars in particular will often give themselves away with very brief grimaces as their conscience expresses disapproval of the conscious lies. so here's details. but indicates the person has been reduced to a base position and is probably not thinking rationally. centrally or at the side. Relaxed Finally. this is the bottom lip (especially if the person has overhanging top teeth). Actual biting is rare. This may be a habitual action and people who do this. this may be linked with biting of the bottom lip. 54 . is often a sign of anxiety. especially if accompanied by wide eyes and eyebrows raised in the middle and lowered at the sides. If the finger touches them. Teeth body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Teeth body language Biting | Smiling | Noise | Tapping | See also There's not a lot of body language with teeth. but this is a complete section. will often repeat the move in predictable situations. Young animals at play pretend to bite one another as they prepare for adulthood. This usually indicates that the person is also feeling relaxed. Both lips pressed together and pushed out generally indicates doubt. Biting Biting the lip. and thus may betray concern about being told off or otherwise being censured in the manner of a child. it may indicate internal thinking or may say 'I am considering speaking but am not quite ready to talk yet'. This is a fairly child-like action. the lips will have a position of rest when they are not pulled in any direction. as if the person is saying 'umm'. a common indicator that the person is feeling guilty about something. Biting Teeth are made to bite. where the person expresses child-like petulance at not getting their own way. Biting can also be affectionate. The bottom lip jutting out is often a part of a sulky pout. The bottom lip extended over the top lip can indicate uncertainty. This can create arousal from the basic fear instinct but the person knows from the context that they are not in danger and hence reframes the arousal as pleasure. Protruding When the top lip is over the bottom lip. Usually. When people play with friends they may also expose their teeth. for example where lovers chew the other person's lip or ear. Gentle biting also stimulates nerve receptors and is thus similar to touch. Exposing the teeth in a snarl is saying 'I am thinking of biting you' and is hence a primitive and potentially scary threat. tear and grind.

When people are talking in romantic setting. although considered rather childish and thus reflects as much on the person doing it.Smiling Exposing the teeth in smiling tends to indicate extreme pleasure. People who are selfconscious and particularly if their teeth are not that attractive may try not to show their teeth when smiling. Tongue body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Tongue body language Sticking out | Licking | Biting it | Inside the mouth | See also The tongue is normally important in spoken body language. Sticking out A deliberate gesture of sticking out the tongue at a person is impolite. This may also indicate extreme coldness. By oneself. teeth noise can also just be habit. Cheeky tongue-poking is often followed by a smile or laughter. Lip-licking may indicate desire. sticking out the tongue can be a sign of lust. It may also be a deliberate interruption or irritant. When this happens it traditionally appears at the side of the mouth. Chattering teeth may indicate extreme fear and is usually accompanied by shaking of the body. Grinding teeth can indicate suppressed anger or frustration as the person tensely tries not to speak. although this is less likely. The rest of the face should indicate more of the intent. Usually it is for what is in front of the licker. In practice it can also send some body language non-verbal signals. Licking The tongue can be used to lick. Light tapping of the teeth can be mild frustration or thinking (it is similar in effect to tapping of a finger). perhaps for another person and perhaps for food. The gesture thus appears petulant unless it is done in an amusingly cheeky way. making a noise that echoes in the mouth. 55 . This can signal thinking or boredom. Noise Teeth can make a noise when banged or slid together. Tapping Sometimes people tap their teeth with their nails. Sticking out the tongue also can happen when the person is trying hard to do something. As with other repetitive action. pretty much the only thing the tongue can lick is the lips (although a more hidden way of this is licking the teeth).

this can indicate the person is experiencing extreme displeasure. 56 . Another variation is when the person is thinking about something but is not satisfied with their own ideas. This happens when a bad smell is detected. Licking another person can be extremely arousing and is typically done either as a part of foreplay or as a quick tease. Sniffing Aside from when a person has a cold. This may also happen on one side. As such. pushing out the lips. saying 'I would like to like you'. When a person lies. particularly when done slowly and with other flirting signals such as a slightly lowered head and steady gaze. It is also common signal from a person who is not telling the truth. Touching it Touching the nose can indicate that the person has detected a bad smell. It can also appear with a metaphoric bad smell is thought about. This also may lead to them touching or scratching the nose. for example when somebody else suggests a distasteful idea (see: even language uses badtaste metaphor!). you can still sometimes see what it is doing. it can be very arousing. making the nose swell or appear redder. Pushed in front of the teeth. which is right in the middle of the face. perhaps for fear of offending or breaking social rules. Flared nostrils may also indicate that the person is making an internal judgment about something. Biting it Biting the tongue typically indicates that the biter wants to say something but somehow feels unable or unwilling to say what they want. can send a certain amount of body language. Inside the mouth With mouth closed and tongue inside the mouth. Wrinkled The nose can be wrinkled by pushing up from the mouth.As a deliberate signal to others it can be sexually enticing. can also indicate uncertainty. with the mouth twitching up as well. blood vessels in their nose may dilate. Flared When the nostrils are widened it allows more air to be breathed in and out and readies the person for combat. Nose body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Nose body language Flared | Wrinkled | Sniffing | Touching it | See also The nose. sniffing can indicate displeasure or disgust. Pressed against the cheek it can indicate thinking and uncertainty. In a related sense.

which hence may be a sign of submission ('I am not a threat. Looking upwards and the right can indicate imaginative construction of a picture (which can hence betray a liar). A notable way that a lower person looks down at a higher person is by tilting their head back. Eyes body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Eyes body language Up | Down | Sideways | Gazing | Glancing | Eye contact | Staring | Squinting | Blinking | Winking | Closing | Damp | Tears | Pupil size | Rubbing | See also The eyes are often called. Looking down and to the right can indicate that they are attending to internal emotions. You are so glorious I would be dazzled if I looked at you. For reading body language this is quite useful as looking at people's eyes are a normal part of communication (whilst gazing at other parts of the body can be seen as rather rude). When they are delivering a speech or presentation. Looking down involves not looking at the other person. Be careful with this: sometimes the directions are reversed -. Looking up may also be a signal of boredom as the person examines the surroundings in search of something more interesting. please do not hurt me. especially when combined with a frown. looking up may be their recalling their prepared words. Head lowered and eyes looking back up at the other person is a coy and suggestive action as it combines the head down of submission with eye contact of attraction. It can also indicate that the person is feeling guilty. with some justification. Even taller people may do this. test the person by asking them to recall known facts or imagine something. 57 . really. Looking upwards and to the left can indicate recalling a memory.if in doubt. Fiddling with the nose or pressing it down can just be a habit when the person is thinking. Looking up When a person looks upwards they are often thinking.Rubbing the finger alongside the nose can indicate disagreement. 'the windows of the soul' as they can send many different non-verbal signals. Looking down Looking at a person can be an act of power and domination. It can also be judgemental. Pinching the bridge of the nose can show the person is evaluating something. Looking down and to the left can indicate that they are talking to themselves (look for slight movement of the lips).') Looking down can thus be a signal of submission. usually negatively and with some frustration. In particular they are probably making pictures in their head and thus may well be an indicator of a visual thinker.

whether it is a painting. a table or a person.In many cultures where eye contact is a rude or dominant signal. Lateral movement can also happen when the person is being conspiratorial. either as a potential threat or as a sexual partner (notice where the gaze lingers). This can be quite insulting and hence indicate a position of presumed dominance. as it aids complex communication. as if they are checking that nobody else is listening. As with visual and other movements. people will look down when talking with others in order to show respect. A quick glance sideways can just be checking the source of a distraction to assess for threat or interest. 58 . It can also be done to show irritation ('I didn't appreciate that comment!'). This may also be shown by defocused eyes where the person is 'inside their head' thinking about other things. Lateral movement Eyes moving from side-to-side can indicate shiftiness and lying. Looking to the right can indicate that they are imagining the sound. Glancing Glancing at something can betray a desire for that thing. so when a person looks sideways. This is one reason why we have larger eye whites than animals. as the person effectively says 'I am more powerful than you. Looking up and down at a whole person is usually sizing them up. Gazing Looking at something shows an interest in it. Looking at a person's mouth can indicate that you would like to kiss them. Eyes may also move back and forth sideways (and sometimes up and down) when the person is visualizing a big picture and is literally looking it over. Looking at sexual regions indicates a desire to have sexual relations with them. Eye contact in many cultures is considered dominant or rude. Looking sideways Much of our field of vision is in the horizontal plane. this can be reversed and may need checking against known truth and fabrication. It is difficult to conceal a gaze as we are particularly adept at identifying exactly where other people are looking. The gaze can also be a defocused looking at the general person. for example glancing at the door can indicate a desire to leave. your feelings are unimportant to me and you will submit to my gaze'. When looking at a person normally. Looking at their forehead or not at them indicates disinterest. as if the person is looking for an escape route in case they are found out. below). the gaze is usually at eye level or above (see eye contact. Looking to the left can indicate a person recalling a sound. they are either looking away from what is in front of them or looking towards something that has taken their interest.

Glancing may indicate a desire to gaze at something or someone where it is forbidden to look for a prolonged period. they are rewarded with a coy smile or a slight widening of the eyes ('Yes. The eyes may also appear shiny. for example that they are insulted.Glancing at a person can indicate a desire to talk with them. Looking at a person. Eye contact Doe eyes A softening of the eyes. Less eye contact is used when talking. Breaking eye contact can indicate that something that has just been said that makes the person not want to sustain eye contact. particularly if the gaze is prolonged and the pupils are dilated (see below). If the other person is still looking at them. When done with doe eyes and smiles. Making eye contact Looking at a person acknowledges them and shows that you are interested in them. If a person says something when you are looking away and then you make eye contact. and especially when we are paying close attention to what the other person is saying. for example. It can also indicate a concern for that person's feeling when something is said that might upset them. This can also happen when the person thinks something that causes the same internal discomfort. Then look down for a second or two and then look back up again (to see if they have taken the bait). breaking eye contact and then looking immediately back at them is a classic flirting action. An attraction signal that is more commonly used by women is to hold the other person's gaze for about three seconds. Breaking eye contact Prolonged eye contact can be threatening. Lovers will stare into each others eyes for a long period. 59 . it is a sign of attraction. We are amazingly good at detecting what they are looking at and can detect even a brief glance at parts of our body. Long eye contact Eye contact longer than normal can have several different meanings. particularly with the head held coyly low in suggested submission. Attraction is also indicated by looking back and forth between the two eyes. We also look more at people we like and like people who look at us more. Eye contact often increases significantly when we are listening. then this indicates they have grabbed your attention. as if we are desperately trying to determine if they are interested in us too. as it often indicates sexual desire. so in conversation we frequently look away and back again. they have been found out. particularly by people who are visual thinkers as they stare into the distance or upwards as they 'see' what they are talking about. particularly if you look in their eyes. they feel threatened. Looking at a person's eyes also lets you know where they are looking. this message is for you!'). etc. with relaxing of muscles around the eye and a slight defocusing as the person tries to take in the whole person is sometimes called doe eyes.

Squinting Narrowing of a person's eyes can indicate evaluation. this can indicate domination. the person's attention may be inside their head and what they are staring at may be of no significance. this can become quite embarrassing for them). will over-compensate and look at you for a longer than usual period. In such circumstances a staring competition can ensue. Sometimes liars. When the eyes are defocused. particularly after hearing unexpected news. A trick to reduce stress from this is to look at the bridge of their nose. Often this is done without blinking as they force themselves into this act. they may be feeling insecure. with the first person to look away admitting defeat. They also follow neutral or feared things in case the movement turns into a threat. Prolonged eye contact can be disconcerting. contracted pupils and an immobile face. Staring at a person can indicate shock and disbelief. It can similarly indicate uncertainty ('I cannot quite see what is meant here. but knows it is impolite (this may be accompanied with some apologetic text). but not with the eyes as this is more difficult. Staring at another's eyes is usually more associated with aggressive action. Staring Staring is generally done with eyes wider than usual.') Squinting can also be used by liars who do not want the other person to detect their deception. The correction back to normal implies that the person would like to stare more. They may also be lying and not want to be detected. perhaps considering that something told to them is not true (or at least not fully so). Limited eye contact When a person makes very little eye contact. guiding where the customer looks. This is used when sales people move something like a pen or finger up and down. It generally indicates particular interest in something or someone. with eyes wide open and then back to normal indicates surprise. A short stare. knowing that low eye contact is a sign of lying. (Without care. aggression and use of power. They will think you are still looking in their eyes. Following The eyes will naturally follow movement of any kind. 60 .When done without blinking. affectionate or deceptive and is discussed further above. If the person is looking at something of interest then they will naturally keep looking at this. including to eye contact and to parts of the product being sold. prolonged attention to something and with reduced blinking. Prolonged eye contact can be aggressive. They may smile with the mouth.

Lowering of eyelids is not really a squint but can have a similar meaning. I do not need to see you'. Realizing this. Lowering eyelids whilst still looking at the other person can be a part of a romantic and suggestive cluster. This is an equivalent to turning away so eye contact can be avoided and any implied request for the other person to speak is effectively ignored. a single blink can signal surprise that the person does not quite believe what they see ('I'll wipe my eyes clean to better see'). Rapid blinking also flutters the eyelashes and can be a coy romantic invitation. Visual thinkers may also close their eyes. much as a windscreen wiper on a car. It can also indicate tiredness. Rapid blinking blocks vision and can be an arrogant signal. It can also indicate that the person has been crying recently. Damp eyes can be suppressed weeping. saying 'I am so important. and may be accompanied with tossing back the head and slightly puckering the lips in a kiss. though others do not'). both for washing them and for tears. Beyond natural random blinking. it is so terrible'. fear or sadness. Winking can also be a slightly suggestive greeting and is reminiscent of a small wave of the hand ('Hello there. This can be an indication of lying as the liar has to keep thinking about what they are saying. they may involuntarily squint. 61 . Winking Closing one eye in a wink is a deliberate gesture that often suggests conspiratorial ('You and I both understand. indicating anxiety. sometimes when talking. they may also force their eyes open and appear to stare. Blink rate tends to increase when people are thinking more or are feeling stressed. Dampness can also occur when the person is tired (this may be accompanied by redness of the eyes. This can mean 'I do not want to see what is in front of me. Damp The tear ducts provide moisture to the eyes. Someone who is listening carefully to you is more likely to blink when you pause (keeping eyes open to watch everything you say). and people who are connected may blink at the same rate. gorgeous!'). Closing Closing the eyes shuts out the world. Sometimes when people are talking they close their eyes. Blinking Blinking is a neat natural process whereby the eyelids wipe the eyes clean. Blinking can also indicate rapport.When a person thinks about something and does not want to look at the internal image. Squinting can also happen when lights or the sun are bright. so they can better see the internal images without external distraction.

although paradoxically you can also weep tears of joy. with little expression other than the tears (indicating a certain amount of control). The rubbing may be with one finger. and is sometimes called 'bedroom eyes' (magazine pictures sometimes have deliberately doctored eyes to make a model look more attractive). The reverse of this is that pupils contract when we do not like the other person. they person may rub their eye and maybe even feign tiredness or having something in the eye. The more the coverage. This also gives the opportunity to turn the head away. Even if their eyes feel damp they may turn away. Men in many culture are not expected to cry and learn to suppress this response. the eyes may water a little. this can thus indicate deception or a desire that eye signals are harder to see. which may be direct at whoever is available. When another person's eyes dilate we may be attracted further to them and our eyes dilate in return. 62 . Rubbing When a person is feeling uncomfortable. Tears and sadness may be transformed into anger. ours may well contract also. Eyebrow body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Eyebrow body language Lowered | Raised | Middle-raised | Middle-lowered | Oscillating | See also Eyebrows can send body language. Being near the eyes. It also typically involves screwing up of the face and. when emotions are extreme. can be accompanied by uncontrollable. when their pupils are small. Pupils dilate also when it is darker to let in more light (perhaps this is why clubs and bars are so dingy!). although the limited control of muscles around them can limit what they say. which are the major senders of signals. perhaps in an echo of squint-like narrowing of the eyes. Weeping can be silent. Particularly with a lowered head. convulsive sobs. Pupil size A subtle signal that is sometimes detected only subconsciously and is seldom realized by the sender is where the pupil gets larger (dilates) or contracts.Tears Actual tears that roll down the cheeks are often a symptom of extreme fear or sadness. the more the person is trying to hide behind the hands. To cover this and try to restore an appropriate dryness. they are highly visible communicators. Lowered Lowering the eyebrows conceals the eyes to a certain degree. with a finger and thumb (for two eyes) or with both hands. Likewise. not even being able to cry when alone. Sexual desire is a common cause of pupil dilation.

It can also indicate anxiety ('Oh no!'). perhaps to see more clearly what is going on. Opposite to the dominant lowering of eyebrows. raising eyebrows is may be a submissive move or indicate openness. Oscillating When we see people we know. their eyebrows are often raised. When as question is asked and the eyebrows are raised afterwards. as it lets the other person see your eyes ('I am not looking where I should not!'). lowered eyebrows are a sign of a dominant person. meaning 'Well how about that then!'. 63 . the eyebrows can be made to slope outwards. Raising a single eyebrow is something that only some people can do and can be a bit more wry in its meaning. the higher the eyebrows are raised. for example asking 'Are you sure?' when the other person appears to be talking with limited accuracy. This typically happens as a part of opening the eyes wider.Lowered eyebrows may also indicate annoyance. Forehead body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Forehead body language Wrinkling | Sweating | Touching | See also The forehead has its place in body language communications. I do not want to look at you. often as a part of a wider set of signals. This is a common signal across all primates. It can also indicate intense concentration. Raised When a person is surprised. It is near the eyes and can be looked at without sending other signals (for example looking the mouth can say 'I want to kiss you'). Raising the eyebrows asks for attention from others and can signal general emphasis. The more the surprise. this often shows that the person is angry or frustrated. Its main limitation is that it can only make a few movements. this is a clear invitation to answer the question. perhaps effectively saying 'I am so displeased.' Related to this. in the way that Groucho Marx used it. Middle-lowered When the middle of the eyebrows are pulled down so they slope inwards. Rapid and repeated up and down movement may be an exaggerated signal. which can make even small movements with it reliably observed and hence significant. This can indicate relief ('Whew!'). we often give a quick up-down flash of the eyebrows in recognition and greeting. Middle-raised By pushing together the eyebrows and pulling up the forehead. including monkeys and gorillas.

as if the person was massaging their brain to get it going. The forehead may also be touched as a part of a propping up the head. how stupid I am! Hair body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Hair body language Appearance | Tossing | Touching | See also The hair is a part of the body and hence is used in various ways for communication. Well-styled hair can indicate a desire to be attractive and so get the approval and admiration of others. Tapping the forehead with an open palm or light fist says 'Gosh. which can come from external temperature. A cold sweat can indicate extreme fear and may be accompanied by damp eyes. men usually have a very limited social style. typically with the thumb touching the side of the face. particularly upwards. Appearance Hair can be cut and shaped into a wide range of styles which contributes to the overall image and hence sends non-verbal signals. A conventional and tidy cut indicates a conventional person who follows basic social rules. Touching Wiping the forehead can be to remove sweat.' Slowly rubbing the forehead can indicate deep thinking.Wrinkling Wrinkling the forehead is often connected with movement of the eyebrows. perhaps echoing army crew cuts. Very short hair may signal aggression. Sweating We often sweat more from the forehead than other parts of the body. making it significant in sending moisture-related signals. It has also been used by 'skinheads' and is popular with club bouncers and other 'heavies'. It can also indicate fear. and hence acts as an amplifier of these signals. even when the person is not sweating. Sweating can occur when we are hot. 64 . It typically indicates relief and can be a deliberate exaggeration. with hair cut reasonably short. Raised eyebrows (and wrinkled forehead) indicates surprise or questioning. Touching the forehead happens in the greeting of a salute. Rubbing the temples either side can indicate stress as the person tries to massage away the actual or implicit headache. Men Conventionally. This is effectively shading the eyes and says 'You are so wonderful I am dazzled by your brilliance. exercise and also inner energy and arousal.

blonde hair!'). long hair over the face provides a barrier behind which the woman can hide. Throwing long hair back also exposes the face.Long male hair is typical of young 'drop-outs' (or those who would like to. Expanding Arms are clever expanding devices that can make us bigger or smaller. and with a rather complex toolset at the end. It may also be a rebellion against womanhood. perhaps when she has lower confidence or self-esteem. teasing about the beauty behind this curtain. Moved directly and quickly they threaten. It can also be an aggressive act as the person now gives you more unwanted attention. Watch also for arms held still -. either in threat or a more friendly way. It can thus be a romantic gesture ('Hey. They can extend towards the other person. Curved and moving more slowly they may offer comfort. Longer hair can also be a sign of rebellion and assertion of identity. When women cut their hair short. Women Women are socially permitted to wear a much wider range of styles. like a man or perhaps to be unattractive to men. probably to attract men (and compete with other women in this). reaching out without having to move the rest of our body. Playing with the hair is particularly flirtatious and invites the other person to do this for you. which may be an invitation. Tossing Tossing the head throws the hair backwards (actually or virtually). it can indicate a desire to be male. guys. which can be deliberate checking that it is perfectly coiffed or an invitation to stroke also. wouldn't you like to stroke my gorgeous long. drawing attention to it. Particularly when covering the eyes. but cannot afford it :).this is often the first place the deceiver starts when trying to control body language (they may even hold one arm with the other to keep them both still). opening the doors to communication. for example when they have been mistreated by other women when they were young. 65 . a hinge in the middle. Long hair frames the face and may partially cover it. When unkempt it can show a lack of care and perhaps lower self-esteem. Touching Stroking the hair is a preening gesture. Arm body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Arm body language Expanding | Shaping | Raising | Weapon | Crossing | Reaching forward | Pulling back | See also The arm is an interesting appendages with a ball at the top.

It may also indicate repressed anger (I have to hold myself to prevent myself hitting you). If the thumbs are up. it throws things into the air. Weapon Arms can be like weapons. This waving of arms needs control and a person who bangs their hand on something may indicate clumsiness. An extreme version which may indicate additional hostility is a tight close with hands formed as fists. 66 . especially when holding one another can show the person to be trying to keep themselves still. Crossing Arms can act as the doorway to the body and the self. we may wave our arms about like windmills. it exaggerates it further. When we are less confident. Crossed arms. as everything that is weighing the person down with confusion is thrown up into the air. this may indicate some approval or agreement with what is being said. This may range from a light cross to arms folded to arms wrapped around the person. they form a closed defensive shield. blocking out the outside world. sometimes as a part of a body-expanding 'I am big' display that can signify confidence or perhaps aggression. Crossed arms may thus indicate anxiety which is either driven by a lack of trust in the other person or an internal discomfort and sense of vulnerability (that may. for example. When they are crossed. They can symbolize clubs and spears as they strike out at imaginary foes. They can also be defensive. our shaping is smaller and closer to the body. When we are excited or confident. Coupled with a shrug it indicates confusion ('I don't know!!'). be rooted in childhood trauma). Done rapidly. This can be to suppress any signals. With both arms. Shields act in two ways: one is to block incoming attacks and the other is a place behind which the person can hide and perhaps not be noticed. In some cultures it also signals that the person is holding themself still so they can pay greater attention to you (and is hence a compliment). blocking and sweeping away attacks. If legs are crossed also then this adds to the signal. The hands in an arm-cross may also be used to hold the person in a reassuring self-hug. In martial arts arms can be used to block and strike and this is reflected in how they may be used in communication. Raising Raising the arms lifts something up. for example holding upper arms in a folded-arms position or wrapped around the torso.The can also extend laterally. A typical two-arm-raising gesture is frustration. The extent of crossing indicates how firmly closed the person is. holding the sides. They are an adjunct to our words as we literally show other people how big the fish was or how small the child is. Shaping Arms are used as a part of shaping as we wave them around and carve out the world.

This signifies comfort that often indicates trust. It can also be power position that dares the other person to attack whilst knowing that the other person dare not. they are the first thing that may be grabbed or attacked. they expose the torso and the person. however. with one foot pointing forward at the target person. 67 . Reaching forward Reaching forward to the other person can be quite scary for them as you could attack them. the elbow is not usually the first thing you think of. Pulling back When arms are thrust forward. Crossed arms is a very obvious signal and if you do it in front of other people they will likely feel rejected and respond accordingly (including not agreeing with you). both individually and as a part of a wider cluster. making them more vulnerable. The lesser-noticed parts. This is usually done whilst standing and with the body stationery (it is difficult to run with elbows sticking out). Crossed arms are also used when the person is cold (this is typically done with hands tucked under armpits to keep them warm). This often is accompanied by a relaxed S-shaped body curve. When a person feels defensive they may pull back their arms out of harm's way Elbow body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Elbow body language Size | Weapon | Prop | Pointer | See also When you think 'body language'. Size Elbows are often used as a central part of a size display as we push them outwards as we puff ourselves up to appear bigger larger than we are (much as birds stand their feathers on end). Note that not all crossed arms are defensive. A common method sales people use to break a crossed-arms closed position is to give the person something to hold or otherwise ask them to use their hands. for example. This can signify aggression. and a sudden thrust forward can indeed be an aggressive signal. Reaching forward can also be an offer of support or affection. but may also be a more relaxed attention-getting pose (look at me!). are just a relaxed position. More subtle is simply to expand the chest and push elbows slightly out. seeking to touch and join with the other person.When arms are not crossed. and indeed there are less things they can say. Sometimes folded arms. especially if the hand is pointing or shaped as a fist. Putting hands on the waist sends a stronger signal. should always be watched.

Wringing the hands indicates more extreme nervousness. Hands may also hold the self. They are a pointed tool at the end of the powerful upper arm and a jab in the ribs can wind even a somewhat larger opponent. The give us enormous capability as an evolved species in how we handle our environment. elbows can make excellent weapons. Cupped hands can symbolize delicacy or hold a fragile idea. such as when people hold their own hands. putting elbows on the table may indicate a relaxed state. Gripping can show possessiveness. restraining the desire to punch the other person. In everyday language a symbolic strike towards someone (without hitting them) says 'I feel like hitting you' or 'I could hit you'. for example with one forming a fist and the other holding it back. The two hands can show different desires. After the face. They may also be used for giving. ownership and desire (the tighter the fist. Reading palms is not just about the lines on your hand. Another sign can be 68 . perhaps betraying subconscious thinking. One of the most subtle and subconscious of these is the elbow. Pointer We tend to point at people and things in which we are interested in some way. The most obvious way is with the finger. It may also be exaggerated or done with both hands to emphasize the point. This can be to let the other person talk. you might get suspicious. A hand signal may be small. Gripping hands can hold tightly. Holding Cupped hands form a container which can hold gently. Hand body language ETechniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Hand body language Holding | Control | Greeting | Shaping | Cutting | Striking | Covering | Giving | Asking | Rubbing | Thinking | Supporting | Hiding | Touching | Preening | Weighing | See also Hands have 27 bones and are a very expressive part of our anatomy. hands probably the richest source of body language. We also do it with other parts of the body. the stronger the feeling).Weapon For those who have struggled in big January sales know (or any hurrying crowd for that matter). effectively stopping them from attacking. typically for comfort. and when they are kept still (often holding one another). The head may thus be propped up by cupped hands. It thus can be a suggestion to desist from some undesirable behavior. It can also be used when the person is angry. It is also worth noting that gestures with the hands vary significantly across cultures and an 'innocent' hand signal can get you arrested in another country. Hands can hold both individually or together (giving an exaggerated effect). Note also that people who are lying often try to control their hands. Prop When seated. Holding the self can also be an act of restraint.

Dominance is shown with hand on top. which may be used as comfort objects.this is useful as you can give it to other people. Waving is also used for a greeting and may be done at a distance. This can be an authoritative action ('Stop that now') or may be a request ('Please calm down'). palm up and which is sometimes clammy and with a quick withdrawal. Do not come any closer!'). Submission is shown with a floppy hand. Hands may also be used to hold items such as pens or cups. A pointing finger or whole hand tells a person where to go ('Leave now!'). 69 . of which there are many different forms. This is one of the few times we are allowed to touch the other person and it may get used to send various signals. Things which are important (and perhaps with fear of loss) are held close and tight. the wider the arms are held. so they are effectively hugging themself). salutes. This also appears in the dominant hand-on-top handshake. As ever. these are only possible indicators and you should also look for similar signs. The similarity between dominant and affection handshakes leads to tricky situations where a dominant person pretends to be friendly. Even ideas may be held. A common size is as if they are holding a basketball -. where their style is strictly prescribed. prolonged holding ('I decide when to let go') and holding the person with the other hand. Items may also be for distracting activity that releases nervous energy. Opening the palm shows that there is no concealed weapon. The most common form of greeting is shaking hands. Things which are not wanted are held further away (or even tossed away). are firm without being crushing and for a very exact period (so both know when to let go). Control A hand with palm down may figuratively hold or restrain the other person. Greeting Hands are often used in greetings. waves etc. Holding imaginary objects as they are talked about can show importance. strength. clicking it on and off. Affection is shown with speed and duration of shake. but mostly only in the military. touching with the other hand and enthusiastic smiles.holding them behind the back. or doodling with it. Salutes are sometimes used. The bigger and more important the idea. such as fiddling with a pen. for example where a person hugs a cup (the cup represents the person. A palm facing outward towards others fends them off or pushes them away in a more obvious way than the palms-down signal ('Stop. Most handshakes use vertical palms to show equality. Holding an item with two hands effectively creates a closed position. This is significant in greeting. A wide-armed hold may indicate the whole world or something massive.

Striking The hand can strike openly. A shaking fist signifies a strong desire to strike someone. 70 . with the palm or closed as a fist. Sometimes a tense fist may be covered by the other hand. The fist can strike forwards. although it may also just indicate uncertainty. Held upwards they openly proffer an idea. for example when a person on stage asks the audience to stop clapping so they can speak. A hand to heart may seek to protect it from shocking harm. When people do not want to hear something. A single offered hand is the start of the handshake. A hand may also cover a rudely open mouth. Punching the air indicates triumphal excitement. He might also carve out the shape of his ideal woman. sideways or downwards. They may also show that nothing is being concealed. Fist shapes and movements are often symbols of inner aggression. The cutting hand may strike the other palm. Other gestures can shape more crudely. they cover their eyes. A hand to the groin may protect from dangerous attack. A man talking may shape a fish he caught. giving what I have. which is nothing. Covering Hands can hide things. They may also indicate decisiveness. A short side swipe may also signal 'no' in any conversation. Hands can cover other things. Hands can also cover one another. even a small amount. When they do not want to look. When moved towards a person. They can thus create visual metaphors out of literally nothing. A side-swiped cut with palm down tells others to stop what they are doing. Cuts can signal aggression. they put their hands to their mouth. they put hands to ears. A side-swiped cut can chop away someone else's argument. indicating holding and moving sexually significant body parts. shaping what the person is talking about or meaning. creating visual and aural impact. Cutting The side of a flat hand can appear as a knife. cutting the air like a karate chop. When they want to say something but feel restrained. Held with palms faced towards one another they might hold something large. particularly when coupled with an aggressive face. One hand is often used for symbols as two hands as fists can be an invitation to fight (two hands held inwards can also indicate extreme tension). which may be opened in such as surprise or a yawn. they signal aggression towards that person.Shaping Hands can carve the air. chopping with each point. Giving Outstretched palms may offer something to another person. Hands covering the mouth when speaking may be an indicator of lying.

It also means the person is feeling particularly gleeful about something. Palms downwards may ask a person to calm down. This may also be done with just index fingers pressed together and other fingers interlinked ('the church'). When they do this less obviously and more slowly. 71 . and can thus be a signal of anxiety. they might thinking that they are going to benefit at the expense of someone else. A variant of this is to have fingers interleaved. but otherwise making the same shape and movement. The middle finger may cover the mouth ('I'm not ready to talk yet'). Rubbing Rubbing the hands together can mean that the person is cold. This says 'I would like you to do this' and can be very arousing. as if asking for alms. the person may rub it. This also happens when that part of the body is tense. Hands clenched can be a self-restraining act. This gesture may be done with fingers upwards in a clear prayer position ('Please do not harm me!'). particularly if the erogenous areas (or nearby) are touched.Asking Palms offered upwards are a common plea gesture. and possibly thrust towards the other person. evaluating and deciding. evaluating or deciding. which may indicate the person is thinking about saying something but is not yet ready to speak out loud. for example the neck or abdomen. Thinking When the fingers are pressed together forming a steepled shape. Watch also for small smiles and defocused eyes as they imagine a rosy future (at least for them). with all finger-tips touching ('the cage') or with fingers interlinked. pointing upwards. Palms up or at 45 degrees and then pulled towards the body seeks to bring others closer to you in an attenuated beckoning gesture. Again. The steepled position forms a barrier against the other person and may be held lower when the person wants to connect more. such as when they are listening. A subtler version of the evaluative position is with the hand supporting the head but with the index finger up the side the of the face. effectively holding the person back from speaking until they are ready. Light stroking of the body can be a romantic invitation. this is a thinking and evaluating signal. These fingers-up positions may include touching of the mouth or chin with the fingers. The fingers may also be all intertwined and typically held under the chin. Rubbing the face and particularly the chin can indicate thinking. With fingers pointing down. this may be more concealed or a less anxious desire for agreement. Hands with palms pressed together indicate a more anxious pleading. When a part of the body is sore. the person may well be thinking. This can be a shared benefit and be used in a conspiratorial way.

Preening Preening is a common action as the person brushes their hair and clothes. saying 'I don't want to talk with you' or 'I do not agree with you'. for example a hand on the shoulder whilst telling them off adds authority. Touching the other person can be an act of domination or of friendship. The more erotic the parts being touched.') and related anxiety. The hands may also lightly support the head. Particularly when looking at the other person. sending the message 'I do not want to talk because I want to listen to you. Hiding hands may also be a position of listening. Touching can also be a form of punishment. a signal of superiority or indicate feelings of vulnerability. either as a single hand gently under the chin or with fingers intertwined with elbows on table and chin touching the fingers. for example when a person slaps their head ('Bother . such as stuffing hands in pockets. the stronger the signal is sent. I am real. this says 'look at my face. When they are interested in what others are saying. whilst a gentle touch on the arm when sympathizing demonstrates concern for them. support is light. This may also be indicated with a single hand propping up the chin or side of the head.' Putting hands in pockets or behind the back can also be due to just feeling relaxed and not needing to talk. Hiding Hands are often used in communication and hiding the hands may indicate a desire not to communicate or not to collaborate. A simple rule is that the more that the head is supported. isn't it nice' and may thus be an enticing position. I am ok.I forgot!'). Anxiety can be related to concern for the outer world or the inner world of thoughts and forecasts. where parts of the body may be lightly touched or stroked in simulation of desired or suggested action by the other person. 72 . Liars may hide their hands in fear that they will give themselves away. Touching The hand may touch any part of the body in a whole range of situation. Hands wrapped around the cheeks with elbows on the table indicates a heavy head and the person may be sleepy or bored. Touching is also used in romantic situations. Picking at bits of fluff clothes often shows disapproval as the person figuratively picks apart your argument. This may be done in a deliberate gesture of defiance. Perhaps the most common reason for touching oneself is self-affirmation ('I am here.Supporting Hands may be used to support the head or even the body when leaning. figuratively making themselves look more attractive and sending the signal 'Aren't I beautiful!' This is thus says 'Please like me' and may be a romantic invitation. the more the person is bored.

Testosterone is also related to other masculine characteristics. High levels of testosterone in the womb lead to a longer ring finger.' or may just be a rude insult. the finger may be pointed diagonally upwards. Pointing. perhaps tapping on something like a table. In some cultures the thumb is a phallic symbol and giving a 'thumbs up' signal says 'I want to have sex with you. The forefinger held up and stationary means 'wait' (perhaps as a threat of being used as a club otherwise).. And. which often is used as a metaphor for importance. for example when an argument is being proposed.Weighing Cupped hands may be used to indicate weight. Club The wagging finger of admonition beats up and down as if striking the culprit. though the middle finger or even all fingers may be used. spatial and musical ability. Single-handed weighting bounces the cupped hand up and down. especially at other people. The thumb may be used to pointer to something being as it is jerked over the shoulder. Finger body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Finger body language Pointer | Club | Prod | Plate | Cup | Claw | Drumming | Rudeness | Thumb | See also Fingers are very flexible and allow for subtle gestures. By looking for long and short ring fingers (as compared with the index fingers). B.this will be the one which the person thinks is most significant. A more polite version points downwards as it beats out an important point. People who are angry tend to point more. It may also be done with the whole arm. Pointing at people is like using the prod (see below) and is often considered to be rude and threatening. The index finger is usually used. Pointer A pointing finger indicates direction ('It's over there'). Not body language as such. Watch which hands seems to hold the heavier weight -. Two hands are used to indicate discussion of A vs. including strength and aggression. This can cause a lot of confusion between people from the Orient and the Occident. including at themselves (when they feel hurt or insulted) and at those who they feel are to blame. 73 . giving an exaggerated striking movement. This can be with a stable hand and just a finger way. can be particularly rude in a number of cultures. as if firing an arrow. For a long distance. you might hence find a tendency towards masculine or feminine characteristics.. but the length of the index finger compared with the length of the ring finger is related to masculinity.

It may also mean that the person drumming wants to leave. although the middle finger is sometimes used. whilst tense fingers form a more closed cup. The plate holds symbolic things. 74 . The louder the noise and faster the drumming. The plate may be proffered forwards. The prod may also be used to prod downwards at an imaginary item in front. This is usually the index finger. the greater the tension the person is feeling. the claw may threaten to reach forward and grab. Drumming with the nails makes an even louder noise and hence sends a more urgent signal. If the fingers are held loosely. With palm facing down. the shape is more of an open cup and may thus hold something. Claw Curved and separated fingers form a claw. Cups may be used to plead for something to be given or offer something forward to others. It may be used when saying 'you must grasp this idea'. offering the held item to others. For large things both hands may be held together. Non-verbal noise sends an audible interrupt signal to the other person. A disguised form of this is the finger-and-thumb pinch. often gently. scratch or tear. Drumming Drumming or tapping the fingers can indicate frustration. Held out towards others it offers them the idea. This is less threatening than pointing directly at the person. Held under the chin. This is often very threatening and felt as a personal attack. Held downwards it may gently restrain. The prod can also be made less threatening by bringing several fingers together and bending the fingers. Plate Fingers extended and closed join with the palm to form a plate. Pinch Fingers pinched together hold something small and delicate. Cup Fingers held together and curled upwards form a cup that can contain things more securely than the plate. Relaxed fingers form a loose cup. stabbing forward at the other person. it presents the face as an object to be admired and is often used in flirting.Prod The finger prod can act like a stiletto knife. Pushed down it holds the idea whilst beating out the key points. This may be finger and thumb or may involve more fingers (finger and thumb is less frequent as this forms an 'O' which can have many different meanings). such as ideas. Two hands together form a big cup (to hold bigger things). for example when another person is speaking and the person wants to interrupt. where an imaginary idea is delicately held and offered forward.

Yet with little finger facing outwards it can also mean 'OK' or 'wonderful'. is unable to gain a female partner and thus has to masturbate to get sexual relief). This may well indicate timidity and feelings of inferiority. with the palm facing the other person indicates peace). a male.Drumming can also indicate that the person is thinking. It can also signify the 'evil eye'. It can thus be both a sign of authority and also of friendliness.. Held sideways (and perhaps waggled) indicates uncertainty). The first two fingers pointing upwards and with the palm towards the self says 'f**k off' (though curiously. It can also indicate the anus. And. Thumbs sticking out when hands are in pockets is often a sign of confidence. 75 . Fidgeting fingers may indicate boredom or tension. and that the frustration is with internal thoughts and perhaps that an easy solution cannot be found. It also may send a few signals of its own. Roman amphitheater audiences reputedly used this signal to suggest to the emperor that a defeated gladiator be spared or killed. Neck body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Neck body language Hiding | Turning | Touching | No neck | See also The is used to support and rotate the head and hence controls some head body language. The index and little finger pointing upwards as a gesture can say that the other man is a cuckold. The finger and thumb together forming a circle may symbolize the female genitalia (perhaps likening the other person to this). Thumb Thumbs-up signals approval and agreement. feeling relaxed and in control. The little finger in this gesture indicates the other person has a small penis (this is sometimes used as a rude gesture from a woman to a man). Inspecting fingernails indicates boredom and disinterest. indicating 'I am not a threat' or 'protect me'). Thumbs up when arms are crossed or a single hand is held across the chest is a subtle sign of approval. Fingers crossed indicates hope (because they form a rough crucifix). It can also be an invitation to others to show approval of what you are saying. Fluttering fingers may indicate uncertainty ('I'm not sure') or may be a small wave (for example being child-like. Moved up and down it may indicate male masturbation (implying the other person.. Rudeness The middle finger pointing upwards says 'up yours' and symbolizes a penis. Sucking fingers is a regressive return to childhood and breast feeding. Thumbs-down signals disapproval.

A neck-grab can also be a sign of shock or surprise as if the person is pulling their head back and grabbing it to suppress the reaction. Another reason for touching the neck is when the person fears attack. Turning The neck can be rotated. The eyes can also look without turning the head. The neck can also become stiff from propping up the head and rotation of the neck may be done to exercise it. as if the person raises their hand to strike then has to do something to restrain it. either going for the jugular artery at the side or crushing or ripping out the windpipe. No neck Having 'no neck' is often associated with people who have done so much weight training that their necks are almost as wide as their heads. When a person is uncomfortable with what they are saying or where they are saying it. If they are wearing a tight collar this will start to rub and irritate them. When a person is uncomfortable they may sweat. As a result they may pull at their collar. which may well be anxiety. coupled with 76 . The appearance. then their neck muscles may tense. as it reflects the desire to cover their windpipe. thus giving our head several degrees of freedom and the ability to look in many directions. both horizontally and vertically. Rotating the neck is useful for extending the range of vision. The neck also contains the tubes going down to the stomach and touching the neck may show a concern about eating or drinking. Touching Touching the front of the neck may indicate concern about what the person is saying (via their windpipe). It may also indicate boredom. When people feel threatened they will thus naturally act to protect the neck. affecting their voice through constriction of the windpipe or tensing of the vocal chords. Suddenly grabbing the back of the neck can be a displacement activity for anger. This can cause discomfort in the neck and the hand thus acts to sooth this irritation. There are also major muscles at the side and back of the neck and rubbing or squeezing these indicates tension. pulling the chin down to protect the throat and possibly also raising the shoulders to protect the sides of the neck. A hand on the throat may cover up the signs of swallowing as the person seeks to hide this signal.Hiding The neck a classic position where a predator attacks. This may be done as a deliberate exaggeration. Exercising the neck can be a sign of tension. This may because they are lying or otherwise are embarrassed or uncomfortable with what they are actually saying or are thinking of saying. It can also be used deliberately to send a signal that the person is giving or removing attention. Embarrassment or fear can lead to increased swallowing.

can be very threatening. Often.a muscled body. often from anxiety or fear. This posture is thus used when the person does not fear attack and may be used as a taunt to demonstrate power. Curved forward curving the shoulders forward happens naturally when arms are folded. this can indicate a desire to hide the body and not be seen. This may also be accompanied by rotating or leaning of the neck and other muscle-exercising movements. Shoulders hunched up can be a sign that the person is cold (they may be shivering too). This is often done to exercise a stiff shoulder. and hence may be used as a sign of aggression. with one or both shoulders. This exercising can signal that the person is readying themselves for action and perhaps combat. Raising the shoulders and lowering the head protects the neck when the person fears attack (actual or virtual). which is supplied if the person is aroused in some way. they may exaggerate it with arms held wide. can be used to convey various signals. This takes continued effort. for example when the person is feeling threatened or when they want to stay 'under cover'. particularly when the person is up against the wall. Raised Holding the shoulders in a raised position requires that the whole weight of the arms are lifted. When curled forward with the hands down this reduces the width of the body and can thus be a defensive posture or a subconscious desire not to be seen. Circling Circling the shoulders may be done forwards or backwards. If the person enjoys this effect on others. which may have been held tensely (and hence may indicate anxiety). Shoulder body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Shoulder body language Raised | Curved forward | Pushed back | Circling | Shrug | Leaning | Turning | See also The shoulders. this deliberate breaking of protocol can be an insulting signal of power ('You are so unimportant I do not need to bother listening politely'). fierce glares and other dominant body language. Pushed back Pushing the shoulders back forces the chest out and exposes the torso to potential attack. this is a sign of tension. 77 . or otherwise defensively move it out of harm's way. When done whilst the other person is talking and it would be polite to listen carefully. although they have limited movement when compared with other parts of the body. If the body is pulled back when the shoulders are pulled back.

and hands held to the side. Leaning When the person leans against a wall. A difference with men is that they do this both to women ('Look at me . This is usually a relaxed pose as galvanizing into physical movement would take more than a little effort. which curves the spine to push out the chest and buttocks. it probably means they want to leave (maybe because what you are saying is uncomfortable for them). This is a function of high heels. which puts the person in a position vulnerable to attack. 78 . If a person turns their shoulders whilst still looking at you. Enlarged pectorals are.I'm strong and will protect you and our babies') and also other men ('I am strong. A small and quick shrug may send the same signal but be performed subconsciously and thus can indicate uncertainty or lack of understanding. with palms upwards or forwards (showing nothing is being concealed). so you'd better not get in my way'). When women push forward their chests they may thus be inviting intimate relations (or just teasing). with arms that can move naturally. Thrust out Pushing the chest forward draws attention to it. In a smaller form it may indicate irritation or frustration.Shrug The classic shrug. and can be a part of a provocative romantic display. Relaxed We often carry tension in the shoulders and a person who is truly relaxed will have their shoulders held low. without jerkiness and swinging free. Men also thrust their chest out to display their strong pectorals (and perhaps hide their bulging gut). along with biceps. especially. Women. with one-off raising and lowering of shoulders usually means 'I don't know!' and may be accompanied with raised eyebrows. know that men are programmed to be aroused by the sight of breasts. Turning Turning shoulders is a key part of turning away. A more prolonged and animated shrug can be similar to the circling shoulders that indicate readying for aggression and can thus signal a threat. the most common muscles that are used to assess overall strength. Chest body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Chest body language Thrust out | Withdrawn | Profiled | Breathing | Touching | See also The chest can send a few non-verbal body language signals. they often contact the wall with their shoulder. down-turned mouth.

Touching Touching the chest draws further attention to it. It also increases the oxygen intake and readies the person for action. Breathing The chest expands and contracts with breath. If we do not want to talk to them. not making eye contact. Likewise. Rubbing the chest can also be a sign of pain of discomfort. Withdrawn The chest cavity. we can indicate our desire not to talk with them in several stages: • • • Avert the gaze. 79 . Deep breath may be used to help thrust out the chest. When the chest is pulled back. as if breathing would either cause what is feared or destroy what is being enjoyed. then breathing is more difficult and short breaths are more likely and may indicate tension. thus indicating such as fear or anger. then the chest moves more. does not send much nonverbal body language and is probably the 'least communicative' part of the body. as above. although protected to some extent by the ribs.please don't hurt me!').Profiled When the person stands sideways or at 45 degrees. When a woman does this in front of a man it makes the man think of doing this and is thus a highly suggestive and flirtatious act. When the body is held rigid. Women may use this to display the curve of their breasts. When the person is breathing deeply. perhaps from tension and stress. men may show their strong profiles. Curling forward the shoulders may offer further protection. We also breath deeply when we are experiencing intense emotions such as love. this may well indicate that the person is trying to hide or appear inoffensive ('I am weak . Rejection The face is on the front of the body and so we present the front when talking to other people. Back body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Back body language Rejection | Power | Protection | See also The back. A person who is particularly anxious may breathe too fast and deep and so hyperventilate. Twist the torso (feet not moving). taking in so much oxygen they get giddy (and can even faint). which includes the spine and the rear of the torso. contains vital organs and thus is vulnerable in attack. When a person in a state of hopeful suspense they may hold their breath. Turn the head. the effect of a thrust-out chest is exaggerated as the person is seen in profile.

these may still be found in surreptitious use. we do have muscles in our abdomen and we use these to pull in the belly walls so. Particularly in groups of men. When we face imminent impact we turn around. This can thus be a power move. the ultimate is a 'six pack' where individual muscles can be seen. gut. corsets may be used to apply constant inwards pressure. paunch) is. Turn around (so they can only see our back). Turning fully around thus sends the loudest possible non-verbal signal 'I do not want to talk with you.' Power Turning around means you are potentially vulnerable to attack as you cannot see anyone behind you make a move on you. with ribs around the organs. It is broad and well-muscled. For the determined. Most of us. typically also putting our hands behind our head to protect it and crouching down to make ourselves a smaller target. particularly as we get older. stomach. fall victim to excessive consumption of food and drink.' Protection Whilst having the back facing someone makes you unable to defend yourself.• • • Twist further (one foot rotates). Belly body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Belly body language Pulling it in | Pushing it out | Touching | Pregnancy | See also The belly (tummy. Fortunately. with complete 180 degree rotation as the maximum rejection. Turn at an angle (both feet move). which says 'I do not have to look at you to decide if you are going to attack me because I am so powerful you do not dare. if you are about to be hit with something the back provides perhaps the least sensitive area on the body. resulting in a convex belly. for this section. 'letting it all hang out' without feeling 80 . Each of these is an escalating signal. Even turning at a slight angle sends a clear message (giving the 'cold shoulder'). In men. abdomen. at least. we look good. for at least whilst we are walking past that desirable other person. This is a reflexive action for example when something is thrown at us or someone tries to his us with a stick. Pushing it out Sticking out the tum does not indicate a desire to be attractive and can be a counterreactive move. usually between men. a flat tummy is considered desirable in both men and women as it indicates fitness and health. venter. defined as the area between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the hips. Pulling it in In romantic and 'body beautiful' situations. Whilst not as popular as they once were.

Yet it also can have a sexual significance and some people find it particularly attractive in a partner. This is a bit degrading and is often done with a certain amount of humorous intent.judged can be quite relieving and contribute to male bonding (along with loud discussions and lewd jokes). for example from excessive worry. Rubbing the stomach can mean the person simply has a digestive problem. perhaps as a signal of fertility or maybe just delight at impending motherhood. The tummy may stick out more as a counterbalance when we want to pull our vulnerable upper body and head away in a situation where we feel uncomfortably close to another person. Pregnancy When women become pregnant. If the gut is pierced. Pushing the bottom towards someone may thus be an insult or an invitation. This can be a point of pride. It has many alternative names (bum. fanny. Pushing out The bottom has a strange combination of meaning. It houses the smelly anus and hence can symbolize unpleasantness. ass. 'Mooning' is a semi-serious insult and involves exposing the naked bottom. depending on the situation. The gut is particularly vulnerable to attack and is a common area for punching and stabbing. such as from leaning on a table (to retain balance) or bending over.). Bottom body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Bottom body language Pushing out | Moving | Touching | See also The bottom is a large padded area at the base of the back. perhaps for feminism. they have little opportunity but to let their everexpanding abdomens push forward. It can thus say 'kiss my ass' or 'fondle my fanny' and may thus need careful interpretation! Exposing the bottom can range from a slight push towards the person or significant extension. indicating its significance. The abdomen walls contain significant muscles and we can carry tension here. Holding hands across the tum can thus be a defensive act when we actually or literally fear attack. both of which are used to process food and which may be subject to assorted pains as we over-eat or consume substances that disagree with us. Touching The tummy area contains the stomach and the intestine. etc. 81 . Rubbing or holding them can thus indicate tension. this can cause internal bleeding and a slow death. such that the upper body is hidden and the bottom is highly visible.

Touching With hands behind. It defends and hides the genitals. Held back Holding the hips back is the opposite of thrusting them out. Putting hands in rear pockets makes them slightly less difficult to retrieve in the event of an attack and hence suggests the person is even more relaxed. Stroking the bottom often suggests that the person would like their bottom stroked and may thus be a suggestive invitation. Pushing the hips forwards is difficult without losing balance. This may be exaggerated further if the legs are opened. This is highly visible and is used by women to attract men. making the move even more attractive. The thigh may be slapped as a self-punishment or 'gee up' self motivation. Thrust out The hips contain the primary sexual organs and thrusting them forward is a provocative and suggestive gesture. Wiggling the hips can cause loose muscle on the buttocks to oscillate even more. It is sometimes called 'shaking the booty' and is a common feature in dancing. 82 . Wiggling hips may also make the upper body move in compensation. exposing the genitals further and inviting intercourse. folding the body over them. One way of holding them back is to sit down. so this is sometimes done by leaning back against something like a wall to support the upper body whilst the hips are clearly foremost. This may be compounded by crossing legs and covering the genitals with crossed hands. This may thus either be a relaxed and comfortable position or else a defiant power display. although this tends to be more enticing than insulting. the person is more vulnerable and cannot cover their front. seeking to protect them or avoid them being noticed. Men may use the hip thrust with other men as a signal of power ('my penis is bigger than yours' or 'I am so powerful you dare not attack my exposed and vulnerable parts'). Placing the hands on the buttocks also exposes the chest and hence gives a combined suggestive signal.Moving Waving the bottom draws attention to it even more than pushing it out. Hips body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Hips body language Thrust out | Held back | Pushed sideways | Moving | Touching | See also The hips are at the base of the body trunk and are made up of the pelvis and covering tissue.

Moving Swaying the hips from side to side is a common dance move and can indicate the person would like to dance. Pointing at a person it may indicate they are found to be attractive. Hands held over the genitals. The hips may be used as a subtle pointer. Standing with feet about the width of the shoulders is a normal. Leg body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Leg body language Open Closed | Crossed | Pointing | Moving | Striking | Touching | See also Legs are interesting in the field of non-verbal body language as the may say a lot without us really realizing. If the legs and upper body are in conflict. they typically concentrate on the upper body. Fingering genitals is extremely arousing and is only usually used as a direct invitation to intercourse. In particular when a person is trying to control their body language. Pointing at the door can mean the person wants to leave. is a sign of embarrassment or fear. particularly if accompanied by swaying hips and prolonged eye contact. The sagging can also come from disappointment or tiredness. indicating what the person really wants. If he does this overtly. Touching Hands on hips pushes the elbows sideways. Slightly wider indicates that the person feels grounded and confident. making the body look larger and thus may be a signal of power or aggression. relaxed pose. Stroking the hips in a romantic setting is suggesting that the other person may want to do this and is thus rather flirtatious. then there is a possible of deliberate control. 83 . The male penis can become uncomfortable in his underpants and he may surreptitiously rearrange it. This can be a relaxed position as the person lets the body drop.Pushed sideways Pushing the hips sideways makes the spine curve and rearranges the whole body to compensate. covering them. it may be a signal of power or a sexual signal. It also draws attention to that part of the body and hence can be a flirtatious action. The natural position of rest for this is at hip level and thus may not be sexual in nature. Moving the hips back and forth is a simulation of sexual intercourse and can be highly arousing. Open Standing Legs which are held apart when standing provide a stable base for the person. Holding hands with yourself is a comforting move for someone who is anxious. The legs may thus tell what they are thinking.

Note that a closed position also happens when the person is cold. One or both legs may be flopped down sideways as far as they can go. this is seldom a defensive stance. Crossed As with arms. This can be a sexual display (especially men to women) or a show of power (especially between men). Sitting allows a wider opening of the legs and can thus be even more of a sexual 'crotch display'. Closed Standing When the person is standing with feet together (or less that a relaxed shoulder-width) then this may display anxiety as it makes them smaller as a target and gives some protection to the genitals. Sitting Sitting with slightly open legs is a relaxed position. Taking a stable position is readying the body in case the other person attacks and can be a cautious position. 84 . the knees may be held gently or tightly together. Increased desire for protection may be indicated by the person turning slightly to the side. This is an unstable position and the person may sway a little. although it can be submissive. depending on the anxiety level.A wider stance makes the body wider and hence appear bigger and is a signal of power and dominance. Crossed legs can also mean that the person wants to visit the toilet! Standing Crossing legs when standing can be an indication of shyness or being coy and may be accompanied by such as hands held behind the back and a lowered head. this can be taking a extra stable position in case of frontal attack (as with martial artists). It can also be a frozen walk. Sitting When sitting. Tension may be seen in crossed legs and greater anxiety leads to legs held more rigidly and which move more jerkily. A fully-closed standing position has knees touching. Sitting Crossing legs is much easier when sitting and can take several different forms. leaning forwards a little or pulling the hips back. When one foot is forward and the other behind. showing the person is comfortable. indicating that the person wants to go somewhere (which way are they pointing?). then their hands may cover the genitals. This also takes up more territory and shows domination. Being so easy to be pushed over and slow to unwind and run away. shielding the person from other people and their ideas. If the person is a bit worried about this. crossing legs can protective and negative. Open legs displays and makes vulnerable the genitals.

with top leg's knee pointing sideways. and is more common amongst men as it invites females and challenges other males. This can be a surreptitious crotch display. one leg may point at an angle with both foot and knee. 85 . The reverse is also true and pulling a leg back may show disinterest. An ankle cross with legs tucked under the chair can indicate concealed anxiety. Moving a leg is one way of getting closer to another person without full body movement. when the genitals are exposed in a crotch display the legs do point to the side. where they still may subconsciously point in a direction of interest). then this may be a signal of self-restraint. as well as desired direction of travel.Crossing ankles is a minimal cross and can be fairly relaxed. Sitting forward with one foot pointing away and the other back is preparation to stand up and is a common signal that the person wants to leave or go somewhere. Sometimes. especially when the legs are stretched forward and the person is leaning back (and more so if the hands are behind the head). Standing Swinging a leg when standing can act as a pointer. Sitting legs may point with knees or feet at interesting other people. Moving Moving legs sometimes is just exercising them to get the circulation moving more and loosen cramped muscles. for example in a conversation where a person who wants to leave points at the door. Pulling it back shows disinterest. Pointing Legs may be used to point to things of interest. When more tension is seen. The figure-four cross occurs where one ankle is placed on top of the other legs' knee. This may be covered with hands that hold the shin or ankle of the top leg. legs do not have to support the body but they are more visible and so send more obvious messages (unless they are under a table. particularly if the legs appear tense and even more so if one leg is wrapped firmly around the other. Standing When standing. for example in clenched hands. but this is not the real message that is being sent. particularly if they have exposed legs. When the leg moves back and fore towards and away from a person it may be a subtle 'Attraction-rejection' game that invites the other person to chase after you. Pointing anywhere away from the other person means 'I want to be elsewhere'. as with other parts of the body. Sometimes also this sends a signal. The concern may be more obvious if the person is leaning forward. Crossing knees may indicate greater anxiety or defensiveness. Sitting When sitting. A relaxed cross with lower legs falling close together needs a wider pelvis and hence may be used as a sexual signal by women. Bouncing the leg can indicate impatience.

They may also be slapped. Actual striking is rare. In intercourse. particularly when wearing a short skirt or dress. This can make a kick very powerful. saying 'Dang! What a nuisance!' Sitting When sitting. A single slap can say 'Right. particularly in the figure-four cross-leg position. The bottom or thighs may be stroked seductively. Striking Legs can also be weapons. let's go' and signal that the person is about to make a suggestion. Opening When the thighs are rotated apart. more of the leg may be reached. The leg may also swing in time to music. as all martial artists know. Thigh body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Thigh body language Opening | Closing | Crossing | Lifting | Touching | See also Thighs are the upper legs. Touching Standing When standing. 86 . the shin (a nice hard bone) or the top. They have a ball joint at the top that allows full rotation and a hinge at the knee at the bottom. perhaps in time to music and perhaps impatiently. Preening may also be used. not much of the leg can be touched. containing the femur and a lot of muscle. A slight twitch in the right direction can thus signal aggression and cause embarrassment. they expose the genitals and thus send a very inviting message. a knee waving sideways can also indicate impatience or point sideways. Swinging the leg may simulate kicking. indicating that the person is relaxed and enjoying the vibe (and perhaps inviting others to join in). and in a more visible manner. especially if it bounces the upper body. but moving as if to kick someone can come from a desire to actually do so. The legs can hit with thigh or knee (such as in the groin strike).If done in time to music. This can be a sign of impatience (particularly if rapid) or attraction. as with standing movement. The leg may also be tapped. Seductive stroking can thus be a strong sexual invitation. it can be an invitation to dance (females sometimes deliberately do this to make their breasts bounce and so entice a male). Legs are longer than arms and have much bigger muscles. brushing real or imagined bits of fluff off crossed legs. ball or side of the foot. It may also be rather obvious pointing. a woman's thighs are open and thus this is a particularly strong suggestion. Sitting A crossed leg may bounce up and down. When sitting. A slapped side of leg may also indicate irritation.

this can mean 'My penis is bigger than yours!' Opening the thighs also expose the genitals to attack and this move may also be a power display. thighs that are pulled tight together send a signal of rejection that says something like 'No way you're getting in here!' Knees together can be quite a prim move. particularly when sitting. The weight of the body rests on the legs and the thigh has the largest muscles to manage this precarious balance. particularly when the muscles seem loose. with legs running in parallel from the hips. Lifting Lifting the thigh is a basic element of walking and may be a signal of a desire to walk away. As the thighs are near the genitals. The nearer the genitals the hands move. Knee body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Knee body language Pointing | Weapon | Attracting | Touching | See also 87 . look at my great big penis!' For other men. When wearing a short skirt. It is often a strong 'closed' signal very much like crossing the arms right across the body. widening the body and showing displeasure or threatening action. Touching the thighs draws attention to them. Touching the inside of the leg is more suggestive than touching the outside of the leg. the more inviting it is. When the upper body is open and the thighs are closed. it can also be a pragmatic position to prevent embarrassing and socially undesirable exposure of the genitals. Crossing Crossing the thighs. Bouncing the thigh up and down may be a signal of impatience. The thigh may be slapped as a self-punishment or 'gee up' self motivation. This may also be a signal of readiness ('I'm ready to go!'). This can also be a relaxed position. saying 'You dare not attack me because I am so powerful.' In a relaxed pose. touching can be very suggestive. Putting both hands on the thighs with the elbows out sideways can be a sitting version of hands-on-hips. Lifting the thigh may simply be a stretching exercise. they may put both hands on the thighs to push themselves up. the thighs are typically slightly open. Touching When people are about to stand up. this may be a symptom of the person applying deliberate control to their upper body but forgetting (and overcompensating with) their legs. standing or sitting. takes the defensiveness of closing further.For men it says something along the lines 'Hey. Closing In an opposite of opening.

Twitching of the knee towards a person may be a desirable pointing and it may also be a desire to hit them. Alternatively the person may point their knee at such as the bar or the door to show their inner wishes. They thus may send a very subtle and 88 . with perhaps the most well known (if not the most common) use being an attack on the (usually male) groin of another person. the knee can indicate desire. Holding the knees may thus be a defensive act when the person is feeling anxious. may signal a desire that a nearby man does the same and is hence a sexual invitation or tease. it indicates the opposite. Attracting Knees are often considered to be sexually attractive and exposing them below the hemline in short skirts and dresses can be a deliberate female ploy to create attention.The knee is made up of the kneecap (patela) and the joint between the upper and lower legs. When pointing towards something or somebody. temporarily disabling them with a 'dead leg'. We point at things that are of interest to us and feet. can act as a weapon. Another attack is in the side of the thigh. Foot body language Techniques > Use of body language > Parts-of-the-body language > Foot body language Pointing | Curling | Kicking | Stamping | Moving | Touching | See also After eons of using our feet mostly for erect walking. and a good kick will disable the person for a long time. Thus a knee in a crossed leg (standing or sitting) in a conversation can indicate who the person is really thinking about. again like the elbow. being down on the ground are often not noticed. Pointing The knee can act as a subtle pointer. the knee does its bit. The knees are vulnerable in an attack. particularly when done by women. just like the elbow. Weapon The knee. Pointing away. Whilst other areas may offer greater communication. Women may also hold their knees when they feel the attention of men that they would rather not have. Touching Touching and stroking the knee. Pointing Feet are elongated as walking and stable platforms and so can be used for pointing. as with other parts of the body. Sometimes they dress in attractive ways more from social convention than from a desire to be picked up. we have lost most of the ability that our primate cousins still have to pick things up and manipulate things as if our feet were another pair of hands.

there are a number patterns that appear in different places and in different ways. even when they know they should really stay in one place. Kicking The feet can be used for kicking and hurting others.subconscious signal about people we like or places we would like to go (like away from a current conversationalist). with the ball of the foot (popular in martial arts). Moving the feet is also a common indicator of a person lying. marking and moving on time. Stamping We can stamp with the whole flat of the foot or the heel. If the person knows or has discovered some of these. Curling We cannot move the foot a great deal and pretty much all we can do is curl the toes up or down. then they may be subtly Core patterns Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns When you look across the wide range of non-verbal signals. When legs are crossed. particularly the sole of the foot (so be careful when crossing your legs). Here's details of some of these: 89 . Swinging the foot can be a form of pointing. perhaps to frighten the other person into submission or flight. the foot may be massaged or squeezed. particularly if they are sitting down and their feet are hidden under a table. Anxiety brings energy and presenters at conferences and teachers may walk up and down. In some cultures the feet are the lowest part of the body and exposing them to others is an insult. the heel or with the top of the foot. particularly when used with other noise-making devices such as shouting. Reflexology is a massage method that relieves all kinds of ills by using pressure points on the sole of the foot. Stamping makes a noise and can be an attention-getting signal 'Hey! Listen to me!' It can often be signal of anger and aggression. with the side of the foot. This is sometimes called 'happy feet'. The foot becomes literally a like a clock's pendulum. We can kick with the toes (not always good as this may break them). Curling the feet can be a sign of extreme pleasure (or extreme pain). the bottom of the foot. Moving Tapping the foot can be a sign of impatience as the person gets into a kind of tense repetitive state. perhaps to relieve tension or as a substitute for massaging tension elsewhere in the body. Touching The foot can be an erotic object and stroking it can be mildly suggestive.

• Turning hands to palms facing down. vanity. making the body less threatening and a smaller target. Touching: Communicating. Striking: Displaced aggression. For example: • Lowering the head. the greater the close. elbows and knees to protecting organs and vulnerable parts. protecting them (and also making a fist). • Closing mouth and eyes. lowering eyebrows refusing speech and sight. • Hunching down. for example in holding ones hand. attacking. These moves also is used to show disagreement or dislike. withdrawing the body away from the other person and showing that you are not open to them and their ideas or desires. dominating. In the dance of give-and-take 90 . looping. They can cover the abdomen or chest. Moving away: Refusing. Opening: Offering. Closing Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Closing Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern 'Closing' is a pattern of defending.• • • • • • • • • • • • Closing: Defending. They can clutch opposite elbows. Repeating: Emphasizing. denying. with any or all of the above. • Turning feet to point toes inwards. with chin down (protecting the neck). making the body less vulnerable to attack. making. relaxing. and is typically seen when a person feels threatened or anxious in some way. refusing and denying. Shaping: Creating. Generally the further across they move and the greater the tension. Crossing: Protecting. Closing moves the body into a position where further body language is difficult. The only way to go is to either to leave or to open again. • Crossing arms or legs. denying. Likewise legs may be pulled together or may be crossed or even twisted together as tension increases. Moving forward: Seeking. Enacting: Acting out thoughts. Arms can cross lightly. pulling in shoulders. Preening: Flirting. Expanding: Growing larger. • Curling fingers into the palm. Found in • • • • Head body language Arm body language Hand body language Leg body language Discussion Closing is a classic defensive move. hiding.

Pouting lips into a simulated kiss. which can be re-grown. The torso contains important organs. Enacting Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Enacting Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern 'Enacting' is a body language pattern where the person acts out. Curling arms around the air as if hugging someone. • • • • • Crossing arms across the body. Crossing Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Crossing Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern 'Crossing' involves moving parts of the body across one another or the body. Found in • • • Arm body language Hand body language Leg body language Discussion Crossing is usually an act to cover up the torso. Inter-twining the fingers. Never take crossing as indicating defensiveness unless there are other indicators of tension. Crossing just the hands or wrists. For example: • • • • • • • • Thrusting the head forward in a simulated aggressive head-butt. Smashing one fist into the other open hands. Holding hands. 91 . Crossing arms or legs can also just be a relaxed position. Stamping feet as if squashing flat someone or something. what they are thinking.communication. Crossing also increases the tension in the body and a person who is feeling stressed may do this in echo of how they feel. it can thus be a request for the other person to give something or to move away for a while. whilst the arms. in a defensive act. Sagging the body in relief and simulated feint. Thrusting hips forward in simulated copulation. Crossing legs. are just muscle. Hitting one's own head or body. either above the knee or at the ankles. defending it from attack. even in a small way. particular on the outside.

desire or retreat. this is a socially forbidden act and so we displace it into body language. Enacting can also be a part of descriptive communication as we play-act the actions of others and even complete scenes. Found in • • • Arm body language Chest body language Leg body language • • Aggressive body language Romantic body language 92 . Opening the hands. Straightening the head. Enacting is similar to shaping. Flaring the nose. implying attack.• Moving towards or away from the other person. Push out the elbows and arms. A common pattern in enacting is striking as. Thrusting out the chin. although we often feel like hitting people. Puffing out the chest. as tall as possible. Expanding Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Expanding Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern The body is made taller. Our body and mind however are connected and we often signal these desires by the way we move. possibly sweeping out a wide space. Found in • • • Arm body language Hand body language Hips body language Discussion We have many desires that we feel unable to enact fully. Planting feet to either side (standing wide). whilst enacting can be a full performance. Shaping is usually smaller and shorter. for example because we know that social rules forbid this or because we fear the consequences. We will also enact concepts in trying to communicate the idea to others. for example hugging oneself for 'love' and waving arms wide to signal a wonderful and 'big' idea. wider and generally bigger by: • • • • • • • • Standing upright. Enacting can also include acting out many other emotions and ideas.

A bigger person is metaphorically superior and looks down on others whilst they look up. we are programmed to be cautious and a movement away often shows a desire to continue moving away. Pulling back the head whilst lowering the chin protects the throat. With women. 93 . expansion often also says 'I will protect you'. they are also within reach of the other person and thus vulnerable to attack. then others have the choice of retreating or expanding also ('If you attack. I'll fight back!'). Making yourself bigger also makes yourself more visible. in extreme. A person in a group who wants to speak may expand first. Whilst this is unlikely. Pulling back arms or shoulders. confusion or surprise. Defensive retreat is often coupled with other defensive acts including pulling in of arms and pulling down of head and body. Hollowing the chest. When you praise another person. These can be large movements or small signals where they move only slightly away. This shaping can also mean 'Hello! I'm here'. It can thus be a response to a threat. Turning away the head and. demonstrating the basic partnership requirement to protect one's family from harm. often keeps us in place so we just lean back or turn away.Discussion Making the body bigger says 'I am powerful' and is a typical male action. Moving away Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Moving away Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern A person may retreat from the other person in a number of ways. Expansion can thus indicate anger. you may see them expand. where a person feels their sense of identity grow and they literally feel bigger. Another expansion is 'puffing up with pride'. Stepping back. Expansion thus indicates a feeling of 'I'm better than others'. This can be a surprise signal ('No! Well. showing the back. • • • • • Pulling back the head in fear. Found in • • • • Arm body language Back body language Chest body language Head body language Discussion When people are conversing in close proximity. though. fancy that!') that uses a mock defensive move to show amazement. Politeness. This warns other men not to attack and may indicate that the person is thinking of attacking. If one man expands. pulling it back.

Another reason to move away is to give space in which to move in. then you may need to back off first. for example if they have bad breath. This can be used as method of emphasis as we move closer to gain attention and create a bond through which ideas are transmitted. giving. Moving forward Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Moving forward Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern When a person moves forward. When they turn away.for example city people usually have smaller spaces and will stand closer to a country person (who will back away). If you are close to a person and want to use a moving-in signal. We all have defined personal spaces and moving forward may transition between social and intimate space. signalling a desire to be closer to the other person. When a person feels threatened they will probably continue to look at the other person. saying 'I am not threatened by you and do not need to monitor your actions. they are sending signals. this also can be a power move. Pushing the head forward. Thrusting the hips suggestively forward.We all have defined personal spaces and when other people enter these we may back away (which is easier and politer than pushing them back). Stepping forward. especially if it is done quickly and in concert with other aggressive signals such as an angry expression on the face. for example). even slightly. Opening 94 . whilst they may be indicating that they do not want to be there. This can happen when one person is attempting a romantic connection with another and steps into their intimate space (and the other person steps back). • • • • • Reaching forward with arms and hands. Leaning forward. As such it is an invitation for the other person either to move away or to fight.' There can be other reasons for moving away from a person. Cultural spaces are also different -. grabbing or striking. Other signals will indicate the actual intent (there are many romantic signals. Found in • • • • Arm body language Hand body language Head body language Hips body language Discussion Moving forward can be an act of aggression and so signal anger.

' Preening Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Preening Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern 'Preening' is act of faked cleaning or tidying that is common in courtship rituals across the animal kingdom. openness says 'I do not stand defensively because I am not afraid of you. removing protection and offering. Standing with legs akimbo. with splayed feet. Brushing imaginary lint off arms or legs. birds pick at their feathers. Openness exposes vulnerable areas to attack and is thus a symbol of trust.Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Opening Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern 'Opening' is a pattern of unfolding. Actions include: • • • • • Straightening the tie or other clothes. Looking in a mirror. chimps pick at fleas and humans tidy themselves to look good for their prospective partners. which is used by men to warn off other men and demonstrate the ability to protect the family. Pointing toes outwards. of going from suspicion and anxiety to comfort and acceptance. It shows that no weapons are concealed for example with open palms. Spreading palms in an opening circular move around from front to Turning hands over from palm-down to palms-up. In particular the transition of going from closed to open shows a change of heart. Being open also exposes sexual organs and thus it may be used in flirting. Allied to this is how it can be used in a display of power. Curling lips to even out lipstick. Unfolding arms. 95 . • • • Raising the head from a chin-down position to looking forwards. Patting down hair or combing it with the fingers. Holding open palms. For example: • • • • side. Found in • • • Arm body language Hand body language Leg body language Discussion Opening is a signal of readiness to listen and accept others. In an aggressive or power-based stance.

or otherwise moving one way.' Preening is also touching oneself which. Sometimes preening is just about vanity. • • • • • • • • • • • • Nodding or shaking the head. This can be a competitive signal to other women ('I'm more beautiful than you.'). so watch for other signs. Waving the body back and forth. then the other way then back again and so forth. Stroking various parts of the body. Clapping of hands. Found in • • • Chin body language Eyebrow body language Foot body language 96 . Women in particular spend time in the bathroom primping themselves up. It says 'I am too wonderful for you. As an act in front of another person.Found in • • • • Chin body language Hair body language Leg body language Lips body language Discussion Preening happens a lot before people meet as people deliberately make themselves attractive. Tapping the teeth. Repeating Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Repeating Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern Sometimes people repeat actions. waving. Rubbing the body in various places. Drumming of fingers. when done as gentle stroking. Waggling the eyebrows. preening says 'Look. so don't bother competing with me!'). Preening is done with confidence and even arrogance ('I am so wonderful.look up flirting pattern. Swinging or bouncing a leg. Waving with hands. you will not be able to resist me!'). Self-touching can also be a sign of insecurity.. as self-obsessed narcissists make themselves beautiful just for themselves. can be done romantically as an offer ('Wouldn't you like to touch me like this? I might just let you. Swinging the arms.. Tapping of feet. I am making myself beautiful for you!' It may be combined with the look away -. but not for me. such as tapping.

• Arms may also be important. We may also shape how we feel. For something very big. repetition leads to a trance state which can be pleasurable. Found in • • • Arm body language Finger body language Hand body language Discussion When people talk. Shaping Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Shaping Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also Pattern What is being described is literally carved out what is from the air in front of the person. shaping the item being described. such as nodding the head in agreement or clapping the hands in approval. • Hands are the main implements. and which may explain why some people repeat actions. Often ideas are shaped as well as physical items. Curiously. Fear makes small. • Words may be shaped with the lips. shaping what they are saying as a reinforcement and emphasis of their words. Envy may make us want to strangle someone. • Fingers can be used to shape something small. Striking Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Striking Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also 97 . Desire makes us want to hold and make love. Moving the body in repetitive patterns may also be a part of a specific signal.• • Finger body language Leg body language Discussion When a person is bored. Happiness can make us feel light and floating. the person may move the rest of their body. The stimulation of movement may also be seen in dancing and moving along to music. they seek other things to do and a repetitive movement can provide a simple distraction. particularly when shaping something big. their start to feel tense and would perhaps like to hit someone. they use their whole body to describe what they are talking about. This often gets displaced into tapping of fingers or feet. Anger makes us want to fight. reaching up on the toes. When they are irritated and impatient.

Hitting others is socially undesirable and legally forbidden. • • • A small but rapid nod of the head can be a symbolic head-butt. Found in • • • • • • Arm body language Bottom body language Hand body language Finger body language Forehead body language Thigh body language Discussion Striking (without actually hitting others) is usually an open act of aggression. • Stamping the ground with a foot. symbolizing striking them with a Shaking an entire arm. The person may also strike their own body: • Slapping the forehead.still indicating the desire to strike someone (perhaps who is not present). It is thus closely associated with anger. acknowledging stupidity. To handle anger. It may also beg forgiveness ('Look .Pattern The body can be used in various ways to strike out at others. the person may strike something else -. as if prodding them. • • club. 'Gosh. • Poking a finger into an open hand or onto a table. so I hit me for you -. • Clapping hands in glee or appreciation. Instead of striking toward others.I know you can't hit me. Striking oneself is often an act of self-deprecating humour. particularly if the person involved could clearly do damage. saying 'I want to hit you!' and can be very intimidating. we thus displace it into a relatively harmless simulation (although this can still be scary for others).will you forgive me now?' Touching Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Touching Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also 98 . I'm so stupid!' • Slapping the bottom or thigh in self-punishment or as a 'gee up' motivation. • Slapping a fist into an open hand or onto a table (this makes a good noise). Jabbing a finger toward someone. Wagging a finger in admonishment. Striking subtly sideways with an elbow.

Pattern Touching is a very common pattern in body language. Chest. Finger Neck. Teeth. Stroking the hair when flirting with others. hips. Nose.. Hips Thigh. including: • • • • • Touching arms or hands or other part of the body in self-comfort.' Rubbing the neck in discomfort. Clasping or touching fingers in an evaluative gesture. Foot Discussion Touching oneself is often a sign of uncertainty or discomfort. Found in Lots of places.. Lips. Finger to the lips to say the same thing or also 'Shh!' Tapping the teeth in boredom or irritation. legs. Rubbing the chest or belly which may be tense. Rubbing the eyes to say 'I don't want to see' or 'I want to be elsewhere' or otherwise as an indicator of discomfort. Hair Arm: Hand. Rubbing the nose in disagreement or discomfort. Putting a palm to the forehead to say 'Phew. Knee. Cheek. Tapping the nose to indicate 'this is a secret'. 99 . Fingering the nose. Touching can similarly be an affirmation of the identity. Touching others may also be a power play. It is as if the person is reassuring themselves. therefore I exist!' When a person is stressed their muscles become tense and they may sweat and itch. Mouth. You can also touch the other person in friendship or with romantic intent. Caressing bottom. Touching other parts of the body can also be notable. Bottom. that's terrible!' Tapping the forehead with the palm or heel of the hand to say 'Oh I'm so stupid!' Touching the forehead in salute. Belly. Covering or touching the mouth to silently say 'I don't know what to say!' or 'I don't want to speak'. Shoulder. Forehead. It can also mean the person is worried about something else or is just hot. knees or other area to say 'I'd like you to do this to me. that was close' or 'Oh no. Lying is often a stressful activity and thus rubbing can be an indicator. thigh. including: • • • • Face. using their own hands in place of the hands of a non-present parent or friend. Touching the face in particular is often very significant. Scratching the nose when lying. Pinching the bridge of the nose in negative evaluation. 'I can feel myself. Chin. Tongue. Eyes. when thinking. including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Touching the cheek in surprise or horror 'Oh goodness!' Stroking the chin whilst thinking. They may thus rub the areas affected.

Preening There are many preening gestures. then look back up at you. Initially and from a distance. for example stroking arms. For women this includes breasts. What you are basically saying with this is 'I am making myself look good for you'. including cigarettes and wine glasses. Displaying Attractive parts of the body may be exposed. the person (women in particular) may lick and purse their lips into a kiss shape and leave their mouth slightly open in imitation of sexual readiness. a person may look at you for slightly longer than normal. Touching a friend affirms their identity and forms a physical bond. again for a longer period. This includes tossing of the head. From afar From afar. Holding them close emphasizes this. wiggled or otherwise highlighted. nose. for example in parts of South-East Asia. for example rolling and stroking them. brushing hair with hand. Similarly. for example caressing oneself. Touching other people with whom you are not comfortably familiar can be a sign of power ('I can break social rules and you can't do anything about it!'). Touching varies greatly across cultures. leg or face. thrust forward. neck. This may either say 'I would like to stroke you like this' or 'I would like you to stroke me like this'. Eyes The eyes do much signaling. arms or legs. For men it includes a muscular torso. Enacting Remote romantic language may also include enactment of sexually stimulating activities. bottom and legs. Objects held may be also used in enactment displays. and particularly the crotch (note that women seldom do this). polishing spectacles and brushing clothes. signaling to a person of the opposite sex that you are interested in partnering with them. then look away.Covering such as the mouth. the head (particularly of others) is considered to contain the spirit and hence must not be touched. Touching in greeting rituals also varies hugely across cultures Romantic body language Techniques > Using body language > Romantic body language From afar | Up close | See also A significant cluster of body movements has to do with romance. eyes and ears often means 'I do not want to use these' and indicates the person would rather be elsewhere or they are holding themselves back from potentially harmful action. the first task of body language is to signal interest (and then to watch for reciprocal body language). 100 .

I do like you. Pointing A person who is interested in you may subtly point at you with a foot. and it can have the opposite effect). Where the eyes go is important. It also tests to see whether they lean towards you or away from you. 101 . showing how you would like to get even closer to them. you will holding each other's gaze for longer and longer periods before looking away. This may be coupled with listening intently to what they say. Copying Imitating the person in some way shows 'I am like you'. Looking at lips means 'I want to kiss'. as if to say 'Yes. A very subtle signal that few realize is that the eyes will dilate such that the dark pupils get much bigger (this is one reason why dark-eyed people can seem attractive). Pressing together muscles gives the impression of higher muscle tone. you move from social space into their personal body space. Holding out shoulders and arms makes the body look bigger. This is often playing to primitive needs. This can range from a similar body position to using the same gestures and language. Standing square-on to them also blocks anyone else from joining the conversation and signals to others to stay away. The man shows he is virile. again showing particular interest in them. Women show that they are healthy and that they are able to bear and feed the man's child.' Up close When you are close to the other person. It can start with the head with a simple tilt or may use the entire torso.. It is effectively a signal that says 'I would like to go in this direction'. • Crotch display. which are often slightly moist and with the head inclined slightly down. Looking at other parts of the body may mean 'I want to touch'. • Faked interest in others. the body language progressively gets more intimate until one person signals 'enough'.Faking often happens. Lovers' gaze When you are standing close to them. Holding in the abdomen gives the impression of a firm tummy. You many also use what are called 'doe eyes' or 'bedroom eyes'. strong and able to protect the woman and her child. where (particularly male) legs are held apart to show off genitalia. to invoke envy or hurry a closer engagement. knee.. arm or head. Close in and personal In moving closer to the other person. • Nodding gently. Leaning Leaning your body towards another person says 'I would like to be closer to you'. Other displays Other forms of more distant display that are intended to attract include: • Sensual or dramatic dancing (too dramatic. Pressing together and lifting breasts (sometimes helped with an appropriate brassiere) makes them look firmer and larger. perhaps holding them and more.

even when this is highly unlikely. This can be a small as a pen or as large as a table. Defensive body language Techniques > Using body language > Defensive body language Defending from attack | Pre-empting attack | See also When a person is feeling threatened in some ways. The chin is held down. People may thus huddle into a smaller position. crossed legs or covering with hands. keeping their arms and legs in. The arms may be held across the chest or face. Rigidity Another primitive response is to tense up. Covering vital organs and points of vulnerability In physical defense. The groin is protected with knees together. making the muscles harder in order to withstand a physical attack. Pre-empting attack Giving in 102 . Using a barrier Any physical object may be placed held in front of the person to act as a literal or figurative barrier. possibly straight out or curved to deflect incoming attacks. I may use a simple barrier to make you feel less defensive. Caressing is gentle stroking that may start in the safer regions and then stray (especially when alone) to sexual regions. the defensive person will automatically tend to cover those parts of the body that could damaged by an attack. followed by touching of 'safe' parts of the body such as arms or back. possibly avoiding movements being noticed or being interpreted as preparing for attack. Fending off Arms may be held out to fend off attacker.Touching Touching signals even closer intimacy. Rigidity also freezes the body. It also means I control the barrier. Straddling a reversed chair makes some people comfortable in conversation as they look relaxed whilst feeling defensive. Becoming small One way of defending against attack is to reduce the size of the target. Seeking escape Flicking the eyes from side to side shows that the person is looking for a way out. Barriers can also protect the other person and if I am powerful. covering the neck. It may start with 'accidental' brushing. Defending from attack The basic defensive body language has a primitive basis and assumes that the other person will physically attack. they will take defensive body postures.

or displays of wealth or power. This power to decide one's own path is often displayed in breaking of social rules. Just owning things is an initial symbol. such as a larger office. for example by putting them on a lower seat or by your standing on a step or plinth. Thus the upper body may exhibit aggression whilst the legs are twisted together. avoiding looking at the other person. though with a less emotional content. there may be conflicting signs appearing together. thrust forward and with attacking movements. keeping the head down and possibly crouching into a lower body position.Pre-empting the attack. such as a Rolex watch or having many subordinates. that is the power display. but in body language it is the flaunting of these. Superiority signals Breaking social rules Rulers do not need to follow rules: they make the rules. the defensive person may reduce the. 103 . The body may thus be erect. generally using submissive body language. as the person uses 'attack as the best form of defense'. control and dominance is indicated. Where attack and defense both appear together. with the chin up and the chest thrust out. Dominant body language Techniques > Using body language > Dominant body language Size | Superiority | Greeting | Responding | See also Dominant body language is related to aggressive body language. Making the body big Hands on hips makes the elbows go wide and make the body seem larger. Legs may be placed apart to increase size. and may also include additional aspects. This can be territorial. So also does standing upright and erect. often casually. Attacking first Aggressive body language may also appear. from invasion and interruption to casual swearing in polite company. Size signals The body in dominant stances is generally open. Occupying territory By invading and occupying territory that others may own or use. A dominant person may thus stand with feet akimbo and hands on hips. This can be achieved by standing up straight or somehow getting the other person lower than you. Thus a senior manager will casually take out their Mont Blanc pen whilst telling their secretary to fetch the Havana cigars. Making the body high Height is also important as it gives an attack advantage. Ownership Owning something that others covet provides a status symbol.

Another form of dominant handshake is to use strength to squeeze the other person. I can break the rules. preventing the other person seeing where you are looking. putting feet up on their furniture and being over-friendly with their romantic partners.' 104 . Phallic displays Dominant men will often expose their crotch. effectively saying to other men 'I am safe from attack' or 'my penis is bigger than yours'. effectively saying that 'you are not even worth looking at'. They may also be offering 'come and get it!' to women. invading their territory. whilst showing off. When women do this. Faces can also look says 'I am powerful. This appears in standing or sitting where the legs are apart. unblinking eye contact acts like overplaying the handshake -. from disapproving frowns and pursed lips to sneers and snarls (sometimes disguised as smiles). Belittling others Superiority signals are found both in saying 'I am important' and also 'You are not important'. their first interaction sets the pattern for the future relationship. The dominant greeting When people first meet and greet. leaning on their cars. amused or express other expressions that belittle the other person. When a person is dominant here. Thus a dominant person may ignore or interrupt another person who is speaking or turn away from them. They may also criticize the inferior person. Facial signals Much dominance can be shown in the face. Eyes Prolonged. for example getting to close to them by moving into their body space. saying 'You are beneath me and I do not want even to look at you. Other actions include sitting on their chairs. Holding the other person's hand for longer than normal also shows that you are in control. It may be emphasized by scratching or adjusting of the crotch. They may also squint. symbolically being on top. Dominant people often smile much less than submissive people. then they will most likely continue to be dominant. The handshake A classic dominant handshake is with the palm down.' The dominant person may alternatively prevent eye contact. including when the other person can hear them. it is to some extent a tease or invitation to men but may also be an emulation of the male display. Invasion says 'What's yours is mine' and 'I can take anything of yours that I want and you cannot stop me'.Invasion A dominant act is to disrespect the ownership of others. The eyes can be used to stare and hold the gaze for long period. thus saying 'I am as strong as a man'. They may also look at anywhere but the other person.

• When they butt in to your speech. Relaxed intensity The body may well be relaxed and open. which is what they probably want. However there is also a level of concentration. with both hands pressed together. grab their elbow and step to the side. talk more loudly and say 'let me finish!' Another approach is to name the game. either looking like they are praying. Another common evaluative movement is stroking. The simplest response is simply not to submit. Reasons for evaluation There can be several reasons for a ready body language. stroking the side of the nose and (if worn) peering over the top of spectacles ('To look more carefully at you'). Language of evaluation Hand movements The classic signal of evaluation is the steepled hands which are clasped together. not their eyes). perhaps with pursed lips and an intense gaze. or with linked fingers and with index fingers only pointing upwards. Continue to appear friendly and ignore their subtle signals. • Touch them. Deciding 105 . for example: • Out-stare them (a trick here is to look at the bridge of their nose. The fingers pointing upwards may touch the lips. Responding to dominance If others display dominant body language you have a range of options. Ask them why they are using dominant body language. The chin may be resting in one or both palms. speed up. unafraid way Evaluating body language Techniques > Using body language > Evaluating body language Language of evaluation | Reasons for evaluation | See also A notable cluster of body movements happens when a person is thinking. either before they touch you or immediately when they touch you.Speaking The person who speaks first often gets to control the conversation. often of the chin but possibly other parts of the face. Other actions Other evaluative signals include pursing lips. judging or making some decision. A good way to do this is in a curious. • When they do a power handshake. either by talking for longer or by managing the questions. The person seems to be unafraid or even unaware of danger. Another response is to fight dominance with dominance.

In this section we cover specific techniques by which people change minds and otherwise persuade. Below it. • Body language: A large part of communication is non-verbal. a myriad of ways to gain closure. Techniques for Changing Minds This is the main 'how to' section.the 106 . • Stress Management: Keeping it down. Perhaps this is you. • Tipping: How to get a bigger tip. are generalized principles of changing minds and the psychological details of explanations and theories. they may be judging. • Propaganda: covert persuasion of populations. • Happiness: How to be happy. Caveat Just a note of gentle caution: the word 'technique' sometimes implies some kind of magic. • Closing techniques: From the discipline of sales. • Hypnotism: How people are hypnotized.A person who is evaluating may be making an important decision. they may be mentally trying out ideas to see if they will work. • Interrogation: Getting answers to questions. • Resisting persuasion: A big list of ways to avoid being persuaded. Judging In their decision-making. • Confidence tricks: Ways people get tricked out of their money. Life is a numbers game: there are no guarantees. There is no magic and the techniques here are things that if you do. they may be close to the point of closure. When they are deep inside their own world. in the website. • Objection-handling: Ways of handling objections to the sale. you may get something of what you want. building it up. • Questioning: Using questions to get the results you want. Thinking Sometimes the evaluation is only on an internal point. Life is also about practice -. with the implicit promise that 'if you do this you will get that'. • Self-development: Becoming who you want to be. • Public speaking: Presentation and speech-making. • Language: Much about subtle use of words. • Change techniques: Ways to make change happen. Watch how they change with what you say and try to figure this one out. • Negotiation tactics: Getting what you want. • Using humor: Changing minds can be (and use) fun. • General persuasion techniques: Approaches and things that don't fit elsewhere. they may be trying to fit your idea into their own model of the world. If they are buying from you. something you are saying or something else. • Conversion: Converting and retaining people in different beliefs. If you have suggested something. • Listening: Hear the person as well as what they say. • Assertiveness: Being neither passive nor aggressive. • Conversation: How to hold down a conversation with others.

the better you will get. wider effects. then keep trying and keep trying different things. which is not. Saying no: Refusing. Understanding assertiveness Assertiveness is widely misunderstood. even when it is hard. • Assertiveness is: Submissive. often equated with aggression. Receiving criticism: Taking criticism positively.more you try. so if things do not work for you this time.. • Submissive behavior: Being submissive is not being assertive. • Comparing behaviors: Comparing assertive. • Aggressive behavior: Being aggressive is not being assertive. Speaking your truths: Saying what you believe.. The three-part message: Their behavior. Disagreeing: Disagreeing with what they say and stating your own Praise: Giving and getting it. then here are some methods to help you on your way. and aggressive behavior. Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Assertive behavior means standing up for your rights and expressing your truths in a way that neither shrinks from what you want to communicate nor assumes that they are the only valid truths. your feelings. aggressive and submissive. Being assertive Once you now know what assertiveness is. Assertiveness also includes recognizing and respecting the equality. • • • • • • • case. Assertiveness Techniques > Assertiveness Understanding assertiveness | Being assertive | See also Assertive behavior is one of the most powerful ways of acting in interacting with other people. • Building assertive beliefs: Beliefs drive behaviors. Standing up for your rights: You can have what is rightfully yours. Assertiveness is. • • • Saying what you want: You can want anything. Here's more detail to give you a firm foundation in this area. Asking: Asking the other person to do something. Giving criticism: Constructively helping others improve. 107 . rights and truths of other people.. assertive. Techniques > Assertiveness > Assertiveness is..

Aggressive people often uses anger. and hence that other people have lesser rights and less valid truths than you. The will use overt techniques of conversion to create unquestioning compliance. assertive behavior is a powerful tool. The assumptions on which assertiveness is based are that: • you. but in a way that violates the rights of other people. Just do as I say and don't ask questions. including All people have equal and legitimate rights. the seeking to achieve one's own goals. They will use punishing language to infer guilt and create shame. 108 . All people can contribute to conversation. and that any contradictory statement is wrong. Discussion The core assumption of aggressive behavior is that the aggressor is superior to others in some way.Example John. Example You're so stupid. • • All people have needs that they legitimately seek to satisfy. including you. A critical aspect of this is an assumption of equality. The result of assertive behavior is that you get much of what you want whilst retaining the respect of other people. Discussion Assertiveness can be understood in terms of what it is not: it is neither Aggressive behavior and Passive behavior. It means saying what you believe in a way that assumes that it the only truth. which leads to a respect for others that moderates. In Transactional Analysis. but does not obviate. I think Jane is not comfortable with the way you look at her. aggressive body language other threatening behavior to bully. Aggressive behavior Techniques > Assertiveness > Aggressive behavior Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Aggressive behavior means standing up for your rights. In both persuasion and defending against persuasive efforts. the Adult uses assertive behavior and language. subjugate and dominate other people. including you. What! Are you arguing with me!! How dare you!!! Was that you? You know you shouldn't have done that. I want to stay at home tonight. I don't like the way you said that. seeking equality rather than control or safety.

particularly when someone else has conflicting needs. In Transactional Analysis. I should have realized that you wanted to go elsewhere. the submissive person is likely to assume that they are to blame in some way. they may displace their revenge onto unwitting victims. The result of submissive behavior is that you get little of what you want whilst losing the respect of other people. these are often passive people who either fear leaving or seek protection. Aggressive people often have deep fears that they project onto other people. particularly early triggers that led them to their submissive state. Submissive behavior Techniques > Assertiveness > Submissive behavior Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description submissive (or passive) behavior means shying away from saying what you really mean and not seeking to achieve your needs. A submissive person is a shrinking violet. Sorry. A manager tends to avoid giving complex work to one of their subordinates who complains whenever something becomes difficult. If you can cow another person then they are less likely to assertively or aggressively stand up for their rights. You are also likely to fall into a spiral of failing self-esteem. I didn't mean to say that. like the bully. and hence that other people have greater rights and more valid truths than you. They may wish they could be stronger. the adaptive child may become submissive when coping with the controlling parent. Whilst aggressive people appear to have friends. qualifiers and submissive body language. Example A child is bullied at school but neither fights back nor tells the teachers. You can often see submissiveness in the use of such as floppy language. although these do not always indicate submissive behavior. and accept culpability when singled out by other people. When things go wrong. They may also cope with the disappointment of not getting what they want by trivializing. avoiding upsetting others either because they fear them or they fear to hurt their feelings. The goal of much aggressive behavior is to create passive behavior in others. internal anger and psychosomatic problems. 109 . Discussion The core assumption of submissive behavior is that you are inferior to others in some way. The submissive person will typically suppress their feelings and repress memories of being dominated.The result of aggressive behavior is that the aggressor gets much of what they want whilst losing the respect of other people. Bullies are often cowards who use aggression as a method of attack that pre-empts others attacking them. Where they fear particular people.

feel and act is based on our beliefs. If you have assertive beliefs. One the traps of aggressive/submissive behavior is to believe that this is all there is. Note how the benefits and costs of aggressive and submissive behavior are sometimes the same and sometimes opposite.Comparing behaviors Techniques > Assertiveness > Comparing behaviors Here is a summary of key differences between assertive behavior. say. Attribute Respect for others Respect for self Aggressive Low High (usually) Attack others Submissive High Low Submit to others Assertive High High Respect others Key actions Me first Hide weaknesses Exaggerate strengths Do not concede Get what I want Me last Visible weaknesses Downplay strengths Always concede Won't get harmed Me and you equal Open about weaknesses and strengths Fair exchange Get much of what I want Perceived benefits Won't get harmed Will be respected Poor relationships Low personal risk Will be liked Poor relationships Will be respected Fair relationships Do not always get what I want Likely costs Subtle revenge Lost communication Get overlooked People take advantage Confusion/envy of others Building assertive beliefs Techniques > Assertiveness > Building assertive beliefs Assertive beliefs | Non-assertive beliefs | Developing assertive beliefs | See also Assertive beliefs Much of what we do. then you will have difficulty in sustaining assertiveness. aggressive behavior and submissive behavior. then assertive behavior will follow. Beliefs that drive assertive behavior include: 110 . and in particular in our beliefs about people. and you have to be one or the other. It takes a new position in a separate place outside the onedimensional aggressive-submissive spectrum. Assertive behavior is not aggressive and not submissive nor any way in between. Problems occur when we hold different beliefs about ourselves and about other people. If you do not hold assertive beliefs.

• It is better to be safe and say nothing rather than say what I think. Beliefs that drive aggressive behavior include: • I am cleverer and more powerful than other people.• I am equal to others. Carry them with you in your wallet or pocket. and hence drive passive or aggressive behavior. • Decide on the beliefs that you want to adopt. • I do not need permission to take action. Non-assertive beliefs Non-assertive beliefs are generally those that assume we are not equal to other people. • People who do not fight hard for what they want get what they deserve. • Other people cannot be trusted to do as they are told. • Wonder about how the beliefs of others drive their decisions and actions. choose and make decisions for myself. • Other people do not like me because I do not deserve to be liked. • It's a dog-eat-dog world. I must get other people before they get me. • I am able to try things. • I must be perfect in everything I do. Beliefs that drive passive behavior include: • Others are more important. Asking is a sign of weakness. You may not feel it. • I am free to think. make mistakes. Agreement is not always necessary or possible. such as asking for things in shops and restaurants where it is not a 'life or death' situation. • It is ok to disagree with others. Pin them on the wall. • Start small: be assertive in relatively simple contexts. otherwise I am a complete failure. more intelligent or otherwise better than me. but you can always act it. with the same fundamental rights. • The only way to get things done is to tell people. • My opinion is not of value and will not be valued. • I am responsible for my own actions and my responses to other people. learn and improve. Realize how new beliefs are making a difference. Saying what you want Techniques > Assertiveness > Saying what you want Description | Example | Discussion | See also 111 . • Reflect on your successes. Identify the beliefs that you want to change. • Start by acting assertive. Developing assertive beliefs There are a number of things that you can do to develop and stabilize assertive beliefs that will lead to you being more assertive: • Notice how your current beliefs drive your decisions and actions. Write them down.

are equal to others. There are people outside making a lot of noise. Leave me alone. 112 . It is not necessary to justify what you want. Know that you can call upon others to help you defend your rights. You can get much of what you want through assertive negotiation. I want to kiss you. then you may be being aggressive). To want is human and a birthright. Everyone is allowed to want. When you are not being respected. Wanting does not mean always getting what you want (if you do. but negotiation also means making exchanges. say what you want. Remind others who are contravening your rights that you have those rights. not apologize. Discussion Remember that being assertive means knowing that you have rights which. Being assertive also includes accepting. Standing up for your rights Techniques > Assertiveness > Standing up for your rights Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Standing up for your rights starts with knowing that you have the same rights as everyone else. I want this job. Refuse to do things that you are being asked to do that you do not want to do. I am not going to work overtime. I need to see my family. which means giving as well as getting. tell them that you do not want their company. Explanation can sometimes help. Although you may not get everything that you want. Try to find ways in which saying what you want in a way that does not hurt other people. It then means responding to situations where those rights are being compromised. You are invading my privacy. in a non-passive way.'. as a person. but only to persuade. Example No.. demand that others treat you with respect. remember that it is not an all-ornothing thing. more than job I have done before. Example I want to go home early today. You can just say 'I want. Please can you come and deal with this disturbance.. When others are pursuing you or otherwise giving you unwanted attention.Description When you want something. the occasions where you do not get what you want. This includes being able to say what you want without fear.

• To have a say in what you are asked to do. and what 'success' means.Discussion You have basic rights as a human an a member of civilized society. • To give others feedback on their performance. Whether or not it has any or absolute truth. where you are protected both by employment law and company regulations. Being able to say no without feeling guilty. Having individual opinions. • Being told when you are performing below expectations and having the opportunity to improve. The same effect happens at work. General rights include: • • • • • • • • Having individual needs and want. Standing up for the rights of other people. Being able to try new things and make mistakes. • To arrive and go home at reasonable times. Within any country you have legal rights. although you can say that they look sad or appear angry. but it does not mean you must not say them. you may make them easier to accept in how you say them. At the other extreme. then nobody can challenge this. If you say you are happy. Asking others to do things (but not demanding). Speak your truths quietly and clearly. One truth that can never be denied is how you feel. including your right to call upon that system for support. When your truths are difficult for others to accept. • Not being harassed or stalked. Only you truly know how you are feeling. you still have the right to say what you believe and that others listen to you. and there is a whole legal system there to protect those rights. the aggressive person denies the rights of others Speaking your truths Techniques > Assertiveness > Speaking your truths Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Say what you believe when you want to do this. • To be consulted about decisions that affect you. sad or angry. • To be allowed to get on with your job without constant interruption. By the same chalk. • To choose aspects of how you work. Being heard by others who listen to what you have to say. 113 . Feeling and expressing emotions. as do all others. It is typical of passive behavior that the person involved gives away their rights or assumes that they have less than others. Rights at work include: • Knowing what is expected of you. you cannot say definitively how others are feeling.

Note that this can be both undesirable behavior or desirable behavior. 2. Even if they disagree.Also listen to others. Sorry. arguably. clearly and accurately. Describe behavior Describe the specific behavior of the other person in question. The three-part message Techniques > Assertiveness > The three-part message Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description The three-part message is a simple framework that you can use to give an assertive message when others are doing something on which you want to comment. Know that when others do not understand or accept your truth. Show the wider effect of their behavior 114 . It is surprising how often the hardest truths are also the most valuable. you are not obliged to change your mind. Speaking assertively does not make something true (this is the assertion fallacy that teenagers and others sometimes try to use). you can find other truths in between. Describe how you feel Describe how the behavior makes you feel. We believe things in order to understand and live in the world. with a minimal display of emotions. You can be tactful in helping others to accept a truth that is difficult for them. Explore the differences.and you can also be open to having your truths changed by their arguments. without any accusation or judgmental language. but I don't think that dress suits you. too have their truths which may be different from yours. Discussion There is. the company is going to fail. 1. By sharing what you believe to be true and listening to what others believe to be true. They. Remember the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes': speaking difficult truths can have great power when all others are colluding in a larger lie. even though they may not be true for others. but this need not be reason not to speak those truths. and it is valid that you and I can hold different and conflicting beliefs. I am very disappointed with how little you have done this week. Sometimes truths can be uncomfortable. seeking to understand how they come to believe these things without judging the person. Also help them understand your thinking. that does not mean that it is not true. Do this clearly and assertively. You might also be able to persuade them to change their truths -. Do this simply. Each of our truths is founded in our complex thought processes and memories. both for you and for other people. Example I believe that if we continue in this way. Truth is a human construction. Our beliefs are true to each of us. no such thing as an absolute truth. 3. We can speak our truths.

• Do not use deceptive or coercive tactics. Explaining this helps the other person to accept the impact of what they have done. 115 . • Do not apologize for asking. but not effusive. • Be polite. which I find really annoying as it makes the whole department look disorganized. You often give work in late. Just as you can say 'no' to others without meaning them harm. The full extent of the effect of the behavior is also not always realized. assume that others may do likewise. • Whilst you can explain reason. helps the other person to easily understand what you are describing. To ask assertively: • Be brief. • Do not call in favors or play on friendship. you can ask them to do it. or how it affects other people and things. as with other assertive methods. Example When you tell me what you want me to do I feel threatened because you raise your voice and stare at me. This makes me really proud of you and has helped us to catch up with all the lost work. People often do not realize the effect of their actions on other people. You have stayed after hours recently to complete this work. Accept their answer as a valid response. beyond the basic effect on your emotions. Describing your emotions can be quite a surprise for many. Discussion Assertive messages can sometimes be difficult for the other person to accept.Describe what the effect of the behavior is. If they say 'no'. Clear descriptions. Respect their right to refuse. although you can still question their rationale and try to persuade them with further argument. • Let them decide based on the merits of what you say. after being triggered into the emotional state. and do not the refusal as a slight on you in any way. you can ask for it. This can be include how you behave. then you can ask for their reasons. It is also impossible for them to deny this: only you can describe how you feel. Ask for what you want without elaboration or floppy language. but do not consider them bad in any way. clear and specific. When you want others to do something. beyond having affected your emotions Asking Techniques > Assertiveness > Asking Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you want something. you do not need to justify your right to ask.

for example by using their name. 116 . Say 'I' rather than 'we' or 'they'. Floppy language when you ask for something is often a signal that you do not really believe that you deserve what you are asking for. The fact that you have made a decision is enough. You do not need to qualify or explain your response. If you are to give a reason. with no scope for the other person to think that you might yet be persuaded. Use the broken record method if necessary. but.. You can make the message clear by starting your response with 'no'. then you will find it easier to ask. then be honest. If the other person persists. Do not apologize for your refusal and do not be apologetic in your tone. keep your refusal short. Can you tell me what time you will be coming home. but do not allow this as something for them to challenge. 'I'm sorry. Make sure what you are saying is crystal clear.Example I would like a pay rise of ten percent. then you can just say no. But if you have the belief that others can legitimately say 'no' and that this does not constitute a personal attack on you or somehow degrade or reduce your worth. and hence is a cue for the other person to refuse. This will bring me into line with industry norms for the work I am doing.' often appears weak and leads to challenges and further argument.. please. Saying no Techniques > Assertiveness > Saying no Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are asked to do something that you do not want to do. repeat your reasons (do not look for new reasons to decline). Be firm: neither weak nor aggressive. Show that it is you making the decision rather than hiding behind other people or impersonal rules. It may be helpful sometimes to explain a decision. even if it is uncomfortable. Do not make up excuses. Would you like to go on a date with me? Discussion What prevents many people from asking for things is fear of refusal. Do not be persuaded by pleading. wheedling etc. Only change your mind if it makes real sense. but not so abrupt as to unnecessarily upset the other person. It can help to acknowledge the other person. Listen to rational argument and make rational decisions based on what you have heard. whining. Be careful about giving them explanation on which they may use objection-handling. When saying 'no'.

Example John. Sorry. You have a basic right to refuse. in effect. untrue. When you say 'no' assertively and clearly. helping them see a way forward from any embarrassment. Whilst it is easy to say yes.Example I can't take on any extra work. Reward them for a good response to your disagreement with a smile or other accepting behavior or language. I do not want double glazing. state that you disagree with them. Never change because of fears or threats. If you have a contrary view. Ultimately. We cannot do this in less than a month. You can soften the impact by appreciating how the other person may be mistaken. being fired from the company or otherwise being severely punished for your lack of cooperation. and be prepared to change your own view if what they say makes sense. 117 . then say so. Where possible. If they become emotional or aggressive. I think you're wrong. Even if you passively say nothing. be constructive. If you do that then you will add risk to the schedule. If you do not want to discuss the matter further. but I do not want to go out with you. You're a nice guy. it may seem as if you are also giving up your right to ask something of the other person. Use specific evidence where you can. Disagreeing Techniques > Assertiveness > Disagreeing Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When another person makes a statement with which you disagree. you are more likely to gain respect than lose it. Explain why you think the other person is wrong. rather than appearing to agree. When you refuse. listen to their response. Do not be drawn into a destructive argument. stay cool and do not give in just to calm them down. If appropriate. thank you. Mike. The good news is that reality is nowhere near as bad as imagination. My calendar is completely full for the next month. then follow up your disagreement by stating this view. saying no is risking the wrath of the person involved or the other people they might tell. of course. Discussion Saying 'no' is something with which many people have problems. All this is. agreed with them. Make the fact that you disagree clear. being ostracized from the group. Use clear logic. you have. I am happy with my house as it is. linking cause and effect. but do not let this weaken your disagreement. refusal may seem to risk hurting a relationship.

really'). Giving praise In giving praise assertively. That's very kind of you to say that. I have had several very complimentary comments from our customers about it. Michelle. A simple way of doing this is to thank them when they have helped you in some way. If you are drawn into an argument. yesterday. Do not be arrogant or show that you expected the praise ('Yes. I was there last week and saw it with my own eyes. Make the praise heartfelt. be specific about the other person has done well. it was nothing.That's not true. you may fear being proven wrong. Do not say anything that you do not really mean. Be careful and succinct with this -. Many managers receive very little recognition from their charges and a little appreciation can go a long way. I though'). Nor be excessively diffident. effectively refusing to accept the praise or downplaying your part in it ('Oh. as it will require you to stay positive and rational whilst handling the other person's varying behavior. Even more than saying no. I can see how that may appear to be so. We could try speaking with Susan. (accepting praise) 118 . I really liked the way you handled Steve. A constructive argument is a good test of your assertiveness and assertive beliefs. it was rather good. but I spoke with Sam today and she told me that she was not there. Thank you. then rationality will be lost. Mention the value that the other person has created and how you feel about it. Example Jed. You can praise your superiors as well as peers and subordinates. Giving in to other people when their emotions are aroused is teaching them that the best way to persuade you is to become emotional. it risks disapproval and social punishment. That was a tricky situation and could easily have got out of hand. accept it with a slightly surprised thanks. you did a great job of getting the project completed to schedule. Praise Techniques > Assertiveness > Praise Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description You can use assertion both in giving praise and receiving it. Accepting praise When other people praise is easy to appear as if you are sucking up to them. Discussion Disagreeing can be a very difficult thing for people who do not yet find assertion an easy task. If emotions are aroused and a discussion turns into a heated argument.

Example Your report was not handed in on time last week. Do not criticize to gain points or otherwise profit from the other person. It affirms the other person's sense of identity. Check that they understand the criticism and accept it as positive support. they feel threatened. Be very specific about the things you are criticizing. first make sure that your motivations are genuine. Describe the action and the causeand-effect relationship with the outcomes. Aggressive praise can sound like cynicism or sarcasm that still seeks to keep the other person in an inferior position. the other person will never really feel praised (and will dislike you for 'assassinating praise'). It is often not a good idea to criticize another person in public (unless there is a particular reason for doing so. You were late for two afternoon meetings last week. That led to me looking really stupid in the board meeting. Giving criticism Techniques > Assertiveness > Giving criticism Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When criticism is needed. Make the criticism as easy as possible to accept. describe the consequences of repeated failure. Weak praise can sound like empty flattery. increasing their sense of worth. It happens when people realize that the other person has done a good job but rather than truly admiring the other person. Rather than say 'you are wrong' say 'what you did was wrong'. Criticize the action. then you make worthless any praise that is deserved. seeking to appease the other person rather than offer genuine appreciation. Discuss what happens next. When you left the door unlocked there was a serious risk of us being burgled. 119 . helping them to see the way forward and to avoid future criticism. If necessary. saying 'when you did that. if done well. people will do more of the things for which they are praised. but not the person. and that their own limitations have been shown up (perhaps deliberately). but only as long as they believe that they deserve the praise and that it was genuinely offered and without ulterior motive. Seek to neither criticize too much at once nor criticize too often. How can we ensure that it will not happen again? I am not happy about the time you are taking off for lunch. Generally.Discussion Praise is a powerful motivator. As a result. do not avoid it. When you give praise when it is not really deserved. When you are going to criticize someone else. It also tells them what they are doing well. then this happened'. although you should pick your moment.

This is highly likely to provoke a fight-or-flight reaction. but do so with dignity and integrity. Nevertheless. first pause before reacting and think honestly about what they say. you're right. it can be more effective to deflect or ignore the jibe. I was not paying full attention. and unlikely for them to carefully consider and accept the criticism. When others attack they may well be expecting a response and be ready (and seeking) for battle. Do not defend unless you really believe that you are being attacked. I disagree with your analysis and want to show you what you have missed. Do not over-apologize! A simple 'sorry' or 'very sorry' is often enough. If you treat the other person as if they are trying to help. Frequent or multiple criticism may lead to people feeling persecuted. Discussion When you receive criticism. then own up. Avoiding criticism of another person may well be doing them a disservice. Receiving criticism Techniques > Assertiveness > Receiving criticism Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When others criticize you. Watch for them demanding excessive restitution and be assertive about this. If you do not point out their problems. then you are attacking their sense of identity. then they are probably doomed to repeat history. Example Yes. with the result that feel overwhelmed and unwilling or unable to improve Remember that the goal of criticism should always be to help the other person improve. you can seek first to learn. Ask for more detail as appropriate until you fully understand what happened. Ask for their help in avoiding such future problems. Even then. jury or executioner. 120 . Being assertive does not mean being a judge. Not responding in the way that they expected can give you both a tactical advantage and the moral high ground. Do not make excuses. If you know that you have done something wrong. Could you elaborate further? Thank you for your feedback. If necessary.Discussion If you criticize a person. I don't understand. Sorry. not by debasing yourself. it may not be expertly done. which is a fundamental part of who they are. find other ways to make restitution and regain trust. although you may give valid reason for what happened. then they will increase behavior in this direction. However. It should never be about revenge or punishment. Thank them for the feedback and apologize as appropriate.

accepting almost any solution that will get them back to that comfortable state. • Forced Compliance: Obligation to obey. There may also be an element of commitment to the person making the offer. • Foot In The Door (FITD): Make small offer then increase. • Social Influence: How we are strongly influenced by others. This should be a real bargain. Bait-and-switch Techniques > General persuasion > Sequential requests > Bait-and-switch Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Offer them something that appears to be very good value. • Door In The Face (DITF): Cause rejection then make real offer. • Bait-and-switch: Great offer that never happens. the sales person trades them up to a more expensive model. even if they were not thinking about it. If I then switch the offer. then they enter a state of anxiety in which they seek to re-enter the comfortable closed state. Never mind. • Reciprocity Norm: we feel obliged to return favors. it's booked up. • Ultimate Terms: some words are particularly powerful. When the high value item is removed. • Scarcity Principle: we want what is of limited availability. If I offer something to you. Discussion When the person sees the initial item of high value they cognitively close on the idea of acquiring it and hence The early bait thus moves them from a negative position to one of commitment.Theories about persuasion Explanations > Theories > Theories about persuasion Here are academic theories about how we persuade other people. • Persuasion: factors important in persuasion. especially 121 . They thus seek to satisfice. Example A car sales showroom puts a basic car outside with a very low price-tag.. replace the item with something of less value to them (and more profit to you). Later. we can go to the usual place. • Priming: Setting up memory to be used later. • Subliminal Messages: famous method that is a sham. Oh dear. • Sleeper Effect: when persuasive messages increase effectiveness over time. an offer they can't possibly refuse. you feel some obligation to me. Once the customer is interested. • Weak Ties Theory: How far does influence go? • Yale Attitude Change Approach: factors important in persuasion. Would you like to go out to this really expensive restaurant? . • Information Manipulation Theory: Breaking one of the four conversational maxims..

and Weber (1989). This method works best when the requests being made have a socially valid element. In the control group that was just asked to help by memorizing numbers (no initial film-clip offer). Look disappointed but then make a request that is more reasonable. but then switched the task to memorizing lists of numbers. only 15% agreed. The second request should be made soon after the first request. Well could you donate $10? Can you help me do all this work? Well can you help me with this bit? Can I stay out until 4am? OK. The lower request uses the contrast principle. Example Will you donate $100 to our cause? [response is no]. they may feel guilty about having refused another person and fear rejection as a result. 122 . In effect. To do otherwise would expose myself as inconsistent and break bonding between us. for example where you are seeking to learn something. When the other person refuses the first request. This is so that the other person does not reject the whole request out of hand (it is just that the initial request is 'too much'). then you are likely to accept the second offer out of a sense of obligation to me.if the switching seems reasonable. The other person will then be more likely to accept. They invited students to watch interesting film clips (and hence got a lot of volunteers). before the effects of guilt and other motivators wears off. Gouilloux. who called it the lure procedure. Although common in sales. making it seem very small in comparison with the larger initial request and hence relatively trivial and easy to agree with. How about midnight? Discussion DITF works by first getting a no and then getting a yes. as opposed to 47% who had been first offered the film-clip experiment. The second request gives them the opportunity to assuage that guilt and mitigate any threat of social rejection. Door In The Face (DITF) Techniques > General persuasion > Sequential requests > Door In The Face (DITF) Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description First make a request of the other person that is excessive and to which they will most naturally refuse. this method was first researched by Joule. Oh. teach people or help others. the person making the request is making an exchange of concession for belonging. The bait and switch technique is a 'sequential request'.

50% agreed to chaperone the trip to the zoo as compared to 17% of participants who only received the zoo request.can I go with him? .could you lend me enough to get in? . Many people who agreed to the first request now complied with the second.I haven't got money -.Could you pick us up after? Discussion FITD works by first getting a small yes and then getting an even better yes. can I go out for an hour to see Sam? [answer yes] . When they give it to you.I just called Sam and he's going to the cinema . Dad. It is also affected by individual need for consistency.. such as helping other people. Cacioppo. They cannot use the first request as something significant.. The most powerful effect occurs when the person's self-image is aligned with the request. then ask for something bigger. They then ask me to walk a little way with them to make sure they don't get lost. The principle involved is that a small agreement creates a bond between the requester and the requestee. which I give.. they were asked to chaperone juvenile delinquents on a one-day trip to the zoo. The Freedman and Fraser study showed significant effect. I take them all the way to their destination. In a future request.. Foot In The Door (FITD) Techniques > General persuasion > Sequential requests > Foot In The Door (FITD) Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Ask for something small... the same people were asked by a second person to put a large sign advocating safe driving in their front yard.. The Door-in-the-face technique is a 'sequential request' and is also known as 'rejectionthen-retreat'. Freedman and Fraser (1966) asked people to either sign a petition or place a small card in a window in their home or car about keeping California beautiful or supporting safe driving.Cialdini. later studies showed that the actual effect was more often far less. Requests thus need to be kept close to issues that the person is likely to support. And maybe then something bigger again. After their refusal. and Miller asked students to to volunteer to council juvenile delinquents for two hours a week for two years. About two weeks later. Bassett. Example A person in the street asks me directions. 123 . so they have to convince themself that it is because they are nice and like the requester or that they actually are interested in the item being requested. far more intrusive request. In the end. they then feel obliged to act consistently with their internal explanation they have built. The other person has to justify their agreement to themself..Could you give us a lift there? .

An effective way of using this is with a collaborator who plays the persuasive 'bad guy' on a particular point to your 'good guy' who completes the overall persuasion. Example A sales manager rudely interrupts a sales person's spiel to correct performance details about car. When this happens. they can tell themselves they were acting as a favor to the person or because they liked them. • Attempts at forced compliance can easily create a backlash effect. The reason why disliked persuader are more effective is possibly because of the way people seek to explain and justify their actions. If they comply with someone attractive or otherwise likable. The customer finds the car more interesting. some expected and some odd effects can happen: • People will comply with perceived authority. as the key purpose is to enable a relationship to be developed whereby further and more profitable sales may be complete Forced Compliance Explanations > Theories > Forced Compliance Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description People sometimes feel obliged to comply with commands against their will or better judgment. It is also more likely to succeed when the second request is an extension of the first request (as opposed to being something completely different). Note also that 'foot in the door' is also used as a generic term to describe where early sales are relatively unprofitable (maybe a 'loss leader'). • Persuaders who are disliked are more likely to be successful in creating a change in attitude. When the persuader acted politely. Defending 124 . So What? Using it Be careful with this as having other people liking you is generally good for persuasion. particularly amongst those who refuse to comply. Research Zimbardo et al (1965) used an authority figure to pressure students into eating Japanese grasshoppers. even acting in strongly immoral ways or doing other things that contradict their values. The Foot-in-the-door technique is a 'sequential request'.Pro-social requests also increase likelihood of success with this method. a significant number of students later reported a lower affinity with eating grasshoppers than when the persuader was brusque.

• Quality: information given will be truthful and correct. Defending Question what you are told. going off the subject and confusing the other person. a person deliberately breaks one of the four conversational maxims: • Quantity: Information given will be full (as per expected by the listener) and without omission. goals. They approach the lecture trembling and weeping. especially you find yourself changing your mind as a result. So what? Using it Persuade by omitting information. The change may creation of something new. Inner systems include values. • Manner: things will be presented in a way that enables others to understand and with aligned non-verbal language. In fact every interpersonal interaction causes a change to both parties. Seek corroborating evidence. also by people who are less attractive! Information Manipulation Theory Explanations > Theories > Information Manipulation Theory Description | Example | So What? | See also | References Description In order to persuade or deceive.Notice how you react to persuasive comments. Probe for detail. saying how they have just been dumped by their long-term partner and forgot to hand in the essay (they had done it in time. Persuasion Explanations > Theories > Persuasion Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description Persuasion occurs when a person causes someone else to change. Elements of persuasion include: • Intent: We usually persuade intentionally. Woffle. or extinguishing or modifying something that already exists. Example A student is late handing in an essay. Use excuses. but we can also accidentally persuade. schema. 125 . honestly!). Be economical with the truth. telling untruths. • Relation: information will be relevant to the subject matter of the conversation in hand. You can sometimes be persuaded by attractive people and. The change may either be to their inner mental systems or to their external behavior. attitude. beliefs. as noted here. Watch the body language.

Repetitive priming occurs where the repetition of something leads to it influencing later thoughts. This particularly applies to 'free association' word pairs. priming either introduces new things or brings old thoughts close to the surface of the subconscious. Typically. • Media: Communication may be done via a range of media. Masked priming occurs where a word or image is presented for a very short time but is not consciously recognized. You can even persuade just yourself. very briefly flashed up on a computer screen. Semantic and conceptual priming are very similar and the terms may be used interchangeably. for example when 'bread' primes the thought of 'butter'. Inner systems are often held as networks of connected beliefs. Non-associative semantic priming refers to related concepts but where one is less likely to trigger thoughts of the other. Associative priming happens when a linked idea is primed.• Coercion: Coercion gains compliance. for example 'Sun' and 'Venus'. but without any internal commitment or change of inner mental systems (in fact these may be strengthened in the opposite direction). Priming has a limited effect as the thoughts fade back to the deeper subconscious. thus making them more accessible and more likely to be used over less accessible (and possibly more relevant) thoughts. related item is recognized. • Presence: You can be physically with the other person (allowing maximum communication) or communicating via such as the telephone or written words. for example 'hat' may prime for 'head'. Semantic priming occurs where the meaning created influences later thoughts. • Plurality: You can persuade one person or many people. Both groups then read 126 . etc. for example where a partpicture is completed based on a picture seen earlier. where behavior is changed. Perceptual priming. In effect. even though they may not seem to be connected. Research Bargh and Pietromonaco showed some people neutral words whilst others were shown hostile words. • Context: A changed behavior may be constrained to limited context. Priming Explanations > Theories > Priming Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description Priming is providing a stimulus that influences their near-term future thoughts and actions. Priming also increases the speed at which the second. primed ideas are effective for around 24 hours. Persuasion often acts to break and redirect those interconnections. is based on the form of the stimulus. Conceptual priming occurs where related ideas are used to prime the response.

• Ask for more than was given. I start noticing other cars just like the one I bought. This norm is so powerful. This can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most sent a card back (and they got onto the permanent Christmas list of some). We like people who like us. I now desire another bite even more than before I took the first bite. then you are obliged to return the favor.about a character with ambiguous behavior. Research Kunz and Woolcott sent Christmas cards to a number of people he did not know. So What? Using it Use a prime subtly so the person does not realize they are being primed. Reciprocity also works at the level of liking. You can even exchange a smile for money. think back to what may have triggered that thought. Example I take one bite from a chocolate bar. and dislike those who dislike us. Example Hari Krishna people have used this by giving passers-by a small plastic flower and then asking for a donation in return. thus influencing them towards a desired outcome. A stage magician says 'try' and 'cycle' in separate sentences in priming a person to think later of the word 'tricycle'. So what? Using it 127 . Reciprocity Norm Explanations > Theories > Reciprocity Norm Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description This is a very common social norm which says that if I give something to you or help you in any way. Those who had been primed with hostile words interpreted the behavior as being more hostile. rather than having to wait for a voluntary reciprocal act. it allows the initial giver to: • Ask for something in return. Defending When you seem to think of something in conversation with someone else.

This desire is increased further if we think that someone else might get it and hence gain social position that we might have had. especially if they ask for something from you in return. with ‘sale ends today’ (scarcity of time). Make it seem like your time is precious. we anticipate possible regret that we did not acquire it. giving them something you don’t want. One jar had ten cookies in and the other jar had two. Ask for something in return. It helps if you give them something they truly appreciate. whether it is your time or money. and so we desire it more. Example The scarcity principle is used in sales. being able to choose is an important freedom. Be polite (giving them something else).Give people things. When they ask for something in return. Defending When something is scarce. then ask them for something. Do not give them too much. lest they feel oppressed by their obligation. So what? Using it Intimate that what you want the other person to choose is only going to available for a limited time and that there may not be many left in any case. say no. Research Stephen Worchel and colleagues offered subjects cookies in a jar. In romance and in business. If you keep buying things you do not want. ‘whilst stock last’ (scarcity of product) and so on. Hint of other people waiting in the wings to for the chance to get it. Subjects preferred the cookies from the jar with two in. which is probably worse Sleeper Effect Explanations > Theories > Sleeper Effect Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 128 . you money will be scarce instead. play hard to get. even though they were the same cookies. Defending If people give you something. If something becomes scarce. thing about whether you really want it. Or turn the tables. say thank you (which is giving them something back in return!). Always be aware of trickery when people you hardly know offer you something. Scarcity Principle Explanations > Theories > Scarcity Principle Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description In our need to control our world.

The impact of a persuasive message will generally tend to decrease over time. However, under the right circumstances the sleeper effect predicts that a message from a lowcredibility source can actually increase in persuasiveness. Low credibility may be caused by a discounting cue, such as when a prediction of improving economic conditions is given by a government spokesperson (who is presumed to be biased). However, when the message eventually gets separated from its source (by dissociation), the message may gain more credibility.

Evidence for the sleeper effect is limited and inconsistent. One of the findings is that if the impact of a persuasive message does not increase with time, if it is given with a low-credibility source with a discounting cue, then the impact decline is at least slowed.

I was going to the races and a work friend (who knows little about horses) wrote down the name of three horses of which he had heard. When I pulled out the piece of paper I had forgotten who wrote it, but noticed that one of the horses had won. I consequently bet on all of the other horses. I did not win.

So what?

Using it
Make the message more dramatic than the deliverer. Once the message catches on, the source may be safely (and desirably) forgotten.

When making a decision based on specific evidence, deliberately recall the source and hence credibility of the data.

Social Influence
Explanations > Theories > Social Influence Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References

Social influence is the change in behavior that one person causes in another, intentionally or unintentionally, as a result of the way the changed person perceives themselves in relationship to the influencer, other people and society in general. Three areas of social influence are conformity, compliance and obedience. Conformity is changing how you behave to be more like others. This plays to belonging and esteem needs as we seek the approval and friendship of others. Conformity can run very deep, as we will even change our beliefs and values to be like those of our peers and admired superiors. Compliance is where a person does something that they are asked to do by another. They may choose to comply or not to comply, although the thoughts of social reward and punishment may lead them to compliance when they really do not want to comply.


Obedience is different from compliance in that it is obeying an order from someone that you accept as an authority figure. In compliance, you have some choice. In obedience, you believe that you do not have a choice. Many military officers and commercial managers are interested only in obedience.

Solomon Asch showed how a person could be influenced by others in a group to claim that a clearly shorter line in a group of lines was, in fact, the longest. Stanley Milgram did classic experiments in obedience, where people off the street obeyed orders to give (what they thought were) life-threatening electric shocks to other people.

You ask me to pass the salt. I comply by giving it to you. You tell me to pass the salt. I obey by giving it to you. I notice that people are using salt and passing it to the person on their left without comment. I conform by doing likewise.

So what?

Using it
Social Psychology includes a large domain of knowledge around Social Influence (much of which is on this site). This provides a powerful basis through which to persuade others.

Understand the psychology of social influence and how you respond to it. Notice yourself in social situations. Also notice how others are deliberately or unconsciously influencing you. Then choose how you will respond

Subliminal Messages
Explanations > Theories > Subliminal Messages Description | So What? | See also | References

In the late 1950s, James Vicary’s marketing business was on the rocks, so he made up the idea of subliminal advertising. He claimed that putting a very short message in a film, ‘drink Coca-Cola’ resulted in increased sales of Coke. It was very successful for him and fooled a whole generation and maybe more. Thus the field of subliminal persuasion was born, with the promise that a message that is not consciously noticed will have a significant effect on the subconscious. Although some experiments got limited success, the big claims came from improperly conducted experiments, for example with no controls. What is interesting is how many people still believe in them, and the 'big brother' paranoia that they feel as a result.


So what?

Using it
Don’t bother.

Ultimate Terms
Explanations > Theories > Ultimate Terms Description | Example | So What? | See also | References

There are words which have special meaning within each culture and carry power where they are used.
• God terms carry blessings, demand sacrifice and obedience. E.g. progress, value. • Devil terms are reviled and evoke disgust. E.g. fascist, pedophile. • Charismatic Terms are not like God and Devil terms, which are associated with observable things. These terms are more intangible. E.g. freedom, contribution.

These terms can change, and God or Charisma terms that are over-used can turn into Devil terms. They are also sometimes called power words, especially by sales people. Words used in sales often appeal to basic needs, such as:
• • • • • • • • • Safety: guarantee, proven Control: powerful, strong Understanding: because, as, so, truth, real Greed: money, cash, save, win, free, more Health: safe, healthy, well Belonging: belong, happy, good, feel Esteem: exclusive, only, admired Identity: you, (their name), we Novelty: new, discover

Negative words are also used in this context to scare people into action. These often address those self-same needs, but now from the opposite direction:
• • • • • • • • • Safety: dangerous, Control: uncertain, scarce Understanding: change, complicated Greed: lose, stolen Health: unhealthy, sick, old Belonging: wrong, alone, rejected Esteem: ridicule, laughed at Identity: they, he Novelty: outdated, unfashionable

‘Quality’ was a God term in many companies during the TQM era of the early 1990s. Then it became a Devil term as those companies got it wrong and needed to blame something. 131

So what?

Using it
Know the terms, and employ them well. Misuse them at your peril. There are many crass advertisements that beat ultimate terms to death. To be effective, they must be subtle, and done with a light touch. If the listener/reader realizes what you are trying to do, not only will this take the effectiveness out of the words, it will also cause a negative reaction.

Listen to the use of ultimate terms. Where people are abusing them, let them know you know. If necessary, expose their trickery.

Weak Ties Theory
Explanations > Theories > Weak Ties Theory Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References

We have both friends and acquaintances. Our friends are often a part of a close-knit group who largely know one another. Our acquaintances are far less likely to know one another. In terms of connection with general society and staying in touch with what is going on in the wider world, the weak ties with our acquaintances are paradoxically much more important than the inwardly-focused conversations with our closer friends. Indeed, the information we discuss with our friends often comes from wider sources. In the familiarity of strong ties we use simple restricted codes, where much is implicit and taken for granted. In communicating through the weak ties, we need more explicit elaborated codes for meaning to be fully communicated. When elaborating, we have more scope for creativity and the thought that it stimulates makes innovation more likely. The more weak ties we have, the more connected to the world we are and are more likely to receive important information about ideas, threats and opportunities in time to respond to them. Societies and social systems that have more weak ties are more likely to be dynamic and innovative. If the system is mostly made up of strong ties, then it will be fragmented and uncoordinated. Some weak ties are better than others. Weak ties to friends of your friends are not as useful as weak ties elsewhere as the information and further connections are likely to be similar to those of your friends. Weak ties that join separate social groups are called bridges. You can also find absent ties, where you might expect a tie but it does not exist, for example in a group of friends where two people are still distant from one another. As there are usually more people in lower classes, they have greater choice of friends and greater chance of finding similar 'people like me' and so compensate by having more strong ties. Economic uncertainty also leads to the search for contingencies and


poorer people invest far more in building multiple strong ties who will directly help them if they are in difficulty. However this may serve to anchor their status further and reduce the chance of upward social mobility. Upper class people are more relaxed about weak ties and so tend to have more. However, they have to resort to expensive clubs and other filtering mechanisms to find 'people like them' with whom they can build stronger ties. The modern approach to business networking is based on the principle of weak ties: having a wide range of acquaintances can be far more helpful than having just a few good friends. Weak ties are also useful for activists who need to mobilize large protest or action groups. Weak ties are the channels of culture and are woven into successful organisations where many know many others on first-name terms. Three types of weak ties that may be found in towns and cities are social (casual friendship), community (eg. neighbors) and profesional (job-related).

Granovetter's original 1973 research into the subject looked at how people find jobs. He discovered that information about jobs that led to employment was more likely to come from the weak ties with acquaintances than from closer friends. There were several moderators of this finding, for example that this 'weak ties finds jobs' was more common in higher status individuals, and that people who had been out of work for longer were more likely to find jobs via their stronger ties.

I have a wide circle of people I know, including many on the internet I have never met. I hear from one of these about a new communications system. I introduce this at my workplace and get many plaudits for my innovation and ability to be 'at the leading edge'.

So What?

Using it
Balance the comfort of close friends with the stimulation of external connection and exploration. Build a network of people you connect with occasionally. Keep tabs on them and feed them with useful information from time to time. Listen to them and ask for ideas and help with problem-solving. You can also help change in organizations by encouraging weak ties between groups. One bridge can lead to a lot more harmony. Leaders and innovators in particular can make great use of weak ties.

Watch for casual friends who are becoming somewhat of a drain on you. Back off if the social balance is upset too much

Yale Attitude Change Approach
Explanations > Theories > Yale Attitude Change Approach


Description | Example | So What? | See also | References

A Yale University multi-year, multi-project research into persuasive communication showed (amongst other things): Who (source of communication):
• The speaker should be credible and attractive to the audience.

Says what (nature of communication):
• Messages should not appear to be designed to persuade. • Present two-sided arguments (refuting the ‘wrong’ argument, of course). • If two people are speaking one after the other, it is best to go first (primacy effect). • If two people are speaking with a delay between them, it is best to go last (recency effect).

To whom (the nature of the audience)
• • • Distract them during the persuasion Lower intelligence and moderate self-esteem helps. The best age range is 18-25.

Watch politicians. They do this wonderfully well. They look great. They talk through the other side's argument, making it first seem reasonable then highlighting all their problems. It all seems to be just common sense spoken by a really nice person...

So what?

Using it
So use the advice. And note the point about 'not appearing to be designed to persuade'. People with new understanding about persuasion can get too enthusiastic about using it, quickly getting to the point where the other people know what they are doing.

See also

Persuasion principles
Much of persuasion and other forms of changing minds is based on a relatively small number of principles. If you can understand the principles, then you can invent your own techniques. It thus makes sense to spend time to understand these principles (persuaded yet?).
• Alignment: When everything lines up, there are no contradictions to cause disagreement. • Amplification: Make the important bits bigger and other bits smaller.


• Appeal: If asked nicely, we will follow the rules we have made for ourselves. • Arousal: When I am aroused I am full engaged and hence more likely to pay attention. • Association: Our thoughts are connected. Think one thing and the next is automatic. • Assumption: Acting as if something is true often makes it true. • Attention: Make sure they are listening before you try to sell them something. • Authority: Use your authority and others will obey. • Bonding: I will usually do what my friends ask of me, without negotiation. • Closure: Close the door of thinking and the deal is done. • Completion: We need to complete that which is started. • Confidence: If I am confident, then you can be confident. • Confusion: A drowning person will clutch at a straw. So will a confused one. • Consistency: We like to maintain consistency between what we think, say and do. • Contrast: We notice and decide by difference between two things, not absolute measures. • Daring: If you dare me to do something, I daren't not do it. • Deception: Convincing by trickery. • Dependence: If you are dependent on me, I can use this as a lever to persuade you. • Distraction: If I distract your attention, I can then slip around your guard. • Evidence: I cannot deny what I see with my own eyes. • Exchange: if I do something for you, then you are obliged to do something for me. • Experience: I cannot deny what I experience for myself. • Fragmentation: Break up the problem into agreeable parts. • Framing: Meaning depends on context. So control the context. • Harmony: Go with the flow to build trust and create subtle shifts. • Hurt and Rescue: Make them uncomfortable then throw them a rope. • Interest: If I am interested then I will pay attention. • Investment: If I have invested in something, I do not want to waste that investment. • Involvement: Action leads to commitment. • Logic: What makes sense must be true. • Objectivity: Standing back decreases emotion and increases logic. • Obligation: Creating a duty that must be discharged. • Ownership: I am committed to that which I own. • Passion: Enthusiasm is catching. • Perception: Perception is reality. So manage it. • Persistence: In all things, persistence pays. • Pull: Create attraction that pulls people in. • Push: I give you no option but to obey. • Repetition: If something happens often enough, I will eventually be persuaded. • Scarcity: I want now what I may not be able to get in the future. • Similarity: We trust people who are like us or who are similar to people we like. • Social Proof: When uncertain we take cues other people. • Specificity: People fill in the gaps in vague statements. • Substitution: Put them into the story. • Surprise: When what happens is not what I expect, I must rethink my understanding. • Tension: I will act to reduce the tension gaps I feel.


• Threat: If my deep needs are threatened, I will act to protect them. • Trust: If I trust you, I will accept your truth and expose my vulnerabilities. • Uncertainty: When I am not sure, I will seek to become more certain. • Understanding: If I understand you, then I can interact more accurately with you. • Unthinking: Go by the subconscious route

Arousal principle
Principles > Arousal principle Principle | How it works | So what?

When I am aroused I am full engaged and hence more likely to pay attention. When my emotions are stimulated, my ability to make rational decisions is reduced, making me easier to influence.

How it works
Arousal occurs when the mind spots something that is important, often as a threat to basic needs although it can also be something that could help us achieve our goals.

Physiology of arousal
Arousal is a physical state which can range from a gentle increase in interest to full-on fight-or-flight reaction, where the whole biology of the body is changed. Think of a time when you were aroused by something. You probably experienced bodily sensations of some kind. There may have been a powerful tingling shooting up your spine. Your might have had a hot flush rushing up you neck and around your face. You toes or fingers may have twitched. Physical arousal happens when you hear a sudden loud noise or something or someone makes you feel threatened. It also happens when you interest is piqued or an attractive other person flirts with you (or even just walks by).

Emotional arousal
When needs or goals are affected, either by threat or opportunity, we become emotionally engaged. When emotionally aroused, our rationality reduces, making us more likely to make rash decisions. Hence emotionally aroused people are more open to carefully-placed persuasive methods. Emotional arousal often happens alongside physical arousal (and it is not always clear which comes first).

Ready for action
When a person is aroused, their whole body is poised for action and they are very easy to tip into doing things, possibly with relatively little thought about the consequences. Think about the motivating speeches of leaders. Consider the threats of competitors. Remember when you were last in an auction. When you were aroused, you were ready to act at a moment's notice.

So what?

• Information Manipulation Theory: Breaking one of the four conversational maxims to persuade. Woffle. Watch the body language. They approach the lecture trembling and weeping. • Manner: things will be presented in a way that enables others to understand and with aligned non-verbal language. especially you find yourself changing your mind as a result. 137 . Seek corroborating evidence. To manage your own arousal and those you seek to help. going off the subject and confusing the other person. • Quality: information given will be truthful and correct. Probe for detail. So what? Using it Persuade by omitting information. Defending Question what you are told. Use excuses. • Interpersonal Deception Theory: lying is a dynamic dance of liar and listener Information Manipulation Theory Explanations > Theories > Information Manipulation Theory Description | Example | So What? | See also | References Description In order to persuade or deceive. Be economical with the truth.If you want somebody to act quickly. Beware in doing this that you do not wind them up so much they go in the opposite direction. consider building aspects of Emotional Intelligence. Example A student is late handing in an essay. saying how they have just been dumped by their long-term partner and forgot to hand in the essay (they had done it in time. telling untruths. wind them up with direct or indirect threats or other immediate things that lead to them to a heightened state of arousal. honestly!). • Relation: information will be relevant to the subject matter of the conversation in hand. • Four-factor Model: there are four underlying things happening when people lie. Theories about lies Explanations > Theories > Theories about lies Here are academic theories about how we tell lies to other people. a person deliberately breaks one of the four conversational maxims: • Quantity: Information given will be full (as per expected by the listener) and without omission.

also are used. at the same time as a significant event (such as being asked an embarrassing question) and when it is unlikely that the other person is trying to control their non-verbal behavior. Example Try the difference between listening to someone with your eyes closed and listening/watching with your eyes open. Later studies showed the situation to be more complex. Beware of popular myths about body language (such as crossing arms signifying defensiveness). Research Mehrabian (1971) found that non-verbal aspects were a significant part of communication. Many such anecdotes are at best dangerous half-truths. It can be used for: • Expressing emotion (e. Non-verbal behavior is commonly called body language. So what? Using it Read the other person’s non-verbal behavior. Non-Verbal Behavior. staring to show aggression) • Demonstrating personality traits (e. Be careful when controlling it. disgust. if a person is not moving. although the six major emotions (anger. with percentages varying with the situation or even with individual things being said. smiling to show happiness) • Conveying attitudes (e. happiness and surprise) are common across the world. The face is used a great deal.See also Persuasion.g. Body language is most significant when they appear in clusters. sadness. Theories about trust. It is often subconscious. Also spot mixed messages for when the voice says one thing body says another—this can be a sign of attempted deception.g. It is much easier to understand when you are watching them. shrugs. Hand signals. Watch for changes in response to your communications. fear. Watch your own body language too for signs of what your subconscious is thinking. then words and tone take far greater proportion. as this can lead perceived mixed messages from you. Expectancy Violations Theory Non-Verbal Behavior Explanations > Theories > Non-Verbal Behavior Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description The communication without words. particularly when mixed messages are sent. For example. open palms to show accepting qualities) • Supporting verbal communication Non-verbal behavior also varies across cultures (such as the ‘ok’ finger O). 138 . head movements.g. etc.

Defending Watch your own and other’s non-verbal behavior. In fact this is impossible and leakage often occurs. Use the above pointers to detect when others are lying. blinking. we usually have to think a lot harder. for example where we are controlling our face and our legs give us away. Use it to improve your understanding of what is going on. duping delight. there are four underlying mechanisms at work: • Arousal: Lying causes anxiety and arousal. vocal pitch. Like nonverbal behavior. Many other indicators have been found. blinking. Body language Mehrabian's communication study Four-factor Model Explanations > Theories > Four-factor Model Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description When people tell lies. especially in front of someone (like the police) who are trained to spot lies. or due to fear of getting caught. We also tend to use more generalities to avoid getting trapped by specific detail. however. Guilt may also appear. Otherwise. Research Zuckerman et al. such as to ensure coherence in our arguments. Non-Verbal Behavior 139 . especially at the subconscious level. This can be detected via lie detectors. Example Poker players often wear dark glasses to hide the dilation of their pupils when they are aroused that they cannot control. For example. So what? Using it Do not lie. • Emotion: Our emotions change when we are lying. This leads us to take longer in speaking with more pauses. • Behavior control: We try to control body language that might give us away. See also Interpersonal Deception Theory. repetitions. higher vocal pitch and pupil dilation. such as fidgeting. speech errors and hesitations. Micro-motions in facial muscles can betray hidden emotions. • Thinking: To lie. Make conscious decisions. found pupil dilation to be a fairly good indicator of deception. either because of dissonance at conflicting values and behavior. they are often masters of controlling their non-verbal behavior. fidgeting and displacement activity. where the liar is secretly pleased at their perceived success. etc. no single method is guaranteed to work each time. See also Expectancy Violations Theory.

For example their face may be more impassive and body more rigid. • Strategically control behavior: to suppress signals that might indicate that they are lying. • Human Resources: Providing the right people for organizations. This section digs directly into the literature of these subjects to bring you some of the key aspects of the major disciplines of changing minds. they can extricate themselves. • Change Management: Creating change in organizations. hold their hands behind their backs. • Image management: for example by smiling and nodding more. • Job-finding: One of the most critical skills you may need. • Argument: Classical argumentation. principles and general techniques lies the many professions in which changing minds is a core discipline. watch for the above behavioral patterns. Liar behavior includes: • Manipulating information: to distance themselves from the message. Thus they use vague generalities and talk about other people. • Coaching: Helping people develop. See also Four-factor Model Disciplines Above explanations. critical thinking and logic. • Leadership: Leading people requires much influencing of what people 140 . so if the message is found to be false. Example Watch small children who have found out about lying. At that age they are very flexible and learn fast. changing their thoughts in response to each other’s moves. They point at their siblings. • Communication: Connecting with one another. People who are liars themselves tend to be better at detecting lying because they know the techniques better. • The disciplines list: A long list of disciplines that seek to change minds. Before long they can pull the wool very well over their parent's eyes.Interpersonal Deception Theory Explanations > Theories > Interpersonal Deception Theory Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description Lying happens in a dynamic interaction where liar and listener dance around one another. put on their best 'innocent' expression. So what? Using it To detect liars. • Brand management: Includes subtle changing of minds from a distance.

 Games: The games we play to handle life. Explanations Underpinning all of these are many sound academic researches and theories which form the deeper explanations for how persuasions work. o Trust: The social glue that is the gateway to persuasion. o Values: The rules we live by (in order to live with others). 141 . o Decisions: The processes by which we weigh up choices and build intent.  Conditioning: Pavlov's dogs. o Gender: Differences between men and women. o Culture: How we socially act together. • Negotiation: Request. • Storytelling: Using stories to change minds. recognize and recall. concession and exchange.  Body language: Basic non-verbals. o Goals: The things we try to achieve to meet our needs o Memory: How we store. • Workplace design: The places where we work affect how we feel. Including: o Needs: Details and models about these pre-programmed systems. o Brain stuff: Deeper stuff about how the brain works. o Preferences: The biases that we apply to our choices. Explanations include: • Academic Theories: Lots of academic theories: o In an alphabetic list o And also in clusters of similar theories. o Emotions: How we feel the way we do (and are drive to action). • Warfare: Fighting the enemy.  Coping Mechanisms: How we handle stress (includes Freudian Defense Mechanisms). • Politics: Power and influence in the large. • Sociology: Understanding and supporting society. • Sales: Perhaps the most direct and obvious discipline for changing minds.  Lying: Telling fibs. o Understanding body language: Non-verbal communication. o Critical Theory: Deep challenge. o Meaning: The meaning we make from our experiences.think. • Motivation: The overall subject of what drives us (and where changing minds often needs to be). • Processing: The thinking that leads to action. o Beliefs: The bedrock of our assumptions. • Other stuff: o Behaviors: That result from our decisions. • Propaganda: covert persuasion of populations. including lots on:  Addiction: Getting hooked. o Our unique SIFT Model that provides a simple model for understanding what goes on inside our heads. • Teaching: Educating others (mostly young people). • Rhetoric: The art of persuasive language. • Psychoanalysis: Freud and beyond.

Where we get it and how we use it. often in the workplace. am superior'. Kathleen Reardon describes how men damage women's confidence. 'I'm sorry. o Social Research: philosophers. often where men deliberately or accidentally undermine women. do they?'. where you can be more assertive. Dysfunctional Communication Explanations > Gender > Dysfunctional Communication Dismissing | Retaliation | Patronizing | Exclusion | Undermining | See also In her book 'They Don't Get It. A woman can disarm a man quickly by calling on his chivalrous nature. Women's Language: Lakoff's analysis of female verbage. • • • • • Dysfunctional Communication: Problem male behavioral patterns. can I finish?' If necessary.o Identity: Complexities of the self. Maybe also indicate how it makes him look. o Learning Theory: How we get to make sense. Here are the basic patterns plus some thoughts about how women can respond. o Groups: How groups and teams of people behave. 142 . It says 'you are unimportant' and 'I. o Stress: What winds us up. status causes different styles. She calls these 'Dysfunctional Communication Patterns'. as a man. Describe the behavior and how it makes you feel. o Power: Our capability to act. or 'DCP's. Another approach is to approach the man offline. Gender Explanations > Gender Men and women are not the same and gender differences are at the root of many communication and influencing issues. touch them gently on the arm. o Personality: What makes us who we are. o Psychoanalysis: From the early years. A simple response is to smile and say sweetly. To refuse such a request would paint him as a cad and few will decline. interrupt or talk over women. Dismissing This is where men ignore. Feminism: Truth is not androcentric Feminism and Identity: When does gender identity start? Genderlect: Seeking connection vs. Men also do this to other men in their particular game of hierarchy and dominance. philosophies and the search for meaning.

Patronizing Men who patronize women frame them internally in 'women's roles' such as a 'housewife' or daughter. commenting on his rudeness and rebutting what is likely to be a weak argument. you can never give your all to your employer. this may also offer a case for formal complaint. and talk to them as if they are inferior. you can respond directly. either individually or as a whole group. such as consulting your local HR specialist. Other women are also likely to support you. stupid or both. You may also be able to get yourself into a gatekeeper or veto position where you are able to block decisions that are not made without consulting you. This behavior is likely to more openly rude and aggressive. such as offering supportive thoughts about other family duties (with the implication that. you poor thing. If you take this route. although it may also dig you deeper into the 'emotional incompetent' frame. be careful to follow the rules. from his mother onwards. 143 . A typical sign of exclusion thinking is when a man says something to another man then turns and apologizes to the woman. Exclusion One of the problems of a mostly-male environment is that women can get excluded as meetings and decisions get made without consulting or involving them. You may want to discuss this with other women to see if they are having similar experiences. such as meeting after work when you have to go home to manage the family. Undermining Men will sometimes undermine women. You can also raise your eyebrows and look at other men. such as out-arguing him with cold logic. who may come to your rescue. like men can). This can take subtle forms. A better approach is often to do something that the 'little woman' would not do. A single word or just a raised eyebrow can be terribly destructive and very depressing. An angry response can shock them out of this. Making verbal comment may easily make things worse. Comments may even seem positive. Depending on the situation and your preferences. In the workplace. This can be very subtle and very difficult to counter. Getting advice from outside the team may also help.Retaliation Sometimes men act toward one woman as if she is a combination of all the women who have ever slighted him. Men who have been unlucky in love can become like this (and maybe it is why they have been unlucky in love). A way of getting around this is to sniff around to find out where exclusive meetings are happening (for example online calendars may be openly visible) and then just turning up. Men who cannot see a woman as a colleague or an equal human will casually flirt or trivialize in sometimes shocking ways. although this may depend on how they have been affected by the bully.

• Postmodern feminist: criticizes standpoints and see no perfect answer. noting the bias and male values that is inherent in this. especially in past centuries. Feminist postmodernists take the usual postmodern position of deconstructing and negating all other methods but without putting much in their place. as we live our life through our schema and scripts. including racism.g. Yet values and bias creep in unnoticed. Feminism falls down when it seeks to counterbalance rather than equalize. The fact that many scientists. they perpetuate what they are trying to eradicate. were male did not help this blindness. Indeed. which leads to misperceptions about women.See also Assertiveness Feminism Explanations > Social Research > Philosophies of Social Research > Feminism Principle | Discussion | See also Principle Much research has an androcentric (male) bias. including radical and socialist. Feminist Empiricists focus on the science and empiricism. both in copying the methods and in the counter-counteraction that they create (e. By creating an opposite. factual. in Bly's 'Iron John'). Thus feminists may take an aggressive oppositional stance. Discussion Research tries to maintain an unbiased. • Feminist standpoint: takes various positions. it is part of the nature of postmodernism to view confusion as a normal state. Feminism is also the tip of the iceberg and any form of bias can take similar positions. etc. for example criticizing the subjugation of women in the family home. Feminist standpoints take particular positions. but in doing so adopt androcentric methods. See also Positivism Feminism and Identity Explanations > Identity > Feminism and Identity Description | Discussion | See also 144 . Variations on Feminism include: • Feminist empiricism: which sees androcentric science just as 'bad science'. ageism. value-free position.

rather than being biological. Rose Jaqueline Rose uses Lacan to argue that: • Sexual identity is acquired in the Oedipal crisis. Rather than completely revoking this theory. have something unobtainable beyond the phallic power relationship. not a penis. Laura Mulvey (1975) described the 'male gaze' in movies. thus breaking away from Lacan's 'phallic logic' interpretations. This is jouissance. Women do not 'fit' the subject positions into which they are interpellated. prior to the Oedipus complex and languaging in symbolic register. Men are seen to fantasize themselves as 'sutured' into the position of the all-powerful phallus. for men. the significant 'Other' and are positioned as subordinate in the 'phallic economy'. it also may be claimed as having superiority and equipping the female with the power to handle the Law of the father without being subjugated within the symbolic order. explaining how men and women become separated and different. which gives women the power to resist the subject position put upon them. Being earlier. • Sexual identities are always unfinished. that it comes only from the patriarchal relations of the symbolic order. • The phallus is a symbol. Discussion Feminism has particularly tried to escape the Freudian/Lacanian version of infant sexuality that is dominated by the power of the phallus and the father. 145 . From a feminist perspective. Their unconscious 'unpicks' such positions. to men. • Sexual differentiation is symbolically valued in patriarchy. feminists have sought a space in which feminine identity might develop separately. She equate women with the jouissance that men desire. rather being that which escapes or is left over from the phallic economy of the symbolic. They suggest the pre-Oedipal phase as a basis for femininity. • Women are subjected by symbolic relations of power rather than being naturally inferior. rather than being innate. The pre-Oedipal stage provides this space. Women. Julia Kristeva's notion of 'chora' indicates the infant sensation of the mother as a basis for identity. where the camera and hence the viewer is invited to view women in voyeuristic and objectifying terms. French feminism French feminism rejects the Lacanian/Rose view that there is 'no feminine outside language'. Luce Irirgaray uses the girl's many fluid and subversive experiences of her own body as a basis for identity. Women still. symbolize the 'lost object'.Description Feminism in identity seeks to understand the separation of sexual and gender identities.

whilst men have a deep drive to seek status. To create rapport and connection. men will avoid intangibles that may be challenged and prefer 'solid' facts. For example. using talk as a way of gaining rapport and connection with others. They may also be drowned out by the men. women will talk more about feelings. there is less opportunity for creating individual relationships and so they may talk less. In seeking status. taking an authoritative or expert stance that puts them above others and discourages interruption. Emotion and rapport In seeking connection. superior and inferior -. The public stage brings out their competitive instinct and they will vie with other men to be top dog. They prefer facts and taking objective positions and will tend to 'tell' others. The Chora. In seeking status. Nevertheless. men will tend avoid emotion as a sign of weakness. Private and public Women talk more in private conversations. Thus. Men talk more when in a public forum. these are a significant source of difference. A useful way of viewing this that she uses is that they are as different cultures. as a Japanese and French person conversing would take account of each others different cultural styles. In public. Connection and status The fundamental difference that drives much other behavior is that women have a deep drive to seek connection. where their audience has the power to recognize them and give them the status they seek. Of course there are other goals that men and women seek. unless they are using in an way that does not expose them to attack. They will include more emotional elements in their talk and will encourage others to do the same. Listening and interrupting Women will listen just to create empathy as well as to find hooks by which to connect better to the other person. Movies and identity Genderlect Explanations > Gender > Genderlect Connection and status | Emotion and rapport | Private and public | Listening and interrupting | Jokes and stories | Conflict | See also Deborah Tannen coined the term 'Genderlect' to describe the way that the conversation of men and women are not right and wrong. relationships and people. they will use emphasized intensifiers such as 'so' and 'such' ('I was so happy'. so also should men and women understand and take account of the very real differences of the other.they are just different. 'He is such an idiot').See also Infant sexuality. They will listen carefully and attentively for a long period 146 .

should disagreement occur. solving complex problems. This creates more empathetic connection with their audience. they are the heroes and intellectuals. Men thus initiate far more conflict than women. Where they do interrupt it is to show support or to ask questions to better understand the other person. who (especially if status levels are unclear) may well challenge back. for a woman. In women's stories. and some may question the whole. I sort of looked at him. Men's conversations will thus tend to jump around different topics as they compete to take the lead. Thus. Men. when given an order. When they put themselves in their stories. Men thus tend to use jokes more and use stories. establishing who has more status and position. they can put others down and hence raise their own status. See also Women's Language Explanations > Gender > Women's Language These are ten elements of the language that women use. It would be also do do a duplicate study now and see how much of this has changed since the 1970s. etc. Men will avoid asking questions as this exposes their limitations and hands back control to the other person. not all women use all of this language all of the time. They will tell about how they and others have been emotionally hurt. on the other hand use interruption as a power play by which they can grab attention and demonstrate status. Well. such as 'sort of'. Conflict Conflict. is a process whereby connections are reduced. In jokes. will use conflict as a short-cut to gaining status. qualifying statements with non-absolute language. Men. whilst women will allow a conversation to go on for a long time in order to achieve greater relationship depth. as identified by Robin Lakoff in 1975. they are more often the victims. and so they will work hard to avoid them. Then I guess I kept looking. 'I guess'. A short. 147 . sharp fight quickly establishes the hierarchical order that they prefer. Hedging Hedging provides a way out. when the boss interrupts. leading the charge and saving the day. In a male-dominated business meeting. 1.without interrupting. on the other hand. women will be more likely to comply than a man. and then he kind of looked back. others will immediately allow this to happen. Jokes and stories A way of talking about people whilst avoiding emotional embroilment is to either tell detached stories or to use humor that trivializes and/or separates. Of course. particularly in a third-person objective style.

Declarations with interrogative intonation Statements are made. although they are do not add any particularly meaningful content. 7. wouldn't you? 4. "Why not?" 9. That sounds like a good thing to do? Deception principle Principles > Deception principle Principle | How it works | So what? 148 . Extended vocabulary Rather than simple language. I would be very appreciative if you could show me the way. Tag questions Tag questions added to the end of a statement do not change the statement." So I said. 3. even quoting people who quote other people. with a royal blue tracer. What a charming and sweet young man you are! 6. but using the intonation used for questions. I really want you to know I am so grateful. Colloquialisms and slang are used far less than men. Lack of humor Humor is not used very much and jokes are very seldom told. "I won't do it. 8. rising at the end of the statement. Thus. either putting the speaker in an inferior position or seeking to be thoughtful and non-threatening towards the other person. 5. Politeness Politeness is taken to more extreme forms. You would do that. Correct grammar and pronunciation Care is taken to be correct with language and speech. Emotional emphasis The emotional content of sentences are increased through the use of intonation that emphasizes and exaggerates emotional. for example a precise language is used to describe colors. 10. but I really appreciate it if if you could take a little time to help me. although they do seek agreement. Do excuse me. You are so very kind. vocabulary is extended to use descriptive language. Direct quotations The words that people said are often quoted. The walls should be cerise.2. Empty adjectives Adjectives are applied to soften and add friendly elements to the sentence. Then she said that he said.

a sucker born every day. then you will be able to tell any lie with complete conviction. untruths and other forms of deception. as much communication is through body language and voice tone. See also Lying Confidence tricks Techniques > Confidence tricks Articles | Examples | So what There is. and of course there are many confidence tricksters around who are all too ready to relieve them of their wealth. Elaborate deception More elaborate deceptions can be used that include factors such as: • • • Collaborative lying: many people telling the same story. How it works In order to live with one another. They will exploit the incautious and naive and offer something for nothing as an appeal to our natural desires. Manipulating evidence: changing what people see/experience. Two main levers of confidence tricksters are gullibility and greed. 149 . The golden rule of deception is management of the other person's perception such that they do not know any deception is happening. To successfully tell lies. The results of such lying is that the other person receives a mixed message and may well detect the deception. according to legend. This is how actors are able to successfully assimilate other characters and draw you into the story plot. you need first to be able to lie to yourself. Economy with the truth A variant of lying which is not really lying is to tell the truth but leave out those things that are inconvenient. Confidence tricks: highly elaborate deceptions. Telling lies Lies are very difficult to tell face-to-face. So what? Be very careful with deception: if the other person finds out then they may well act in a betrayed manner. illusions and downright lies.Principle Alter the other person's perception by tricks. The result is that the overall message is some way from the whole truth and may persuade people to do things they would not do if they knew everything. If you totally believe what you are saying. most people largely trust other people for most of the time. taking revenge on you in ways that far outweigh the damage you have done with your deception. This lays them open to untruths.

There are but a sample that illustrate the ingenuity of confidence tricksters -. Charity collection: Collecting for fake charity.and the gullibility of Joe Public. Valet parking: by car thieves. So what So for goodness sake be careful where you place your trust. And of course don't stoop to harming others in such ways as these. Don't collaborate in anything illegal. See also Confidence tricks links Four Factors in Facial Expression Explanations > Behaviors > Lying > Four Factors in Facial Expression Morphology | Timing | Symmetry | Cohesion | So what? When reviewing facial expressions there are four factors you can use. Con tricks are at best immoral and at worst highly illegal. typically between about half a second and four seconds. especially with people you don't know. Darwin described the 'inhibition hypothesis' where emotions involuntarily leak out. Similarly. 150 . particularly when considering the possibility that the person is telling lies. typically holding the expression for too long. ATM Security: Fraud at the bank machine. When people fake expressions they seldom get the timing right. Movie auditions: for aspiring stars. Morphology The shape of the facial expression is different when emotion is felt as compared with when the expression is faked.Articles • Gullibility: Are there easy targets? Examples There are more con tricks than days in the year. Duchenne identified a genuine smile as using the orbicularis oculi muscle around the eyes which cannot easily be consciously manipulated. Don't be greedy and be especially careful where you seem to be getting something very cheaply or for nothing. • • • • • • The Antique Toy: Cheating the cheater. Timing We do not normally hold some facial expressions for long periods and natural expressions (notably smiles) have definable durations. Bootleg video: Sell bootleg DVDs that are actually blank.

with emotional components being displayed more intensely on the left side of the face (although brain hemisphere dominance could possibly reverse this). Bill Clinton's 'that woman' remark). There may also be misalignment between words. whilst spontaneous emotional displays are more symmetrical. Most people miss this although recognizing these short displays is a learnable skill. Other indicators include slips of the tongue. When language is that which is not normally used. changes in emphasis. See also Using Body Language Senior man with sad expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 151 . such as gestural slips which are physical equivalents of speech errors and indicate internal conflicting thoughts. This includes hesitations. particularly in their facial expressions as well as their speech and broader body language. implausible statements. Symmetry It has been noted that faked emotional displays can be asymmetrical. So what? So use these four areas as guides when watching the other person. contradictions between what is said at different times and statements that contradict known facts.Paul Ekman has also identified 'micro-expressions' as very brief flashes that betray inner feelings. each agreeing with the other. tone and body language. Cohesion When people tell the truth. such as when the corners of the mouth momentarily turn down in showing disgust. their whole speech and non-verbal language are cohesive. it can indicate lying. speech errors and indirect or distancing language (eg.

Mature man looking into the distance with a shocked expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man with disinterested expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man frowning Creatas Photos 152 .

Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man with headache Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man with disgusted look on his face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Stressed mature man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man laughing in dismay 153 .

Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man laughing in dismay Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man laughing in dismay Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Stressed out man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 154 .

Stressed out man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Frustrated man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man screaming at cell phone Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 155 .

Man laughing Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man with contemplative expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mature man with contemplative expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Sad man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 156 .

Sad man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 157 .

Man sticking out tongue Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man with serious look on face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman growling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 158 .

Woman laughing Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman laughing Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman laughing Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 159 .

Woman smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Teen girl sticking out tongue Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Teen girl smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Teen girl saluting Creatas Photos 160 .

Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Teen girl shading eyes Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Teen girl making circles around eyes with hands Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Teen girl smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 161 .

Man with serious expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man with serious expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman with shocked expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 162 .

Woman with shocked expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman with a serious expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman with a serious expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 163 .

Woman with a serious expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman with a serious expression Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Stressed out woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 164 .

Smiling girl Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Boy making circles around eyes with hands Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Boy making circles around eyes with hands Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Girl with mischievous look on face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 165 .

Girl making face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Depressed woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Depressed woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman winking Creatas Photos 166 .

Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman winking Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Excited woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Woman smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 167 .

Teen boy puffing out cheeks Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Mischievous smiling boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 168 .

Boy sticking out tongue Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Satisfied boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Boy pouting Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Boy making a face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 169 .

Growling boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Boy with tongue sticking out Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling boy Creatas Photos 170 .

Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Boy holding eyes open Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Serious woman with hand on chin Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 171 .

Smiling woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling woman Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling man Creatas Photos 172 .

Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Depressed teen girl Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Depressed teen girl Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man screaming Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 173 .

Man screaming Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Excited man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man with confounded look on his face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 174 .

Man with confounded look on his face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Scared man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man holding out hand Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 175 .

Man making a goofy face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man making a goofy face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Man smiling Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 176 .

Surprised teen boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Shocked teen boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Smiling boy Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 177 .

Young girl making silly face Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Serious young girl Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Stressed out man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free 178 .

(January 2009) 179 . Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. search This article needs additional citations for verification. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Serious man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Serious man Creatas Photos Add to Lightbox RF Royalty Free Facial expression From Wikipedia. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation.

[citation needed] a person who is trying to avoid insult to an individual he or she finds highly unattractive might nevertheless show a brief expression of disgust before being able to reassume a neutral expression. Through electric stimulation. Facial expressions and their significance in the perceiver can. disgust and fear can be tough to tell apart. Others.[citation needed] Because faces have only a limited range of movement. expressions rely upon fairly minuscule differences in the proportion and relative position of facial features. because their proportions naturally resemble those another face would temporarily assume when emoting. Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication. even when they are neutral. are difficult to interpret even in familiar individuals. because expressions are closely tied to emotion. to some extent. but also occur in most other mammals and some other animal species. These movements convey the emotional state of the individual to observers. however. They are a primary means of conveying social information among humans. and reading them requires considerable sensitivity to same. they are more often involuntary.[citation needed] Some expressions can be accurately interpreted even between members of different species. For instance. which compared facial expressions in humans to those in animals.anger and extreme contentment being the primary examples.[1][verification needed] Humans can adopt a facial expression as a voluntary action. It can be nearly impossible to avoid expressions for certain emotions.Photographs from the 1862 book Mécanisme de la Physionomie Humaine by Guillaume Duchenne. Some faces are often falsely read as expressing some emotion. However.[citation needed] The close link between emotion and expression can also work in the other direction. A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the muscles of the face.[citation needed] 180 . even when it would be strongly desirable to do so. Duchenne determined which muscles were responsible for different facial expressions. it has been observed that voluntarily assuming an expression can actually cause the associated emotion. vary between cultures. Charles Darwin would later republish some of these photographs in his own work on the subject.

but universal across human cultures. Findings on contempt are less clear. regardless of cultural background. The South Fore people of New Guinea were chosen as subjects for one such survey. Ekman's work on facial expressions had its starting point in the work of psychologist Silvan Tomkins. disgust. and regardless of whether or not the culture has been isolated or exposed to the mainstream.[1][verification needed] 181 . up to the mid-20th century most anthropologists believed that facial expressions were entirely learned and could therefore differ among cultures. both with man and animals.. and surprise. fear. they were then shown three pictures (two for children) of facial expressions and asked to match the picture which expressed the story's emotion. Studies conducted in the 1960s by Paul Ekman eventually supported Darwin's belief to a large degree. sadness.Contents [hide] • • • • • • • 1 Universality debate 2 Communication o 2. The study concluded that certain facial expressions correspond to particular emotions. While the isolated South Fore people could identify emotions with the same accuracy as the non-isolated control group.[citation needed] Still.the young and the old of widely different races. Participants were told a story that described one particular emotion. problems associated with the study include the fact that both fear and surprise were constantly misidentified. Expressions Ekman found to be universal included those indicating anger. facial expressions of emotion are not culturally determined. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references.[2] Ekman showed that contrary to the belief of some anthropologists including Margaret Mead. express the same state of mind by the same movements.[3] More recent studies in 2009 show that people from different cultures are likely to interpret facial expressions in different ways. The study consisted of 189 adults and 130 children from among a very isolated population.2 Face overall 3 Facial expressions 4 The muscles of facial expression 5 See also 6 References 7 External links [edit] Universality debate This section needs additional citations for verification. joy. as well as twenty three members of the culture who lived a less isolated lifestyle as a control group.. (March 2010) Charles Darwin noted in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals: . though there is at least some preliminary evidence that this emotion and its expression are universally recognized.1 Eye contact o 2. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

A person's eyes reveal much about how they are feeling. but the same intensity of emotion may not be perceived. manifests warmth. and between men and women in Islam. these expressions are the same. and similarly eye contact is avoided in Nigeria. which in many situations may prove to be inappropriate. Showing anger toward another member in a group may create problems and 182 . the same emotion from a specific facial expression may be recognized by a culture. [edit] Face overall The face as a whole indicates much about human moods as well. Blink rate can reveal how nervous or at ease a person may be.[8] however. respectively. Even beyond the idea of eye contact. such as happiness or sadness. and establishes a connection with others. anger. For example. communicates involvement and interest. Pupil dilation is a significant cue to a level of excitement. There are seven universally recognized emotions shown through facial expressions: fear. Tecce claims that the faster blinker in the presidential debates has lost every election since 1980. eyes communicate more data than a person even consciously expresses. Eye contact regulates conversational turn taking. or seem cold and intimidating… [it] invites conversation. Research by Boston College professor Joe Tecce suggests that stress levels are revealed by blink rates. especially their eyes. studies have shown that Asian cultures tend to rate images of facial emotions as less intense than non-Asian cultures surveyed. Nervousness can also be measured by examining each candidates' perspiration. pleasure. disgust.[6] But different cultures have different rules for eye contact. and sadness. and establishes connections with others…[and] it can command attention. which are culture-specific guidelines for behavior appropriateness.[edit] Communication [edit] Eye contact See also: Eye contact A person's face. Certain Asian cultures can perceive direct eye contact as a way to signal competitiveness. Some have hypothesized that this is due to infancy. Regardless of culture. eye contact and stiffness. Specific emotional states. Lack of eye contact is usually perceived to be rude or inattentive. or attraction. In some countries. be flirtatious. creates the most obvious and immediate cues that lead to the formation of impressions.[6] Eye contact is another major aspect of facial communication. in western cultures this could be misinterpreted as lacking self-confidence. are expressed through a smile or a frown. and focusing on only one aspect is reckless. He supports his data with statistics on the relation between the blink rates of presidential candidates and their success in their races. It regulates conversations. as humans are one of the few mammals who maintain regular eye contact with their mother while nursing.[5] Though Tecce's data is interesting. This difference can be explained by display rules. surprise.[4] This article discusses eyes and facial expressions and the effect they have on interpersonal communication. it may be more rude to display an emotion than in another. happiness. contempt. shows interest or involvement. However. or what they are thinking. Others lower their eyes to signal respect.[7] Eye contact serves a variety of purposes. Dilated pupils indicate greater affection or attraction. it is important to recognize that non-verbal communication is multi-channeled. while constricted pupils send a colder signal.

or worthless—it is similar to scorn.[citation needed] [edit] Facial expressions Some examples of feelings that can be expressed are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Anger Concentration Confusion Contempt Desire Disgust Excitement Fear Frustration Glare Happiness Sadness Snarl. search For the legal term. it could create in-group cohesion. and an 183 . Contempt is an intense feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior. For other uses. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Auricularis anterior muscle Buccinator muscle Corrugator supercilii muscle Depressor anguli oris muscle Depressor labii inferioris muscle Depressor septi nasi muscle Frontalis muscle Levator anguli oris muscle Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle Levator labii superioris muscle Mentalis muscle Modiolus muscle Nasalis muscle Orbicularis oculi muscle Orbicularis oris muscle Platysma muscle Procerus muscle Risorius muscle Zygomaticus major muscle Zygomaticus minor muscle Contempt From Wikipedia.disharmony. see Contempt (disambiguation). mainly involving the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi muscle Surprise [edit] The muscles of facial expression See also: facial muscles. but if displayed towards a competitive rival. the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. disgrace. Contempt is also defined as the state of being despised or dishonored. base. see Contempt of court. It is also used when people are being sarcastic.

Confidence tricks: highly elaborate deceptions. If you totally believe what you are saying. anger is directed toward an equal status individual.[4] Deception principle Principles > Deception principle Principle | How it works | So what? Principle Alter the other person's perception by tricks.[2] Robert C. The results of such lying is that the other person receives a mixed message and may well detect the deception. hating Christmas and poor people. and contempt is directed toward a lower status individual. How it works In order to live with one another." It is the past participle of contemnere and from com. from the Latin word contemptus meaning "scorn.[3] Contempt is often brought about by a combination of anger and disgust. scorn. So what? 184 . who was cold-hearted. To successfully tell lies. The result is that the overall message is some way from the whole truth and may persuade people to do things they would not do if they knew everything. you need first to be able to lie to yourself. most people largely trust other people for most of the time. and he argues that the differences between the three emotions are that resentment is directed toward a higher status individual. prefix + temnere "to disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body. Solomon places contempt on the same continuum as resentment and anger. Contemptuous appeared in 1529. The golden rule of deception is management of the other person's perception such that they do not know any deception is happening. This lays them open to untruths. This is how actors are able to successfully assimilate other characters and draw you into the story plot.intens. Telling lies Lies are very difficult to tell face-to-face. untruths and other forms of deception. Economy with the truth A variant of lying which is not really lying is to tell the truth but leave out those things that are inconvenient." The origin is uncertain. Elaborate deception More elaborate deceptions can be used that include factors such as: • • • Collaborative lying: many people telling the same story. Manipulating evidence: changing what people see/experience. then you will be able to tell any lie with complete conviction. The word originated in 1393. illusions and downright lies. as much communication is through body language and voice tone.[1] One example of contempt could be seen in the character Ebenezer Scrooge from the Charles Dickens' book A Christmas Carol.

especially with people you don't know. Articles • Gullibility: Are there easy targets? Examples There are more con tricks than days in the year. They will exploit the incautious and naive and offer something for nothing as an appeal to our natural desires. So what So for goodness sake be careful where you place your trust. taking revenge on you in ways that far outweigh the damage you have done with your deception. Valet parking: by car thieves. according to legend. Bootleg video: Sell bootleg DVDs that are actually blank. There are but a sample that illustrate the ingenuity of confidence tricksters -.and the gullibility of Joe Public. Con tricks are at best immoral and at worst highly illegal. And of course don't stoop to harming others in such ways as these. a sucker born every day. See also Confidence tricks links Gullibility Techniques > Confidence tricks > Gullibility Description | Discussion | See also 185 . • • • • • • The Antique Toy: Cheating the cheater. Charity collection: Collecting for fake charity. See also Lying Confidence tricks Techniques > Confidence tricks Articles | Examples | So what There is.Be very careful with deception: if the other person finds out then they may well act in a betrayed manner. Don't be greedy and be especially careful where you seem to be getting something very cheaply or for nothing. and of course there are many confidence tricksters around who are all too ready to relieve them of their wealth. Don't collaborate in anything illegal. ATM Security: Fraud at the bank machine. Two main levers of confidence tricksters are gullibility and greed. Movie auditions: for aspiring stars.

you will be largely trusting.Description Gullibility is the tendency some people have to trust people too easily and hence be open to deception. If they have a higher need for this then they may well be less judging of others and more ready to accept whatever they are told. Those who are shy and deferential rather than seeking to lead. Personality In addition to the points above. Lack of education You do not have to experience bad people to limit your trust. Need to be liked Many people want to fit in with others. the use of tricks to deceive someone. Those who decide by a relatively immature 'gut feel'. There is plenty of information on the TV and in other media to indicate the need for caution. to be accepted and admired. Gullibility can come from several sources: Lack of experience Young people and those who have lived a relatively sheltered life may well be more gullible. See also Trust The Antique Toy Techniques > Confidence tricks > The Antique Toy Description | Discussion | See also 186 . norms and so on within our lives that we are supposed to obey. If all you have known is trustworthiness then you will give trust without question or suspicion. If people have been largely trustworthy. These may include: • • • • • Openness in being ready to listen and accept what others say. Warmth in accepting and caring for others as they come. values. Those who are less apprehensive or worry about the future. Those who follow rules are more easily deceived by others who utilize existing rules or explain that rules they propose must be followed. Some people will blindly follow all such rules whilst others may be more cautious. is the opposite of gullibility. Discussion 'Guile'. there are other personality factors which may lead people to be more gullible. Need to obey There are many rules. A person who is gullible is open to guile. Yet somehow some people do not seem to take this in and cling to a more trusting position that is wise.

of course. Ask the barman to tell the owner when they come back that they'll give him $500 for it. Scarcity principle ATM Security Techniques > Confidence tricks > ATM Security Description | Discussion | See also Description Put a fake 'out of order' notice on a bank ATM deposit machine. Now a couple of your accomplices come in. but far more than you paid for it! Discussion Aside from good old-fashioned greed. Declaring it as a rare antique with particular value in another part of the world. sometimes in the thousands. Exit. With luck the barman will offer to buy the toy off you for well under $500. leaving the toy behind mentioning that you won't be long.Description Buy an old and worn toy from a second-hand shop. Being bank-related fraud. See also Greed. this one is particularly hazardous and anyone caught doing this would likely be locked up for a long time! See also Authority principle Bootleg video Techniques > Confidence tricks > Bootleg video 187 . The con works because the uniform and forms are symbols of authority. When the barman is there. The odder-looking the better. Now you go back into the bar. this is of course illegal. Buy a drink Don't talk much to the barman. Go into a bar and plonk it down beside you. whereby they think they know something you don't--at least for the moment. they 'notice' the toy and ask where it came from. declaring they'll be back later. Discussion This may seem outrageous and that nobody would fall for such a trick--yet it has been proven in practice that people are gullible enough to hand over their cash. They leave. Offer to take people's deposits--giving them an official receipt. Take a fake phone call which calls you away. which people will obey unquestioningly. and don't be that nice to him (just act neutral). the barman is being hooked by a variant of the scarcity principle. Stand nearby in a guard's uniform. As many other scams. You can also ask for other personal details. even PIN numbers.

so their envy will boost your sense of identity. They want to protect it. where you seem to be have complete control over your environment. Variants of this scam include selling in bars and street corners. Tell them of the horrible things that happen to such animals. and how many their money will save. Sell the movies for a bargain price. They feel bad from the nasty things that can happen to the animal. The nice touch is that by giving the person the impression that they are buying something illegally. They will usually take the replacement. like you're worried that the police may be along soon. apologize and offer to give them a replacement or their money back. Act in a shifty way. but they do have nice covers which you have printed up. Discussion Several principles are at work in this simple scam. such as a furry puppy or rabbit. Your friends don't have it. This scam is surprisingly common as a petty crime that. Go collecting. See also Greed. Get stickers printed for a fake animal charity. they are dissuaded from going to the police about the situation.Description | Discussion | See also Description Set up a market stall with a cardboard box full of DVDs or videos of the latest movies. It multiplies the returns if you take a cute and strokeable little animal with you. 188 . Scarcity principle Charity collection Techniques > Confidence tricks > Charity collection Description | Discussion | See also Description Get a collection box. Children and animals--they always work. They feel good from the stroking. Then you leave. they are extending their sensory experience and making it a part of their identity. the police may treat as little more than begging. A poster or two of the movies can also help. There's also the frisson that comes from cheating or breaking the law. The fact that you can't get it elsewhere uses the scarcity principle. So they give you money. Discussion The animal is a double-whammy as it both attracts people who come to talk with it and also reminds them of the charity. unless they are out looking for an arrest. Dress casually. because you're 'in a hurry' to get rid of them. Having touched the animal. They are actually blank. If anyone gets home and back before you have legged it. Pretty much anything can be sold.

All you need is their home address on the nicely printed forms you have. The first request is small-ish. Consistency principle Valet parking Techniques > Confidence tricks > Valet parking Description | Discussion | See also Description Get a nice uniform and a badge with your name on it. buy clothing. badge and sign are symbols of your authority. even as a lowly valet parker. Although a confidence trick. Their home key is likely to be on the same ring as the car keys. Stand outside a posh venue and offer to park people's cars. The small payment hook gives them evidence of their commitment and consequently they will behave consistently with this social proof. then drive away with them. Then start the line of requests for money. Discussion Everyone wants to be in the movies as it boosts their sense of identity. Tell them that they need to join an actor's union or guild and charge them around $50 (have the forms smartly printed). An extension to this is to offer to put them into a draw for a holiday. Set up at a local hotel and hold 'interviews'.See also Identity Movie auditions Techniques > Confidence tricks > Movie auditions Description | Discussion | See also Description Put an advert in the paper saying that a movie is being made locally and local actors are wanted for small parts. highly criminal. Get a sign made up. but significant enough to get them on the hook. of course. See also Authority principle 189 . they can now be sold on the need to do photo-shoots. and so on. This again is a horrifying example of how people will unthinkingly hand over the keys to their kingdom. Discussion The uniform. it is also. See also Identity. Having made this commitment. Get people doing some acting. Tell them they are wonderful.

bluffing. Examples A hostage negotiator argues that the hostage-taker has been very clever and is clearly in control of the situation (whilst special forces are creeping up towards the house). deception and falsification. saying they only have a certain amount of money on them (and shows this in their wallet) but actually they have more money in another pocket. Examples In a job interview a person says they have an MBA when they do not. Deception What Anton called 'deception' is the use of false arguments that leads the other person to an incorrect conclusion. Examples A person buying a car says he will bring in an expert to assess the car in order to get the seller to disclose known problems with it. A parent says they will make a child sleep in the garage when they would not do this. Bluffing Bluffing is stating or indicating an intention to commit some action. Falsification Falsification is the simple telling of lies or otherwise providing false information with the assumption that it is complete and true. A trade union negotiator takes a hard-line position in pay negotiations. leading them to accept a lower trade-in value. A car sales person tells a person trading in a car that there is little demand for this model.Deception in Negotiation Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation articles > Deception in Negotiation Misrepresentation | Bluffing | Deception | Falsification | See also There are many different negative methods used during negotiation and some are generally more acceptable than others. Examples A buyer takes a poverty position. A sales person tells a potential customer that there have been no major problems with a product when there has been several significant failures 190 . saying the membership are ready to strike when there is actually dissent about this in the ranks. Misrepresentation Misrepresentation occurs in negotiation where a person deliberately takes a position on something which is not true in some way. but then not fulfilling that commitment or never intending to take this action. In order of acceptability these are: misrepresentation. Anton (1990) describes four strategies that are used.

clearly and completely. foul or something in between. • Change the negotiator: New person can reset the rules. facts. etc. • Control the agenda: And hence what is discussed. • Breaking it off: Walking away from the negotiation. • Delays: Buying time and building tension. • Better offer: indicate a better offer from the competition... • Incremental conversion: Persuade one person at a time. They can be fair. • Credentials: Show how clever you are. • Empty pockets: say you can't afford it. • Check the facts: Bring up new information you have found. • Fame: Appeal to their need for esteem from others. • Funny money: Financial games. • Bad publicity: Indicate bad publicity of not agreeing. • Good guy/bad guy: Hurt and rescue by people. • Auction: Set sellers or buyers against one another. • Empty promises: Make promises that you know you will not keep. • Better than that: Just say 'You'll have to do better than that. increments. • Faking: Letting them believe something about you that is not true. • Lawyer: use survey results. • Lowball: Buyers--start low and you can always go up. • Forced choice: Subtly nudging them toward your choice. • False deadline: Time limitation on their action. • Bluff: Assert things that are not true. • Expanding the Pie: Ensuring there's more for everyone. • Call girl: Ask to be paid up front. • Cards on the table: State your case. • Deadlines: Push them up against the wall of time. strong and weak. leading question. • Big fish: Show you're the big fish and they could get eaten.' • Biased choice: Offering choices that already include your biases. • Dry well: Show you've nothing left to exchange. • Flattery: Make them look good and then ask for concession. depending on the competitive or collaborative style of the people involved and the seriousness of the outcomes. • Divide and conquer: Get them arguing with one another. • Double agent: Get one of their people on your side. there are many tactics that you may meet or use. etc. • Hire an expert: Get an expert negotiator or subject expert on your team. • Escalating demand: the more you get the more you require. • Linking: Connect benefit and cost. 191 . • Leaking: Let them find out 'secret' information. Then use them as allies.Negotiation tactics Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics In negotiation. • Interim trade: Make an exchange during negotiation that will not get into the final contract. • Doomsday: paint an overly black picture. don't have it. percentages. • Highball: Sellers--start high and you can always go down. • Brooklyn optician: price or negotiate each item. • Fair criteria: Set decisions criteria such that is is perceived as fair. • Log-rolling: Concede on low-priority items. • Fragmentation: Breaking big things into lots of little things. • Changing standards: Change the benchmarks of good and bad. logic.

• Undiscussable: Things that cannot even be discussed. • See you in court: Threatening to go to a higher or public forum. Questioning. This can be used to make both sellers and buyers compete. then silence. then they will want it even more. We are also naturally competitive animals. Fallacies Auction Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Auction Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When many parties want one thing. • Reducing choice: Offering a limited set of options. See also Sequential requests. • Take it or leave it: give only one option. • Non-negotiable: Things that cannot be negotiated. • War: Threaten extreme action. • Overwhelm: Cover them in requests or information. • Split the difference: Offer to agree on a half-way position. Resistance to change. Bring them all together and let them know that only one will get what they want. the goal can move from possession to simply winning the competition. • New player: Another person who wants what you have appears on the scene. • Widows and orphans: show the effect on the weak and innocent. • Shotgun: Refusal to continue until a concession is gained. which secured the deal. • Trial balloon: Suggest a final solution and see if they bite. • Nibbling: constant adding of small requirements. one intimidating. and when faced with others who want the same thing. • Slicing: Break one deal down into multiple smaller deals. • Quivering quill: ask for concession just before signing. 192 . • Russian Front: Two alternatives. Example A normal auction is one in which bidders offer increasing prices until nobody else makes an offer. • No authority: refuse to agree because you are not allowed to. • Red herring: leave a false trail. • Padding: Make unimportant things 'essential' then concede them. • Plant: A 'neutral' person who is really working for you. • Phasing: Offer to phase in/out the unpleasant bits. • Side Payments: Add a cash balance. Defensive body language. A Dutch Auction is one in which an initially high price is lowered until the first bid.• New issue: Introduce a new key issue during the negotiation. Discussion When people know that they may lose out on something. set them against one another. • Wince: repeat price loudly.

say that you have already received a better offer from somebody else. Well. Show the people who will know are the people who the other person particularly respects. 193 . but I don't think that the neighbors would be very pleased. If they ask what that offer is. then you may or may not choose to tell them. Identity Better offer Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Better offer Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When the other person makes an offer. and we often seek to ensure that Esteem See also Esteem. Show how knowledge of their actions will spread to a wide range of people. then they will be criticized by others. I've already had a better offer that. then you have the opportunity to set a lower limit that the other person knows that they cannot go below. Example Sorry. Example If your parents find out about that they will not be happy. If you do.See also Scarcity principle Bad publicity Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Bad publicity Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Point out that if the other person gets what they are asking for. You know that this is something that the newspapers would love to cover? I don't think you'd look very good if that's all you did. I was offered twice that price only last week. Belonging. we could do that. Discussion It is surprising how important the opinions and esteem of others about us is.

See also The wince. You'll have to do better than that. The other person does not know whether you actually do have a better offer or whether you are bluffing. Discussion When you say 'You'll have to do better than that'. you would have also better understood the overall situation and built your own confidence -. come one.' and looks. Oh. say 'You'll have to do better than that!'. Better than that Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Better than that Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When the other person makes an offer. As a part of developing your walk-away. for example with an exorbitantly high price. this puts them under social pressure to conform to norms of decency and fair pricing. Example A person buying a car asks for the price. you are actually implying that you know that the other person is trying to deceive you. Ways of doing this: 194 . appraisingly at the sales person. The problem for them is that if they call your bluff then you might actually have such an offer.Discussion A better offer from elsewhere is a walk-away alternative that you can deploy at any time. If you actually do have a better offer. you are indeed in a stronger position if you do need to conclude the deal. Then be quiet and wait for the to do better.which alone is worth the effort of looking elsewhere beforehand. but bias the set of choices towards those things that you want and away from the things that you do not want. The sales person says it. I'm not a fool. You can accompany this with a saddened. Having been 'found out' (although you actually may not know what a fair price is). shocked or disgusted look. The buyer raises an eyebrow and mutters 'You'll have to do better than that. Social Norms Biased choice Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Biased choice Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Offer the other person a set of choices.

is drawn into the web. The choice is yours. law or medicine. not to annoy them. These appear in our choices. Arrive in a big fast car. When you reduce choice in negotiations. Preferences Big Fish Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Big Fish Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Act as if you are Big Fish who can swallow whole any small fry at a whim. so you can customize what you offer them. Well. you can thus eliminate those things that you do not want and focus on the things you do want. In a negotiation.. Act confidently. 195 . Salisbury or Bath all sound like safe choices. Bias is often not noticed by other people unless they are looking for it. going to Winchester. but beware of overdoing this. The buyer. Cast the other person as a small fry. Show how you you are Big Fish. See also Reducing choice. When playing to their biases. The idea is to make the other person feel small in your presence. including when we are short-listing options for other people to choose. partly put off and partly impressed the way the agent talks so nicely. Example We could go to that really nice new restaurant or maybe back to Tony's (though I hear their chef just left). Talk confidently..• Remove and do not mention the things that you particularly do not want. You can even appear arrogant. Discussion We all have natural biases and preferences often do not realize that we have them. we can deliberately bias towards those things we want. Dress expensively. as if you are lord of all you survey. Forced choice. A real estate agent arrives late at a house that he is selling in a new BMW. This is likely in a 'professional' negotiation but may well go unnoticed in less formal situations. Act as if you can Wave money around. • Paint your choice in glowing words (and others in dull shades). first understand their preferences. Example A businessperson in talks about working with another company talks expansively about other deals and plans for the future that include several acquisitions. Name-drop. • Create a forced choice that utilizes their natural biases. You could study accountancy. • Offer them a set of options such that any choice they make will be acceptable to you.

196 . And so on. Act confidently. as the other person may call your bluff. or that someone else is arriving soon. say that you have already had a good offer. say that you can easily get another person to do it. I've done my school work. giving her order without waiting to be asked. and get what you want. Confidence principle Bluff Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Bluff Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Tell the other person something that will impress them. Example Well. Bluffing is of course a dangerous game. Can I go out now? If I don't get the day off work I'll lose my apartment and have nowhere to live! Discussion Bluffs work when the other person believes what is said and feels that they must act or concede in order to achieve goals. I like this place but I've just had an offer of a similar house at a much lower price. When asking someone to do something. By acting superior to them. slightly impatiently. Discussion By acting big and important. When buying. Dad. When selling. Talk of dire consequences should you not get what you want. Take small truths and exaggerate them. you are inviting them to act inferior to you. Yes. but which is not true. you are standing on a pedestal. conceding to your wishes. Do not hesitate or otherwise indicate that you are lying. If you are found out.A young woman walks confidently into a bar and calls to the barman. say that you know you can get the item much cheaper elsewhere (and ask them to match the price). then you will be suspected for a long time into the future and will hence most likely fail in attempted other negotiations. See also Authority principle. She is served before many others. inviting the other person to admire and look up to you and seeking to please you.

then so can I! Goodbye. this can be particularly effective. and the threat of becoming a social pariah is enough to make many people cave in. they will call out to stop you or run after you). then threatening to leave makes them face up to the possibility of getting nothing. price them individually. Discussion When people do not have a walk-away alternative. which people do not. I'm sorry. I'm off. Trust Breaking it off Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Breaking it off Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Threaten to break off the negotiation. 197 . If you will not move then I can't continue. Lying. You can even rant and rave and storm out (hopefully. Belonging Brooklyn optician Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Brooklyn optician Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Break everything down into small packages and then negotiate them one at a time. then you can use this approach more effectively. Do this in a dramatic way. When relationships are involved. the issue then becomes a lot more social. When you have a relationship with the other person.See also Confidence principle. Ostracizing is a punishment that feared by many. You can also threaten to break off relationships. Example Right! That's it. The danger if you do not is that the other person may call your bluff. If you are selling things. If you have a walkaway alternative. The contrast between a solution that includes them making concessions and a solution that contains nothing can resulting in the thought of making concessions something that is more acceptable. See also The walk-away alternative. I'm sick up to here with your intransigence and bloody-mindedness! If you can be like that.

When you do. Avoid talking about the total cost until you have agreed each item. Discussion The name of this tactic comes from a (probably politically incorrect) archetype of an optician who sells you a pair of glasses one lens at a time. 198 . Discussion Prostitutes work in a shady environment where they have very low trust of their clients who may 'do a runner' or argue about the price after the deed is done. sir. Example The computer. Then show that extra parts are needed.only twenty. you will have built a certain amount of trust. which are each priced separately. Where any exchange is taking place. Tell me your name. When people are buying something or otherwise getting something in a negotiation. particularly where you are offering cannot be taken back if they do not fulfill their part of the deal. There are many other situations where In an exchange. can you get some things for me. A restaurant prices its main course without any vegetables. they will be impressed by the contrast and will rapidly reach closure on it. See also Closure principle. Example I've got to buy a lot of materials so I really need to be paid before I begin. Will you take the kids to school -. Whilst you're out. They are thus trapped.thanks. and are forced to pay the extra amount for the other items that they now need. on which you can call at a latter date. they will start with a rough price in mind. get the other side to go first.. then I'll tell you mine.. You'll take that -.good. Once closed. Will you be needing a keyboard with that -. getting the other person to go first makes it safe for you.Focus first on selling or negotiating the main item. It also creates a little anxiety as the other person then has to hope you will complete your part of the bargain. will cost three hundred. The personal-closure trap Call girl Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Call girl Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Demand payment up-front. they will unwilling (or maybe unable) to re-open the negotiation. And we've a good deal on an optical mouse. When they see the offered price.

199 . Example Look. of course. for example is because you trust them or because you are in a hurry. Explain that the previous negotiator has been called away. What I really want is. Before we continue I'd like to review what has been agreed so far.See also Exchange principle Cards on the table Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Cards on the table Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Tell the other side exactly what you want or give them information that they did not know before. In fact. if they choose. By using such a gesture and also talking about why they are doing it. Example I'm sorry. The full story of why I need the ticket is that. Which they may not be. they are asking the other person to accept that they are being trustworthy. weeding out all the exchanges that he or she does not like. See also Trust Change the negotiator Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Change the negotiator Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Change the person who is doing the negotiation for your side... start the negotiation from scratch. When a person 'puts their cards on the table' they are asking the other person to believe them. Discussion In card games. putting your cards on the table is showing others exactly what you have. Or maybe starts rebuilding a relationship that has turned sour. Sorry. The new negotiator then goes over all the decisions and agreements with a fine-toothed comb. to do this properly we have to start from the beginning. Hmm.. Explain why you are doing this. I'll put my cards on the table. the truth of the matter is that Mike says I have to do this. I think I can trust you. the new negotiator can..

. When relationships have soured. even though one person may be negotiating on behalf of and entire corporation. Particularly when the negotiation is stuck or not going to plan.. we fix one of these as a standard (which can be a standard for bad things as well as good). What are the benchmarks against which people are deciding? What are their actual or constructed standards? To find the standard.. ask them about their ideals. (change an element) Tell me about the best holiday you have had. Comparisons may be against fixed standards or ideals.. Get them to describe their best experiences or perfect ideals. (change the standard) You know. Thus. if I am buying a house. You've not seen the Maldives... have you? Let me show you a picture of paradise. See also Changing the standard Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Changing the standard Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Find the standard A trick with negotiation is to understand the comparisons that are being made in people's heads. Changing the negotiator can be very much like starting over again. You can change the entire standard or just one part of it. Example Could you describe your perfect house? ... Be enthusiastic and they will tell you more.. 200 . Discussion We make many decisions by making contrasting comparisons between two items. . Imagine a beautiful little house in the country with roses around the door.. Change the standard If you can change the comparison standard by which they judge all others. you can make what you are offering look wonderful. a new person can apologize for the previous person or otherwise renew the relationship. a new person can bring new ideas to the table.I hear things got rather heated yesterday. To decide whether something is good or bad. I may have an actual house in mind I have seen against which I compare all others. Can we start afresh? Discussion Negotiations and exchanges are often considered to be done at the personal level. wooden windows are considered rather old fashioned now.

I may have built one mentally. you can control what is being discussed by deciding what will and will not be on the agenda. If you can make them feel shame. in the manner of a courtroom. the more time you should spend on digging for powerful information. then they may concede to you as an act of contrition. See also Evidence principle Control the agenda Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Control the agenda Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are holding a meeting in which negotiation takes place. See also Fair criteria Check the facts Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Check the facts Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Bring out some actual data to confirm your point. The higher the stakes. I actually went to see myself and I found that it has not been completed. for example being shocked that the other person has done something reprehensible. Let's just check the facts about that. If I look at what you have actually done. discredit the other person's facts or discredit the person's character. Add emotion to your statement. Bringing up facts that the other person does not know about or which they think you do not know will surprise them and cause the uncertainty of confusion. Research well beforehand to allow you to drop such killer comments into the conversation.Alternatively. Well. 201 . and are far more powerful at persuading than wants or opinions. perhaps as a composite of desirable elements I have seen. Highlight their guilt in some way. Example Hmm. Why are you claiming that it is completed when it has not? Discussion Facts act as unchallengeable evidence. I can't say I'm impressed.

If a person makes a commitment there. When you control what is being discussed. See also Authority principle. When you are not running the meeting. You can also control the meeting whilst it is running. It is often best to put items where you want attention near the beginning (an innocuous item first can be helpful as a warm up). You can bring up new items in the meeting as 'Any Other Business (AOB). you can control where they are on the agenda (for example by saying you have to leave early you can get items in at the beginning of the meeting). from meetings that are run with strict control and detailed minutes to a relatively loose discussion. You can control both of these but need different approaches. Meetings do vary in formality. by encouraging talk about an item or closing it down quickly. one person brings up the controversial subject of sports fees right at the end. Where appropriate. His people get the best pay rises. In a meeting to select a new supplier. You can request that certain items be added. Discussion Meetings are quite public decision environments. Theories about groups. particularly if you are chairing it. it is difficult for them to retract it. a manager makes sure his people are discussed first and then talks a lot about how good they are. The chairperson of a meeting has particular power in deciding who speaks and how long things are discussed. Do remember that many meetings are not actually decision bodies but largely ratify what has been discussed in more private meetings beforehand. you may need to spend time getting them onside beforehand or otherwise knowing how you will control them. When you do not want people to think too much. a manager ensures that the supplier she prefers is on second and that only four suppliers are discussed. you still have certain control of the agenda. In a high school parents meeting. especially if the person running the meeting is relatively lax about what is discussed. There is less time then for discussing other people.The order of things on the agenda also is important: Carefully consider about how people will thinking and feeling at each point during the meeting. Theories about conforming Credentials Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Credentials Description | Example | Discussion | See also 202 . The result is that sub-committee is set up and they are elected to chair it. Meetings are also social environments and group pressure can be brought to bear on individuals. put the item near the end. You can also control the agenda during the meeting by what you say and what you propose. Example In a salary-decision meeting. you can control what is decided and agreed.

As the deadline approaches. we may assume that they are generally intelligent and able to pronounce on things in completely unrelated areas. Example When I was talking with the CEO the other day. What I say is true and what you say is false. Thus. Demonstrating how you are qualified or experienced lets the other person know that what you say is true. increase the emotional atmosphere.D. When we know that another person is well-qualified in one area. in the subject. If they believe in you. and I've always found that building the plan with all stakeholders an essential activity. In a competitive situation. In a collaborative situation. quite outstanding. talking more about what will happen if the deadline is missed. this will build the relationship and create confidence. I've been doing projects like this for twenty years. famous and influential. a doctorate in anthropology will be seen first as a doctorate. I have a Ph. then they are more likely to believe in your ideas. he though my ideas for new products were. The letters 'Ph. Talk about your experience. compare their credentials with yours. it effectively says 'I know more than you. Name-drop.D. This may be specific and threatening actions or vague and disturbing hints. Make it clear that this is an absolute time by which they must do what you want them to do.' after your name will often impress others and prevent them from questioning what you assert. for example. Intelligence testing Deadlines Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Deadlines Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Set a deadline by which the other person has to decide or act.Description Show how you are qualified to say the things you will say. Show how you are friends with the rich. What about you? Discussion In negotiation you are often selling yourself as well as the idea that you want to get across to the other person. If appropriate. You know.' See also Assertiveness. Put your qualifications on your business card. as usual. Show how you have practiced what you preach. 203 .

delay right up to the wire. See also Scarcity principle Delays Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Delays Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Use time to stretch out the negotiation. Well. 204 . especially at critical moments.Use things which cannot be challenged. John will be very unhappy if this does not happen. I just need to go the to the bathroom. When you feel you are being pressured or hurried. Hurrying people up reduces the time they have for reflection and considered thought. it will be too late. take a break or otherwise put off making any decisions until you have thought things through. He will want to know what we have agreed. we could look at the things you want. Dangle something under their noses that makes them salivate and then do not talk about it until later. If you can occupy them with worries about what may happen if the deadline is not met. Example I must have your answer before we leave today. But it's time to stop for today. Example Excuse me. Deadlines can easily be challenged. Discussion A deadline creates tension in the scarcity of time that it gives and the imagined consequences of not reaching the deadline. such as contract completion dates. Discussion Introducing delays can be helpful for you to regroup and rethink. I think I will call him in later. I am talking to Steve later. demands made by senior people and so on. but it is surprising how often they are not questioned. If you can't deliver by Thursday. then they will spend less time thinking of objections and counter-arguments to your suggestions. When the other person is constrained by deadlines. The product will be released at the end of the week.

A negotiator hints in an aside to the other person how one solution will allow them to win some of their internal battles. In their discussions.When you have increased tension of some sort in the other person. Discussion If you can get the other side to take their eye off the ball then you can consequently gain control of the proceedings. then one may well take your side in order to win points against their internal opponents. is a hazardous strategy which can backfire if they discover what you are doing. See also Confusion principle Doomsday Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Doomsday Description | Example | Discussion | See also 205 . See also Breaking it off. To succeed. whether it is desire for something you may give them or some negative consequence of not agreeing. When others disagree with one another. This. propose solutions that the key people will accept and which will support their internal negotiations. for example by paying more attention to one person or one group than another or sowing false information. The tension of delay is increased with uncertainty. it must be executed with great care and finesse. then a delay can serve to heighten that tension as they focus on the good and bad possibilities. They know that they are being overheard and their talk is designed for the listener. they touch on how the ideas from these bright young people are being ignored by their superiors. Deadlines. of course. Example A side member of a negotiating team spends time with some of the younger members of the other side whilst the main negotiations are going on elsewhere. When they are arguing amongst themselves. Get them at each other's throats so they pay less attention to fighting you. Tension principle Divide and conquer Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Divide and conquer Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Cause confusion in the enemy camp. when the other person cannot predict what will happen. A negotiator and a colleague talk about how one person on the other side is more successful than another.

Example I suppose we could go out. Watch for people who seem over-zealous in taking up the cause of the other side. Describe the outcome of any suggestion in negative terms. but it looks like rain and the car is having problems. then it is easy to argue the percentage points. finance and general managers. Discussion Painting something black often is playing with percentages. Beware also of double agents on your side. Of course. suck through your teeth and describe how bad this is. Against this pessimistic description. When you are describing your own situation. suggesting that something that has a probability of X actually has a probability of Y. It may look like a good investment now. you describe only the things you do not want in this negative way. ensuring that they do not get into trouble for their views and actions. Give them information and materials to help them persuade their colleagues to your point of view. 206 . It's a nice house. you can describe the things you want as a ray of light that relieves the gloom of alternative solutions. Against this. When they make a suggestion. Now all they need to do is to also convince the purchasing.Description Paint an overly black picture. but it needs decorating. Where things are uncertain. Protect their position. Example A computer salesperson convinces the IT department of the need to upgrade their systems. See also Contrast principle Double agent Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Double agent Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Persuade someone on the other side of the table to act on your behalf. the area is going downhill and it's a long way to drive to work. show how badly-off you are and how you cannot afford what the other person is asking. Be pessimistic and gloomy. an optimistic alternative provides a welcome contrast. but the markets may go down next year.

you have not got it. Plead poverty or other constraint on your ability to exchange more than you have already offered. blackmail or otherwise subvert an individual to your cause. Discussion When you show that you have no more to give. One way around this is to find other variables to use. In a less salubrious variant. See also Empty pockets Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Empty pockets Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When the other person makes a demand on you. but I'm afraid I've come to the end of my resources. 207 .A man wants to buy a particular new house and enlists the help of the selling agent in persuading his family of the benefits of the house and the area. that leads you to refuse them. I can't afford any more. not lack of desire. say that you cannot afford it. Discussion This situation legitimately occurs when a person on the other side genuinely is persuaded and seeks to help others on their side also see the benefits of the deal. say that 'the well is dry' and that you do not have anything else to give. deliberate actions are taken to bribe. or otherwise are unable to give them what they want. cannot do it. then this puts you in a difficult position of possibly showing that you were not telling the truth. If they still refuse to agree to a deal. I'd like to increase my offer. See also Dry well Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Dry well Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When the other person demands more from you. Example Sorry. Show that it is a lack of ability. the other person cannot demand more without inferring that you are lying.

Or make what sounds like a promise by adding a qualifier (e. you can then delay delivery. Suggesting that you will give it to them gives them closure for now and lets you move on with the rest of the negotiation. but I don't know much about that. I'd love to help. this holds the danger that it will cause betrayal response. I really cannot afford that on my salary. Why not? I'm sure I can find the time. If I had it. See also Trust Escalating demand 208 . you may actually have to deliver. Use this to get things moving when the negotiation is stuck and the item being requested seems relatively minor.g. If pressed. Example I don't see why I can't come back some time. I'd give it to you. as the other person then cannot persist. Discussion Showing that you cannot fulfill a request is a good way of refusing. that's just too much. 'could') or making the statement vague. This works better for things that will be delivered at an uncertain time in the future. When asked. then they may well be more trapped by the wanting rather than really want it. Discussion When the other person is fixated on getting something. See also Appeal to Pity Empty promises Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Empty promises Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Make promises that you know that you will not have to keep. Pleading poverty may also get you sympathy and give reason for the other person to ask less of you. particularly if it is minor.Example Sorry. As any deceptive method. I guess I could spend extra time with you.

they have to justify it to themselves. It may also be done when the other person asks Example Can I go out with my friends Dad? Can I have money for the cinema? And we're going to the Pizza House afterwards. Ben Franklin Effect Expanding the Pie Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Expanding the Pie Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Change the frame of the negotiation from a zero-sum. Then something bigger still. as Ben Franklin knew. When you have gained this. and so on until they refuse (then take the biggest offer). thereby giving each a greater market value. 209 ... This may be done in exchange for nothing. just asking for concessions (and perhaps rewarding only with thanks or other non-substantial exchange).Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Escalating demand Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Ask for something from the other person. ask for something else. A small concession thus creates bonding and also the obligations of friendship. win-lose game to a win-win scenario where both sides can benefit more by working together on mutual benefits. This frames you as a friend who can ask for other things. See also Nibbling. Can I come in? Can I stay the night? Will you do this extra work? And keep going until it's done? Discussion When you ask for something from another person. for example by concluding that you are a nice person and they wanted to give it to you all along. and they comply. Example Two business competitors on an industry standards committee agree to settle differences and promote the standard as this will help increase the number of total customers. A husband and wife who are negotiating about holidays and the ability to take time off work reframe the situation as 'getting away together' and end up with a decision that when one goes away on business the other will go along too. even larger.

In a worst-case scenario (which is surprisingly common). If both parties work together to get a bigger pie. it becomes personal and the sense of fair play (or even getting what I need) goes out of the window as each player seeks to harm the other before they get harmed themself. You can also bring along something that is. and with every gain that one person makes the other person will lose an equal amount. Fairness can be asserted. but it is best if it is agreed by both people. This also implies that any one person has right of veto. then both can have more. asking them 'what is fair'. Let's ask the minister what he thinks. In negotiations in particular. Example Now. you can also use third parties such as mediators or arbitrators to resolve negotiation breakdown. See also Collaborative negotiation Fair criteria Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Fair criteria Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When decisions are being made. fair. how can we be sure that we each get a fair share? I've brought along Parker's Price guide -. A good way of ensuring criteria are fair is by seeking the advice of an expert and clearly impartial third party. In a worst case. be deliberate about finding and selecting criteria that the other person can accept as being fair. You can deliberately engage the other person in a search for fair criteria. This is a limiting perception and it is often possible for both people to gain. and feel out of control when others can be unfair without our knowing. 'Expanding the Pie' comes from the metaphor where people are negotiating about a single pie. You can also reject criteria that the other person is using on the grounds that it is not gives industry-standard prices. we fear that others will try to deceive us by using comparisons and criteria which are not fair. Discussion We have a basic need for fairness. by definition.. such that where one person gets more of the pie it is clear that the other person gets less.Discussion In many negotiations there is an assumption that it is win-lose.. especially if they collaborate. 210 .

See also Hurry Close. Prices go up at the end of the week. Scarcity principle Faking Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Faking Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Dress well and pretend to be affluent. Example The project milestone is next week. due to circumstances beyond your control. When there is some action to be completed. if agreement is not reached within this short timescale. you will not wake up in time tomorrow. it will slip at least a month and it will be your responsibility. Explain how. See also Fairness. you will be unable to find a satisfactory conclusion. The Third Side False deadline Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > False deadline Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Say that something must be done by a certain deadline or else the deal is off. Discussion Constraining the time in which people have to make a decision forces them to consider the other side of the deadline and what would happen if it is not met. External standards are difficult to argue against and can include price guides. Finding fair criteria. Hurrying people. industrial standards. Changing standards. especially if it panics them. the other person will be focused on all the things that have to be done between now and the deadline. You haven't got long. If you're not in bed by ten. company policy and even social norms. If this report is not ready by then. 211 .Engaging the other person in the search for fairness is itself an act of fairness and will help to engender trust. Make the deadline in the near future and such that the other person will panic. sir. Show them what will happen if the deadline is not met. has the effect of reducing the rational and reflective thought that they put into the process and thus makes them more likely to agree with you. Fair exchange. Or dress down and pretend to be poor.

just the admiration of a few peers (or oeven a complete stranger) is remarkably desirable. Similarly. You can also use the reverse effect: showing how not complying will reduce how much the person will be admired. if you get caught out. Many of us would like to be famous and linking your name to someone famous gets you some of that fame and perhaps makes the other person a bit envious and wanting to be like you. When you are buying something. Talk about experiences that you have not had.Mention qualifications that you do not have. I proved that this is the hardest substance with the required flexibility coefficient. I've been doing this for ten years and I can tell you that would cost a mint and take at least a year to get going. Fame does not have to be national in scope -. Do make sure the others who will admire the person are those who the person would like to admire them. the reverse may be true and it might be more effective to plead poverty. Mention your membership of exclusive clubs. Example When I was working on my doctorate. faking affluence or other desirable attribute can help. if they agree with you. Or otherwise pretend to be someone you are not. Faking credentials or experience gives you that credibility. Name-drop about people you have not met. you can expect disproportionate punishment. 212 . I was talking with Brad at the Oscars ceremony and he said that celebrity interest in these is going up. Discussion Credibility is often very important in negotiation. See also Trust Fame Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Fame Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Show how something you are offering will make the other person famous or otherwise more highly regarded by other people. they will gain the esteem of others. for example when you need to be seen to be expert about something you are selling or buying. As ever with deception. Show how. No.

or otherwise ensure your body aligns with your words. I'll tell my friends what a great Dad you are. Discussion One of our most fundamental needs is for a sense of identity. You look absolutely fantastic. Be impressed by what they have done. Tell them how clever. Identity needs. I can tell you.Example I know this is extra work. See also Finding variables. Esteem needs Flattery Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Flattery Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Make the other person look good. attractive (etc) they are. Ask them to tell you more. This makes our sense of identity a negotiable. as well as fortune is highly desirable. What others think about us. People who let down their comrades around here are not well liked. it puts them into a position where they will want to act as a friend to you. Fame is also a variable. Listen attentively. Use romantic body language as appropriate. If you let me stay out tonight. Fame. as you also gain their reflected glory. the better you feel. When you act like a friend. Example That was amazing! How did you do that? You're very young to be in such a senior position. which we typically gain through our interactions with others. The more people people who like you. where the other person will want to repay your kindness to them. but the CEO really appreciates how much you are helping her. You must be very good at this. This is amplified if the people who like you are themselves famous. by association you. 213 . even those we don't know. Flattery also creates a sense of exchange. and you can offer to boost it in exchange for something you want. Can I be your slave? Discussion Flattery makes the other person feel good about themselves and. Everyone is looking at you! Speak a little quieter. It creates a bond with them. intelligent. is thus immensely important to us.

. There's suet pudding. Example Do you want this one. You can also push the option toward the person in some way. Emphasis. a grey one or a purple one (emphasis memorable). Making things more noticeable may use emphasis of some kind. Bonding principle Forced choice Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Forced choice Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When offering a set of options. Which would you prefer? Discussion One of the tricks that magicians use in doing card tricks is known as 'forcing'. • Offer things that may normally be acceptable but which you know are unacceptable to the the person (leaving the obvious choice. You can have a brown one. a bright yellow shiny one. Methods you can use for this include: • Off the thing you want them to take first or last. • Make the thing you want them to take memorable (and other things not memorable). See also Reducing choice. that house is expensive and the other house is a real bargain and it's nearby.). where they get the target person to pick the card they want them to pick. • Create contrast to highlight and polarize the desirable and undesirable. • Make the thing you want them to choose more desirable. Choosing the first or last thing offered utilizes the primacy effect or recency effect. Contrast principle 214 . • Make the choice you want them to make easier. make it easy for them to choose the one you want them to choose and hard for them to choose the ones you do not want them to choose. a snake or a dog. chocolate ice-cream or heavy fudge cake. Biased choice Primacy effect. You can also try to take it away and let them jealously grab it back. a blue one. the other one or that one. whilst the target person thinks that they have selected from their own volition. (using emphasis and primacy)..See also Exchange principle. Recency effect. This also helps make them easier to remember. (contrast and desirability) We could get a rat. (desirability) This house is far away.

Hmm. Hint at the effects of inflation. from investments to pensions have surprised investors by losing their money. for example by paying in kind. Use complex investment options. Well if inflation is at 5% and base rate increase by two points per month. All they want to know is what they have to pay.Funny money Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Funny money Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are selling. then we'll be able to double your income and avoid the setup charge for the third year. Discuss tax avoidance. Play with risk and valuations of it. When the other person seeks to get something from you. sir. I know you have said you can't afford it. would you like to drive away in this wonderful vehicle today? Discussion Most people become quickly lost when financial arrangements start be discussed. but if I can show you a way that you could manage the payments. Spread the cost over time. when they have been told that they 'couldn't lose'. offer financial arrangements that makes it appear that the price is lower than it actually is. offering goods and services rather than cash. Hide future costs. It is thus easy to bamboozle them with relatively simple (or even fake) financial wording. Consider depreciation. break it down and talk about each item as if it is really important. Well. we can double down the future reversal and save you at least 29% for you next 12 months of payment. 215 . in particularly in the short term. See also Faking Fragmentation Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Fragmentation Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Break down what is being negotiated up into small pieces and negotiate for each one. When you are buying. Talk about savings and opportunity. offer to pay by different means. Various financial services. Example Well. Deal in future value. Go into detail about the benefits that it gives (even if these are the same benefits as other items).

See also The size heuristic Good guy/bad guy Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Good guy/bad guy Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description One person acts in an aggressive and pushy way. making unreasonable demands and requiring compliance. You've broken your tractor. Make a big thing about each item. I could bring some wine -. The good guy (or gal. In this way. you can turn a small opportunity into a larger advantage. Break down the big bad things into lots of bad things. You can even do it as one person: be unpleasant and then apologize (you are under such stress) and ask nicely for what you want. that includes SquidgyOffice Word. you've scratched your best toy car and you've broken your new toy that you got last week. I want you to ensure everything else is ready.can you make sure dinner is made? Discussion When we want to assess size.. He acts in an aggressive and dominant way. or plead for compliance because the bad guy is being horrible to the good guy too. When you have a hierarchy of things. complaining about the price and the sales 216 . whereby we mistake quantity for overall size. SquidgyOffice Data and SquidgyOffice Presentation.. The other person then acts in a kind and friendly way. you can make them seem like even more by talking not only about the bottom-level 'child' items. if I cancel my meetings and come home on time. negotiating hard for something in exchange for each one. asking nicely -.You can also apply the same approach when describing the down-side of what they are offering. Now. By breaking down a large item you have more negotiables. SquidgyOffice Spreadsheet. but also the 'parent' items at each level of the tree. This is a great computer. This gives the negotiator a method of making something that is actually quite small seem really quite big. of course) may apologize for the bad guy.and getting compliance. as well as a whole host of utility programs such as. we often use the size heuristic. Example A husband and wife go out to buy some hi-fi speakers. It's got Windows XY. Example You have been so naughty.

When selling goods. The Drama Triangle Highball Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Highball Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description This is a tactic for sellers. allowing them to rationalize their action and retain dignity. raises their desires and the house they eventually buy is more expensive than they had anticipated. A liked line manager meets with her people afterwards and says that if the goals are not met then she will be punished. quite possibly on the low side (although if they seem particularly keen to settle. The bad guy acts to cause discomfort and tension. A senior manager makes a presentation in an unpleasant and aggressive way. where one parent tries to impose discipline by demanding compliance after which the other seems to get it easily by gentle request. This is often seen on TV in the good-cop/bad-cop routine that is often seen in police dramas. It can also be a subconscious pattern for parents. Be careful about asking the other person what they will offer. demanding that tough goals are met. where you make your first offer as high as you dare. This. He then reduces the price without being bargained with. asking them might give you a pleasant surprise). a market trader starts with a high price. Discussion This is a classic implementation of the Hurt and Rescue principle. Example A child who wants a parent to fund a night out starts by asking for about three times as much as they really want. Sometimes the person complies with the good guy as an act of revenge to 'teach the bad guy manners'. so do your research beforehand to find the buyer's zone of acceptability. An estate agent takes buyers to houses that they cannot afford. using excuses about being kind. She takes the sales person aside and apologizes for her husband and whispers a price at which she thinks he will buy. which is a core element of many persuasion methods. 217 . This can be helped by determining what constitutes a reasonable range of prices. needing to sell everything today and so on. See also Hurt and Rescue principle. as their first bid anchors the discussion. then start at. or even above the top of their range.person's 'condescending' manner. however. What the good guy says often gives the target person an excuse to comply. after which the good guy offers escape and closure.

whereby they may well assume that this is in a reasonable range. Hire a subject expert to give you advice on the substance of the deal. Hire an expert negotiator to do the actual deal. giving you more opportunity to find out more about the other person and to build effective tension. 218 . do not try to do it all yourself. Hold your nerve! If you collapse your position. Be careful about starting too high. Even if they are above what you expected. Get in the professionals. A high start may well take longer to reach resolution. you can never go up. you can always go down. as this may cause a betrayal response whereby they leave without further ado. A significant difference will make them believe they have got a bargain (a view you can encourage with sighs and supporting words). The difference between your start position and your end position is a signal to the other person about how much you have conceded to them. Discuss things with them beforehand so they know what you really want. do not settle immediately -. When you start low. so take along a mechanic to thoroughly examine the car before I start negotiating and also to give advice on such as cost of repairs. although this can actually be a good move. this may be a signal that they know what you are doing. Also take breaks during the negotiation to confer with them about what you might be really getting and the costs and real value involved. they may well take advantage and seek to pull you even further down. ignoring anything you may say. See also Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic Hire an expert Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Hire an expert Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description If the stakes are high. When you start high. Example I am buying a second-hand car. If the other person starts low. then you will end up with a high price. Responding to a low bid with a high bid indicates that you know they are low and may be seeking If the other person counters with a low bid (or starts to walk away).Discussion Where you start sets expectations for the other person. then it may be socially difficult for you to counter with a high best split the difference and you may be able to nudge them even higher. Extreme positions outside of a range that may be considered fair can also be damaging to relationships (which may be important). If their counter-bid is also high. Starting high creates an anchor for the other person.

Negotiators will often take a percentage of the sale price that they get for you (or. finding their separate needs. they will save or make you much more money than they cost. Remember that a good negotiator will also negotiate with you for their percentage! Incremental conversion Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Incremental conversion Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are seeking to convince a group of people. You can expect to pay top prices for a top-class expert in the field. Discussion Experts are not usually cheap. or at very least reduce the risk of being deceived. build trust and nudge them towards conversion. pick them off one at a time. A sales person makes an ally of the technical expert in the company and feeds them with material to help them do internal selling. putting together the jigsaw of understanding to get the bigger picture of their organization. When you have converted individual people. Listen to many different people. 219 . A negotiator uses breaks to catch people in informal situations. for example where they may cluster around a polar position even when individually they are more open to persuasion.An entrepreneur is selling her company. if buying. Discussion Incremental conversion uses a 'divide and conquer' approach and helps break down group effects in the other side. match people up one-on-one with the task of wooing them over. I talk to an auctioneer friend. Focus on the individual. It also allows for individual one-on-one relationships to be built that develop trust and hence move overall towards agreement. getting them to subvert and convert others. Example A negotiation team 'shares out' the people on the other side and get. rather than trying to convert them all at once. The basic reason for hiring an expert is that. Before selling an antique. then you can also use them as allies. She hires a professional negotiator to do the negotiation and a lawyer to check details of the contract. a cut of what they save). If you are using team negotiation. although they are expensive.

They become personally invested in it to the point where they feel they will lose face if they concede. Of course -. Theories about groups.) Discussion Sometimes people get stuck on a demand that actually is not that important. then they will not notice or object to its later removal or minimization. Give less that what might have been originally expected. but just do not deliver it. If the point was not really important. Include the item in the agreement. indicate that they will be able to get what they want. in order to get them moving.oh. for example a construction contract then you can often quietly drop in convenient things without them being noticed. remove or otherwise minimize that thing which was 'conceded'. later. Your concession on this point thus lets them move on to the next topic. I'm sorry. Negotiate the point away in a trade for something else. let's move on to the main agenda. I'll look into it when I get back home (where you call back and apologize that it just isn't possible now). I'm sure I can get that for you.. When there are a lot of sub-items in the negotiated item. Theories about conforming Interim trade Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Interim trade Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are stuck in a negotiation because something is wanted by the other side but which you do not want to give (or are unable to obtain).. Then. Now.See also Fragmentation principle. Example Yes.let's include it in the final agreement (where it gets conveniently forgotten). For example: • • • • • • Try ignoring it in the final agreement. See also Attention principle. I don't see why not. Distraction principle Lawyer Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Lawyer Description | Example | Discussion | See also 220 . I thought you meant. (later -. Reinterpret the commitment and give something else. Claim to have misunderstood the original request.

Have a person on your side 'sympathetically' tell them something. You do not need to be as clever as a lawyer -. Let them overhear you talking about particular (but false) needs or strategies that you have. Example In a negotiation I have my papers flat on the table with a highlighted section that can be easily read upside down. Leave documents on the table that they might read or copy. Use logical arguments that are rational and show cause-and-effect. including the recent reduction targets? Discussion Lawyers succeed by preparing long before the show begins. asking a barrage of questions and not letting the other person finish or letting them talk themselves into trouble. Follow the law. and why this is a legitimate goal. See also Questioning techniques. you said you have not been to see anyone else. yet I have it on good authority that you were seen leaving Alco's offices last week.. Quote chapter and verse of laws and regulations.. They are also very well qualified and usually extremely sharp and intelligent. Lawyers also succeed by confusing and dominating their subjects. Mr Jones. Or just name the rules.we get excited and voices get raised. Example So. cross-examining the witness and postulating probabilities. 221 . Ask searching and direct questions that surprises them into 'confessions'. Argument Leaking Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Leaking Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Let misleading information 'leak' out from your side. Jeffery. Be passionate about legitimate and correct causes. tell me more about what you want to gain from this. Draw them out and let them hang themselves. either in the letter or the spirit (or maybe both). We have a corridor conversation near where they are having coffee -.just acting like one will make many people think you are as clever as one. Does this product conform with all Federal and European emissions regulations. Yesterday. Let something 'slip out' during conversation.Description Be like a lawyer.

then we can go alone.and consequently avoid other areas (where perhaps you do not want them to go). Discussion Linking shows cause and effect. answering the question 'why' and allowing the other person to predict. otherwise I might come back next week with a credit card. link items together. If they fail to deliver. it can be very exciting for them as they believe they have a significant advantage over you.. Link in consequences as well. I will only go where you want if I can bring my mother. By highlighting their needs.. When the leak proves eventually to be false (if they ever find out this). Linking shows them the route to what they want. If you go where I want. then you can choose to call the whole deal off. In particular link the things they want with the things that you want. they may be so focused on these that your needs seem less significant. Make agreements conditional upon things being achieved. a few small but very useful extras get towed along as well. Governments will add small items to larger bills.' a lot. building a web of commitment. just the two of us. Use words such as 'otherwise'. See also Distraction principle. such that as the main item gets voted into law. making it conditional that gaining the main item means also gaining a number of other smaller items. linking benefit and method. If you give me a 25% discount.. This leads them to focus largely on these areas -. with cash.. the contrast between them makes the weak item seem insignificant and so it gets a free ride. Also link in things that are not wanted.'.. Say 'If you. You can link weak issues with strong ones. then they are unable to complain.. Example In a performance-related agreement with staff. Evidence principle Linking Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Linking Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are building agreements. a pay rise is agreed to be given only if employee productivity increases to a given level. then I will buy today. Linking strong and weak items.Discussion When people receive 'leaked' information. 222 .then I. Use the word 'if. for to do so would be to admit deceptive and possibly criminal behavior.

where you start your bidding particularly low. then you will lose out in any exchange. Example A person buying a car says that low cost and high performance are both important. concede on items which are lower priority in order to get those which are higher priority. then start at. 223 . you have items that you would like but which are less important. High-Low Lowball Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Lowball Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description This is a method for buyers. you can gain by exchanging low value items for high value items. however. See also Highball. When offered a lower performance car they use their stated priorities to help reduce the price. In a contract negotiation. for example. Such low-for-high exchanges are often called 'elegant variables'. they concede on some of the features a little but keep the timescale which is more important. When pressed or making an exchange. If all you have is things that are important to you. the buyer tries to put in a number of strict sections about timescales and product features.See also Cause-and-effect reasoning Log-rolling Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Log-rolling Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Make a range of requests. some of which are less important as well as those which are critical for you. When negotiating a price on something. In order to exchange you have to have something give away. so do your research beforehand to find the seller's zone of acceptability. If. Later. This may be justified with an argument about why you are offering so little. or even below the bottom of their range. The best way of doing this is to have items that are lf lower priority for you but which are higher priority for the other party. Discussion Negotiations often include concessions and exchanges as the players seek to find agreement. it can help to know what constitutes a reasonable range of prices.

you can never go down. Be careful about starting too low. Sorry. If they are not immediately rejected. A low start may well take longer to reach resolution. as this may cause a betrayal response whereby they leave without further ado. Extreme positions outside of a range that may be considered fair can also be damaging to relationships (which may be important). When you start high. Starting low creates an anchor for the other person. • Use this when things are getting sticky and you need to get them thinking about something else. A significant difference will make them believe they have got a bargain (a view you can encourage with sighs and supporting words). 224 . The difference between your start position and your end position is a signal to the other person about how much you have conceded to them. Even if they are below what you expected.. as this will anchor the discussion (and their expectations) at a higher price. It's damaged. then you will end up with a good price. they follow up to see how low a price they can get.. whereby they may well assume that this is in a reasonable range. See also Anchoring and Adjustment best split the difference and you may be able to nudge them even higher. If the other person counters with a highball (or starts to walk away). A car dealer phones around personal adverts of individual selling cars. there's no call for these thing nowadays. ignoring anything you may say. this may be a signal that they know what you are doing. coming back at 3am. Discussion Where you start sets expectations for the other person. too. I start by saying that I want him back at 10pm. Hold your nerve! If you collapse your position. Example My son wants to stay out late. you can always go up. We settle on midnight. When you start low. If their counter-bid is lower than you expected.Be careful about starting out asking the other person what their price is. giving you more opportunity to find out more about the other person and to build effective tension. making very low offers. Highball New issue Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > New issue Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Bring up a new issue in the middle of the negotiation. they may well take advantage and seek to pull you even further down. The best I can offer is. do not settle immediately -. sir.

Bring in an observer to watch body language and add a fresh eye. so I ask my wife to talk with him. You can later drop the issue as appropriate (perhaps negotiating this for another concession). I've been looking at the design and I think we'll need an extra safety system. Confusion principle. Add a new member or change a person in a negotiation team. so they bring in their trade union representative. breaking the flow of their progress. Adding the issue late into the session will make it less likely that they will respond by pulling out.he now needs to do this in half the time. Example I've just had a call from the boss -. 225 ..• Use it when you think you have conceded too much and they are getting more than their fair share... but I think we may be able to do without it. Bring in a subject expert to give advice. • Use it to cause delays when you need time to think or take other action. adding extra things can overload them.You know. Distraction principle New player Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > New player Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When a negotiation that is taking a number of meetings is getting stuck or things are turning for the worse (for you). When the other side is having things too easy. A buying team wants to shake up a negotiation with a sales team and so changes several members of its team.. I know I added this. Example I am getting nowhere in persuading my son. Discussion When the other side is struggling to handle the complexities of the negotiation. bring a new person from your side to the table. A person is unsuccessful at asking the boss for a raise. . a new issue can cause them to pause. thus creating pressure for them to make concessions in order to reduce the pressure. Change the person doing the negotiation. See also Quivering quill.

Reward them with kind words and thanks. They can counter arguments or create your own new arguments. when the other person is seeking to reach a final agreement. You can also ask a short sequence of nibbles and then give it a rest before asking for more. Example Oh. I also want water for everyone. It can also make them feel good by giving you something that seems small to them and makes you so happy..could I have one more seat? Can I have that table there? And please send the waiter over immediately. Frame the request as being very easy for the other person to give. A new expert can help you challenge claims from the other side. one at a time. Changing your team make-up breaks this pattern and allows you to remove any suspect people A new person on your team will disrupt and distract the other side as they seek to figure out what this person is like and what part they will play. I know? Discussion In the way that a rabbit nibble at a lettuce leaf with small bites. for example by incremental conversion. 226 . relationships start to build between the two sides. This creates an inter-group social pattern of which the other side can be taken advantage. The stained glass is included. Asking for a small thing makes it seem mean for the other person to refuse. to get the ball rolling. This can be particularly effective near the end of the's not much really -. This window system is just what I want.The hardwood surrounds as well. so also is 'nibbling' a way of getting a lot. now.Discussion As negotiations progress. just one more thing -. Be appreciative when they give. identify that which has not been mentioned. of course?. You can leave a delay between each one. Get agreement on each. See also Distraction principle Nibbling Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Nibbling Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Ask for small things.. A new negotiator is often able to sweep away commitments made by the previous negotiator. It can also work near the beginning.

You can name the authority. as the authority person is not there. particularly if the person named is known and has a high position. getting a small concession sets the tone of the negotiation (that you get something for nothing). tell them that the request has been turned down). Claiming no authority can cause problems when the other person asks to deal with the person in authority. When the other person believes the deal has been agreed (or nearly agreed). at the next meeting. then you gain by proxy a certain amount of that authority. and can make more demands than you might otherwise. Foot In The Door (FITD No authority Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > No authority Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Refuse to give in on items based on the fact that you have not been given authority to do what is being requested by the other person. If you use the name of a person in particularly high authority. offer to take the request back to that authority for consideration (and. See also The personal-closure trap. you will have to be able say no (you do have authority for this!). Example Sorry. For this. Escalating demand. I'd love to give you that.At the start of the negotiation. if you wish. I'll have to ask your mother about that. but I don't think I'd get away with it. Mandate Non-negotiable Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Non-negotiable Description | Example | Discussion | See also 227 . then this effectively prevents the other person from disputing your decision. then they will give in on a small detail very easily. You can. See also Non-negotiable. I only have the authority to spend up to a thousand. Discussion When you claim that you do not have authority to make a decision.

Snow them under with a blizzard of information. market information. If they persist.then there's the 228 .Description Make one or more items that you need or want to be things on which you will not concede at all. just use a broken record response. Probe for more and more answers. then they have the choice of terminating the negotiation or giving in on that point.. Unless they have a walk-away alternative. son. Example I'm sorry. well there's 2000 special educational units. The walk-away alternative. That's a nice car. Sorry. but you can't go until homework is done -. state that you are not prepared to negotiate on this thing. Keep asking for information. financial analyses. When the other person tries to bargain with you on a non-negotiable. I cannot include the carpets. 24 of those with under-fives. You can distract them from any persistence by offering a concession on something else. too. Example You wanted to see our customer results for the SB04 product line. I've had my secretary send you all the customer results we have. I'm sure it's in there somewhere. six within this in this very city. Mandate Overwhelm Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Overwhelm Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Give the other side so much information that they become overwhelmed and unable to my satisfaction. When they ask for details about your company. give them sheafs of history. They were my parents. wants and likes. School numbers? Yes. Discussion When the other person believes that you are not going to concede on a particular item. Hide the needle that they are seeking in a haystack of irrelevant data. then the thought of terminating relationship will not be a good option for them. You can also overwhelm them with requests. talking about all the exceptions and variations in the area they are asking about. It may be your best friend's party. but I must have four wheel drive. See also Needs. When they ask you for information verbally. homework comes first. I must have four wheel drive. go on at great length..

then is is assumed that you are giving away something that you would rather have. including divisional results and internal analyses.Well. padding has to be credible.well. If it is suspected that you are deliberately padding then all of your requirements will be suspect and open to challenge..educational units in hospitals.. I need a meeting room for twenty people. I guess I'll have to stop Jim and Mary from coming... This is also an opportunity to show them how busy you are.. Be ready to justify why you want these things. When you concede from this. give away this 'padding'.. how much work you do and how really complex and difficult it really is. I'll accept it next Friday if you include a full specification. ok. You can pad on any variables or individual items or even some combination. isn't it? Discussion Your initial position is often taken as what you really want. I'll take the green one.. My wife said it must be red. Example I must have this done by the end of the week. but only if you include the full insurance package. Then later. Beware of including what you cannot reasonably justify. Do not do this lightly. See also Bluff 229 .. How many are you looking for? What type? What variant? Which year? We want to see all your financial records for the past ten years. See also Data dump Padding Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Padding Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Add in requirements to your initial position that you do not really need. when you need to concede in order to get something you want. In order to work.Well. Discussion When you snow another person you cannot be accused of being unhelpful or failing to comply with their requests. of course. and that its entire contents are at least very desirable to you.. I guess I'll have to think about what to say to Jean. I don't know if you want to include these but they are sometimes important.. Coffee is included in that price. Act in the same way as if you were conceding something you really want.

Example A salesperson makes an offer to phase payments over time in return for signing the deal today. A government announces a tax increase. This results in a muted response from the general public. Introducing a new consideration that changes the whole situation. If the occurrence is delayed. 230 . whilst phasing out some of the benefits that can no longer be afforded. See also Slicing Plant Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Plant Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Have another person upset the applecart by saying something controversial or otherwise putting the other person off their stride. Sometimes you can do this in one go. where the pain of loss (for example) can be particularly upsetting.Phasing Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Phasing Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you are introducing something that is unpalatable or unpleasant in some way. Discussion When something painful happens. Asking irrelevant questions. but also more tolerable each time. A change manager phases in difficult changes over time. there is a double blow in the pain of the announcement and the pain of it actually happening. but defers it for six months. offer to phase it in over time. Talking for a long time. then by the time the event occurs the people involved will have adjusted and be emotionally ready for the event. For example: • • • • Criticizing the other person's argument. The reverse may also be done: phasing out something that is desirable. Phasing a thing over time makes the pain more frequent. This may range from financial pain (whereby the person simply could not afford it in a single go) to emotional pain. Announce it at one point and then delay the introduction.

A primed bystander looks shocked at the other side's position.• Using contradictory or negative body language. then the deal is yours today. I want one more thing to be included in this. but may well not be focused achieving closure on the best answer (and thus. They shake their head and frown at many of the things the other side says. It is thus Example When telling my son to go to bed. Before I sign. knowing how the argument would proceed). I forgot to ask. In a team negotiation. It may even be something quite significant. won't you? Discussion When the deal is just about to close. A Plant is also Belbin's team role. See also Belbin's Team Roles Quivering quill Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Quivering quill Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Wait until you are just about to sign the deal and then pause. wandering offtopic when they are talking. Be careful that the plant is not so annoying that they completely dissuade the other person from wanting to negotiate with you. The thought of you pulling 231 . a person on one side brought in as a subject expert keeps talking about things that are not relevant. where the person is creative and comes up with good ideas. you will ask Bill. Also. then the other person may well have already emotionally closed and assumed that the deal is complete. If you give me an upgrade to the next model for the same price. This person can be someone on your side who acts like a 'loose cannon' or may be an apparently neutral bystander. in teams. make sure that the other person does not guess that the plant is acting deliberately. can't I? Oh yes. of course. before I go. Look at the other person and ask for some extra concession. needs to be controlled). Example Mmm. Discussion A 'plant' is a person who is deliberately 'planted' into a situation for a particular purpose. my daughter makes a comment about it being childish to argue like that (which I asked her to say beforehand. You may even have the pen in your hand (the 'quivering quill'). Whoops. I can bring the children as well.

For example.that is. the trail must be of sufficient interest that the other person misses any clues to other areas. See also The personal-closure trap Red herring Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Red herring Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Lay a false trail that the other person will follow. make the trail difficult to follow (but with enough interesting clues to keep them sniffing. Be careful to retain credibility.. but minor problems to an auditor. If the other person realizes that it is a deliberate red herring. Make sure the trail goes away from the things you do not want them to discover. in fact. Discussion Laying a false trail leads people away from areas that you do not want them to see. time spent following the red herring is time that can not be spent in other areas. Example A company shows some interesting. To do this. If you want them to waste time. distracting them from the really serious issues that may be found elsewhere. See also Confusion principle 232 . If you want them to expend effort. Talking about problems that are not really problems has effects beyond distraction. let's look. perfect. it may show you in a positive light as willing to highlight issues that may count against you. for example by referencing the trail through other people. the relief that problems are not problems creates a sense of closure that easily becomes agreement to the deal.No! The paintwork is. There might be a problem with the paintwork. so it should either be cloaked carefully or you must be protected from any anger.. they may be very unhappy about this.out is thus so painful for them that they will make significant concessions just to get the agreement complete (and the pain of re-opening relieved). make the trail long. You can highlight 'problems' which turn out not to be problems (after a degree of examination). Also. Red herrings are particularly useful when the activity is time-bound -.

Though I've also got contacts in reception -. I do hear they need people with your talents down in Sewage Maintenance.. making the things you want the best or only things that they choose. This causes people anxious to get away from this -. Dress it up so that it seems more reasonable (at least that it is reasonable that you might offer it to them).. Example Well. and there are openings there -.. See also Hurt and Rescue principle Reducing choice Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Reducing choice Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Reduce the choices that the other person has to a limited number -. Four or five may be ok but can be too much. Michael will not like that. Tell you what: there is something I can do. or you can clean up this mess. Uh oh.the last guy ended up in hospital.would you like me to ask them? You can go to bed now . 233 . Make it seem inevitable. against which any alternative sounds wonderful.. where you was as likely to die from the cold as from a Russian bullet (and the Russians were pretty mad at being invaded. Paint the picture of pain. Ten is way too many. Show how it is going to happen. You've done it now. just as they were when Napoleon tried the same trick). In offering choices. Offering something that is clearly undesirable creates panic and discomfort.Russian Front Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Russian Front Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Offer them something that they will never the point where they are looking more at what they are avoiding than what they are getting instead.two or three is often good. This is an application of the Hurt and Rescue principle and also the Contrast principle. And he's coming down in ten minutes. Discussion One of the things that many German soldiers feared in the second world war was being sent to the Russian front. Then offer them the alternative that you really want them to choose. The Russian front provides the pain. you can of course provide biased choice.

. you can eliminate those things that you do not want and focus on the things you do want.. (limited choice) Do you want fries with that?. they will feel as if you are controlling them. Each will have a different effect. (revealing choice) Do you want a large or small car?. You can accompany this with either cool rationality or emotion and drama. That is just too or mixed? . control is taken away from the negotiators..Avoid offering too many choices at once.. If you believe you are more likely to win the case in this kind of environment. If you give a person no choice. Hmm. If you give them too much choice. they will be confused.. If the other person knows this. You can get through many options by revealing new choices or descending a hierarchical tree of choices. Discussion In court. I think I am going to have to get the Union involved. Suggest that some third party be brought in to mediate or is for family or just you?. Judging vs.. I think we should ask Michael what he thinks. 234 .. (hierarchical choice) Discussion When you reduce choice in negotiations.. perceiving preferences will affect choice. then we'll need to involve the whole team in the decision.. Example Right! I'm telling Mum on you! If we can't agree here. as perceivers prefer more options (so give them more). then the threat of doing this will get them to concede many doors?..what dressing would you like?.. Example We can visit your family next week or the week after -. with a judge or jury making the decisions. See also Alternative Close.. then moving to this will gain you advantage..and salad?. Too many options will either lead to confusion or happy mulling over all the options (but no decision). Fair criteria See you in court Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > See you in court Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Threaten to take the whole thing to a higher authority or some public forum..I'm away for a while then. Biased choice.

I want a much better discount. balance the difference with a cash payment. When you have the upper hand in that the other person wants what you have more than you want what they have. See also Breaking it off Side Payments Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Side Payments Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When what one side wants is more than what the other side wants. This will need a valuation of the items being exchanged.Sorry. Generally. the difference in value is negotiated and the family pay this in cash. I'm not doing that again until you clear up your room. where an older couple are swapping their big house with a young family who have a smaller bungalow. Example I let you use the car yesterday. Threat principle Shotgun Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Shotgun Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Refuse to continue until a concession is gained. I'm not interested in talking about add-ons or finance deals until we agree the discount.. An independent agent may be used for this or it can just be included in the negotiation. 235 .Court is a very public place where people's dirty washing gets aired. people concede in turn. Example In a house exchange.. Make it clear that nothing is going to happen until they give in on a single. then you may be able to demand several concessions before you concede on one thing. The thought of this loss of face can be very persuasive in getting people to think again about the agreements they are making. but they have not given enough back in return. Discussion Use this method particularly when you have conceded to the other person. See also Review: The Third Side. named item.

Discussion Where the negotiation is not about buying something. You can take out the items that are difficult to agree and agree on the things on which you can get a good agreement. for example where a sales person 'throws in' additional products to make their price more tempting. If we sign the contract as is. Sometimes slicing a deal up just into two parts can be very helpful in achieving focus. there is often an unspoken assumption that the exchange is goods-for-goods or some other non-financial interaction. By breaking down the negotiation into lots of smaller negotiations. Discussion Slicing allows you to gain agreement in a situation where there may be a sticking point over which agreement cannot yet be gained. we are not agreeing on the location. The difficult items may then be negotiated one at a time. The same principle can be used in other ways. See also Exchange principle Slicing Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Slicing Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Slice a larger deal up into a number of smaller complete deals. Gain clear agreement on each one before moving on to the next. so you'll spend tomorrow digging the hole. Let's get back together when that's complete. so let's first agree on the timescales. Look. Example Right.Look. I'll give you this Honda and five hundred extra for your Ford. we can add a contract variation later. Bringing in a compensatory balance can help to make things more acceptable. See also The size heuristic Split the difference 236 . Build smaller packages on which you can gain agreement. which I know is a bit newer. possibly at another time. you may be able to get more for your money.

you can take it now. Take it or leave it. I've done as much as I can for you now. Leave a long pause after this.Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Split the difference Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you have offered one amount (often. I'll accept 250. Example That's all I've got. Show that if they leave it. say 'take it or leave it'. then offer to 'split the difference'. but I'd be prepared to split the difference. so be careful about using this method in such circumstances (for example by making sure your walk-away is better). then this is not important to you. agreeing a solution that is half-way between two positions. The trick with this is to maneuver the situation such that a half-way position is actually still a very agreeable solution for you. then leaving it may be a very real option. If the other person has a walk-away alternative. money) and the other person has named another amount. but where one is intended as being unacceptable. Example It's lower than I really wanted. that offers two choices. but not necessarily. 237 . See also The Need for Fairness Take it or leave it Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Take it or leave it Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description When you make an offer to the other person. Discussion Saying 'take it or leave it' is a form of Alternative Close. I really think you'll regret that decision for a long time. for example by demonstrating your walk-away beforehand. or you can leave it forever. just looking expectantly at them (or maybe leaving them to stew for a while by themselves). and hence can be difficult to refuse. If you don't take it. I want 300. to agree on a price that is half-way between what you want and what the other person wants. or by acting in a casual manner. Well. thus forcing the actual choice. Discussion Splitting the difference. appears to be fair. so you're going to have to take it or leave it. That's the best offer I can make. For a quick sale. You are offering 200.

..will you.. refuse to talk about it. If the other person brings it up..See also The walk-away alternative. See also Assumption principle Undiscussable Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Undiscussable Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Make a subject that is particularly embarrassing undiscussable. Distract them by moving quickly on to a separate and different subject -.preferably one that they will find interesting. For example: • • • • Ask 'what if?' and wait for 'how?' Use 'If I. Is that it? Discussion It is easy to assume that the other person will not accept an idea or is not ready for closure.. Say 'Are you ready to agree now?' Example How about going to the restaurant tonight? If we can agree on the final numbers. The fear of their refusal can thus prevent you from exploring or trying something out. Explore possibilities that will lead to closure..' and see if they agree. Float out an idea and see if they run with it or away from it. are you ready to sign today? Right. All you need to do to use a trial balloon is to add some form of qualifier or otherwise ask questions that will lead them to consider moving forward with you. 238 . Using pauses Trial balloon Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Trial balloon Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Suggest a final solution and see if the other side bites. This can be applied to individual negotiables also. We've agreed on the date and price.' Use 'Let's.

When a new member enters the group.. I'm not kidding here: I'll sue you for everything you've got. Example Sorry. I won't! I won't!! I won't!!! And if you try to make me. ok!! I can't be at the meeting tomorrow because it's my grandmother's funeral. There are two dimensions that you can apply: the level of pain and how long it goes on for. In groups. A flat refusal This is a typical method that is used for things that are particularly embarrassing. Example If you don't give me what I want right now. If they do not comply with your demands. If you cannot cause significant pain. Ok? Happy now?? Discussion Making something undiscussable puts it off the agenda. even if it also would cause you pain. a long war of attrition may be enough. See also The wince War Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > War Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Threaten them with extreme action that will cause them significant discomfort.. a way to prevent them continuing is to give some detail that embarrasses them into giving up. you are demonstrating that you are prepared to go to any lengths to get your way. threaten to do something that will cause them significant trouble and pain.I just want green. I may just set up in competition with you and drive you out of business. I'll scream and scream and scream!! Discussion When you threaten war or some other extreme action. A dripping tap wears away even the hardest stone. they quickly learn what not to talk about. Would you like to hear about what happened at the party last week? No. it is not uncommon for people to have unspoken agreements that 'I will not talk about your failings if you do not talk about mine'. the next thing you hear will be from my lawyer. If we cannot agree on the right price for your company. The 'Emperor's New Clothes' is a parable that shows how even obvious things become undiscussable. it has to be green.If they persist. I don't talk about my private life. This lack of consistency with 'normal 239 .

He is rather unwell and would be cheered up by the visit. The notion of extreme action also gives a contrast between the loss of capitulation and the loss that the extreme actions would cause. A woman begging takes a child with her. It is particularly scary when they realize that you are prepared to do battle even if the cost to you is high. this is a highly effective value for creating social cohesion and support for the needy. Threat principle Widows and orphans Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > Widows and orphans Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Get the sympathy vote by showing how you are helping those less fortunate than yourself. but have you thought about the effect it will have on the children?? I thought that as we go to London. Excuse me Mike. even total capitulation may seem like a better option. In this case. we could stop off to see my father. who is. it can be a coercive and effective bind. a struggling single parent. Play to the crowd: Add some drama. in particular the broad social moral which says that we should not harm those who are weaker than ourselves. See also Contrast principle. show how what the other person is suggesting will hurt those innocents. Discussion Using the 'widows and orphans' approach is an appeal to the values of the other person. In negotiation.behavior' makes it difficult for the other person to predict what you will do and their consequent fear leads them to capitulate. Example Nice idea. Alternatively. play to them as well. This lack of rationality again makes you difficult to predict. do you agree with Sally? She wants to get rid of Jennifer. as we all know. If there are others there. See also Appeal to Emotion The wince Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation tactics > The wince Description | Example | Discussion | See also 240 . In normal use.

you can ask them to repeat it or ask if they are sure. He reduces his price. The wince Defense Mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Defense Mechanisms Anxiety and tension | Defense Mechanisms | So what? Sigmund Freud describes how the Ego uses a range of mechanisms to handle the conflict between the Id. such as being bitten by a dog or falling from a ladder. it is also a signal that you may well back out of the negotiation (a physical movement backwards emphasizes this). When you show shock. will back down rather than thought of in this way. as if you are shocked into silence. Discussion When you wince and look shocked at a named price. the Ego and the Super ego. See also Social Norms. running away from the dog or simply refusing to go up the ladder... If they say nothing (give them plenty of time). Then I look at him and raise my eyebrows. I incline my head and step forward again. Reality Anxiety This is the most basic form of anxiety and is typically based on fears of real and possible events. The most common way of reducing tension from Reality Anxiety is taking oneself away from the situation. Better than that. I jump a little take a sharp intake of breath and look alarmed. The seller names his price. Most people are very fearful of the consequences of such an act and. To keep you in the negotiation. Look startled and shocked. Example I am buying a car on a private sale. you are sending a signal that the other person that they are breaking social norms. and that a major cause of tension was anxiety. And then wait for them to make another offer. a small change may not be enough). Say nothing. visibly wince. the other person will believe they have to act fast. perhaps by making a substantially revised offer (if you are thinking of leaving. 241 . even in a negotiation.Description When they name their price or what they want in exchange for what you are offering. Look at them in disbelief. He identified three different types of anxiety. which is why these mechanisms are often called 'Ego defense mechanisms'. Anxiety and tension Freud noted that a major drive for most people is the reduction in tension. I take a few paces back from the car and shake my head.

the purpose of psychoanalysis was to bring repressed memories. you can watch for these dysfunctional mechanisms in people and either work around them or with them as appropriate. and either learn to handle them or get professional help in doing so. a range of defense mechanisms may be triggered.Neurotic Anxiety This is a form of anxiety which comes from an unconscious fear that the basic impulses of the ID (the primitive part of our personality) will take control of the person. with a corresponding reduction in felt tension. You should also watch for these mechanisms in yourself. In persuasion. Defense Mechanisms When anxiety occurs. They tend to distort. In Freud's language. transform. Two techniques he used are free association and dream analysis. these are tactics which the Ego develops to help deal with the Id and the Super Ego. Sublimation: redirecting 'wrong' urges into socially acceptable actions. Intellectualization: taking an objective viewpoint. Moral Anxiety This form of anxiety comes from a fear of violating values and moral codes. He also analyzed and interpreted the various defense mechanisms. So what? Psychoanalysis often involves a long series of sessions with the client in which original causes are sought out (often searching through childhood relationships) and cathartic experiences of realization are used to teach the client how these mechanisms are no longer appropriate. and appears as feelings of guilt or shame. leading to eventual punishment (this is thus a form of Moral Anxiety). All Defense Mechanisms share two common properties : • • They often appear unconsciously. 242 . Regression: going back to acting as a child. Reaction Formation: overacting in the opposite way to the fear. If this is not fruitful (and maybe anyway). Rationalization: creating false but credible justifications. or otherwise falsify reality. seeking rational ways of escaping the situation. fears and thoughts back to the conscious level of awareness. For Freud. there is a change in perception which allows for a lessening of anxiety. He considered dreams as the "royal road" to the unconscious. Freud's Defense Mechanisms include: • • • • • • • • • Denial: claiming/believing that what is true to be actually false. In distorting reality. Displacement: redirecting emotions to a substitute target. Projection: attributing uncomfortable feelings to others. Repression: pushing uncomfortable thoughts into the subconscious. the mind first responds by an increase in problem-solving thinking.

Compartmentalization. The person affected simply acts as if nothing has happened. Discussion Denial is a form of repression. In its full form. So what? When you appear to deny a situation. Alcoholics vigorously deny that they have a problem. it is totally subconscious. Pessimists deny they may succeed. Rationalization. other people. Denial is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. It may also have a significant conscious element. Idealization. A person having an affair does not think about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. Concepts in psychoanalysis Denial Explanations > Behaviors > Coping mechanisms > Denial Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Denial is simply refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. blaming the situation. then the other person may join you in the denial or may have to handle it in a way that is not as direct as they otherwise might. as with age. and sufferers may be as mystified by the behavior of people around them as those people are by the behavior of the sufferers. and yet refuses to believe it. where stressful thoughts are banned from memory. If I do not think about it. etc. Children find denial easier. See also Avoidance. However. where the sufferer is simply 'turning a blind eye' to an uncomfortable situation. People take credit for their successes and find 'good reason' for their failures. Repression 243 . people engaging in Denial can pay a high cost in terms of the psychic energy needed to maintain the denial state. Freud's Personality Factors.See also Coping Mechanisms. still setting the table for her and keeping her clothes and other accoutrements in the bedroom. Example A man hears that his wife has been killed. Cognitive Dissonance. the ego matures and understands more about the "objective reality" it must operate within. then I do not suffer the associated stress have to deal with it. Repression and Denial are two primary defense mechanisms which everybody uses. Optimists deny that things may go wrong. behaving in ways that others may see as bizarre.

although this may still be used if there is no other way I can release my anger. The Ego thus finds some other way of releasing the psychic energy of the Id. Where this is not feasible. So what? 244 . rejected by her boyfriend. Phobias may also use displacement as a mechanism for releasing energy that is caused in other ways. goes out with another man 'on the rebound'. A man wins the lottery. I go home and shout at my wife. I start scribbling furiously. Displacement is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. Example The boss gets angry and shouts at me. I want to speak at a meeting but cannot get a word in edgeways. Discussion Displacement occurs when the Id wants to do something of which the Super ego does not permit. the action itself may also change. A religious person who is sexually frustrated focuses their attention on food. Where possible the second target will resemble the original target in some way. Thus there is a transfer of energy from a repressed object-cathexis to a more acceptable object. Displacement may involve retaining the action and simply shifting the target of that action. A boy is afraid of horses. He turns to the person next to him and gives the person a big kiss. Displacements are often quite satisfactory and workable mechanisms for releasing energy more safely. then shouting at somebody else is preferred to going to play the piano. Displaced actions tend to be to into related areas or subjects. he goes and kicks the dog. becoming a gourmet. Dreams can be interpreted as the displacement of stored tensions into other forms (dreams are often highly metaphoric). She then shouts at our son. It turns out to be a displaced fear of his father. Instead. If I want to shout at a person but feel that I cannot. With nobody left to displace anger onto.Displacement Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Displacement Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Displacement is the shifting of actions from a desired target to a substitute target when there is some reason why the first target is not permitted or not available. A woman.

Fantasy. although you may also decide to challenge them in a more appropriate time and setting. A person who is in heavily debt builds a complex spreadsheet of how long it would take to repay using different payment options and interest rates. You can decide to give them space now so they can maintain their dignity. See also Avoidance. Jargon is often used as a device of intellectualization. as do most of us. work with them to find if there are other places from which they are displacing their energy . where the person avoids uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and logic. Somatization Intellectualization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Intellectualization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Intellectualization is a 'flight into reason'. Example A person told they have cancer asks for details on the probability of survival and the success rates of various drugs. By using complex terminology. You probably have quite a few. the focus becomes on the words and finer definitions rather than the human effects. only that they are unable to handle the emotion at this time. It is also known as 'Isolation of affect' as the affective elements are removed from the situation. Intellectualization is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. She takes self-defense classes in order to feel better (rather than more directly addressing the psychological and emotional issues). Freud believed that memories have both conscious and unconscious aspects. and that intellectualization allows for the conscious analysis of an event in a way that does not provoke anxiety. The situation is treated as an interesting problem that engages the person on a rational basis.then deal with the real reason. The doctor may join in. Attend to your own displacements. 245 .When people do strange things. whilst the emotional aspects are completely ignored as being irrelevant. it often does not mean that they are emotionally stunted. A woman who has been raped seeks out information on other cases and the psychology of rapists and victims. using 'carcinoma' instead of 'cancer' and 'terminal' instead of 'fatal'. not the displaced reason. Discussion Intellectualization protects against anxiety by repressing the emotions connected with an event. Projection. So what? When people treat emotionally difficult situations in cold and logical ways.

Projection also appears where we see our own traits in other people. distancing ourselves from our own dysfunction. they may fight back (which is attack. One explanation is that the ego perceives dysfunction from 'somewhere' and then seeks to locate that somewhere. Discussion Projecting thoughts or emotions onto others allows the person to consider them and how dysfunctional they are. as in the false consensus effect. We assume that they are like us. So I project onto them that they do not like me. Example I do not like another person. This allows me to avoid them and also to handle my own feelings of dislike. • Complementary projection is assuming that others do. See also Denial. another form of defense) or switch to other forms of defense. think and feel in the same way as you. But I have a value that says I should like everyone. • Neurotic projection is perceiving others as operating in ways one unconsciously finds objectionable in yourself. We can thus criticize the other person.often in convenient other people. Dissociation. Rationalization. and in doing so we allow ourselves to ignore those attributes they have with which we are uncomfortable. they may project these onto other people. Thus we see our friends as being more like us than they really are.When you challenge a person who is intellectualizing. 246 . A woman who is attracted to a fellow worker accuses the person of sexual advances. but without feeling the attendant discomfort of knowing that these thoughts and emotions are their own. An unfaithful husband suspects his wife of infidelity. so the ego places it in a more acceptable external place . Repression Projection Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Projection Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description When a person has uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. Projection may also happen to obliterate attributes of other people with which we are uncomfortable. assigning the thoughts or feelings that they need to repress to a convenient alternative target. • Complimentary projection is assuming that others can do things as well as you. The super ego warns of punishment if that somewhere is internal.

you can hold up a mirror to show them what they are doing. avoid projecting your woes onto them. which is easier to deal with. A parent punishes a child and says that it is for the child's 'own good'. Projective identification Displacement. Fantasy. they may well be criticizing a projection of themselves. It may also be used when something happens independent of us which causes us discomfort. may be considered as a 'reverse' form of projection. As usual. Empathy. even those we do not know. A man buys a expensive car and then tells people his old car was very unreliable. When you see others in a negative light. False Consensus Rationalization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Rationalization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description When something happens that we find difficult to accept. Identification may also be a form of reverse projection. 247 . where a person experiences the perceived emotions of others. Projection is a common attribute of paranoia. So what? To work authentically with other people. for example where a person claims that they are sticking up for themselves amongst a group of aggressive other people. Projection is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. Projection helps justify unacceptable behavior. We rationalize to ourselves. this may well be met with other forms of resistance. etc. such as being unkind to another person. See also Projection and Introjection. We also find it very important to rationalize to other people. A person fails to get good enough results to get into a chosen university and then says that they didn't want to go there anyway. The target of rationalization is usually something that we have done. where a person projects other people onto themselves. such as when a friend is unkind to us. Example A person evades paying taxes and then rationalizes it by talking about how the government wastes money (and how it is better for people to keep what they can). When others are using projection. think: are you projecting? Also understand that when others criticizing you. where people project dislike of themselves onto others such that they believe that most other people dislike them.Projection turns neurotic or moral anxiety into reality anxiety. very unsafe. then we will make up a logical reason why it has happened.

Sometimes people disagree simply because they do not want to agree with you. Self-Serving Bias uses rationalization when it leads to taking more credit for success than we deserve and blame others for our failures. Intellectualization. offer people logical reasons that people can use to rationalize their compliance with your arguments. for example using exaggerated friendliness when the person is actually feeling unfriendly.I trip and fall over in the street. Discussion When a person does something of which the moral super ego disapproves. In persuasion. The bully rationalizes what they have done by saying that their victim 'deserved it'. So what? Watch for your own rationalizations. See also Esteem. Self-Serving Bias Reaction Formation Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Reaction Formation Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want. I tell a passer-by that I have recently been ill. It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. A common pattern in Reaction Formation is where the person uses ‘excessive behavior’. 248 . Our need for esteem also leads us to rationalize to others. then the ego seeks to defend itself by adding reasons that make the action acceptable to the super ego. Explain. you can gain esteem for your courage and integrity. If I fear that I will be criticized for something. This is related to our need to explain what happens. such as with teenagers and parents. Rationalization is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. If you can be honest with yourself and with other people. Example A person who is angry with a colleague actually ends up being particularly courteous and friendly towards them. Thus we are able to do something that is outside our values and get away with it without feeling too guilty. so give them reasons to focus on the substance rather than the persuader. or perhaps do not like to feel persuaded. I very visibly act in a way that shows I am personally a long way from the feared position. Rationalization happens with bullies and victims.

such as a person who fears war becoming a pacifist. In a therapeutic situation. show the other person that a particular behavior is socially unacceptable. and particularly if that position is extreme. consider the possibility that their real views are opposite to this. This may be a conscious concealment but also may well occur at the subconscious level such that they do not realize the real cause of their behavior. you should first work on their primary conflict. Reaction Formation thus can turn homosexual tendencies (love men) to homophobic ones (hate men). Simply showing the person that their position is opposed to their real feelings can just cause deeper entrenchment. where the person becomes trapped in a cycle of repeating a behavior that they know (at least at a deep level) is somehow wrong. For example the gay person who has heterosexually promiscuous may be concealing their homosexual reality. Then give them the space and ideas to react against this undesirable pattern and create their own way of showing how they are actually very far away from the undesirable behavior. help a person who is dysfunctionally forming contrary reactions by first create a supportive environment where they can admit and accept what is happening to themselves. Before this. Reaction Formation goes further than projection such that unwanted impulses and thoughts are not acknowledged. Extreme patterns of Reaction Formation are found in paranoia and obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). You can either support their current position or carefully expose how their underlying tendencies are opposite (and how it is ok to admit this). See also Projection. convincing themselves that war is wrong (rather than the ‘cowardly’ position that war is scary). To cause a Reaction Formation pattern.A man who is gay has a number of conspicuous heterosexual affairs and openly criticizes gays. A mother who has a child she does not want becomes very protective of the child. Reactance Theory 249 . This offers you two options in persuasion. An alcoholic extols the virtues of abstinence. Reaction formation is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. Remember that defense mechanisms are usually symptoms of deeper problems and addressing them directly can be ineffective or even counter-productive. Discussion A cause of Reaction Formation is when a person seeks to cover up something unacceptable by adopting an opposite stance. Freud called the exaggerated compensation that can appear in Reaction Formation ‘overboarding’ as the person is going overboard in one direction to distract from and cover up something unwanted in the other direction. So what? When a person takes a position or stance on something. Then support their changing of position to somewhere that is more acceptable and appropriate for them.

This is usually in response to stressful situations. rocking and crying. Obsessive-compulsive disorders can occur including those that lead to cruelty. or where an all-powerful parent would take them away. or vocal actions including verbal abuse. including: • Oral fixation can lead to increase smoking or eating. or may be more dysfunctional. A child suddenly starts to wet the bed after years of not doing so (this is a typical response to the arrival of a new sibling). such as crying or using petulant arguments. rather than acting in a more adult way.. the stress of fixations caused by frustrations of the person’s past psychosexual development may be used to explain a range of regressive behaviors. 250 . A college student carefully takes their teddy-bear with them (and goes to sleep cuddling it). Regressive behavior can be simple and harmless.Regression Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Regression Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Regression involves taking the position of a child in some problematic situation. such as a person who is sucking a pen (as a Freudian regression to oral fixation). you can respond to their child state in several ways. extreme orderliness. going back to a time when the person felt safer and where the stresses in question were not known. A result of her refusal is that her husband has to take her everywhere. In a Freudian view. Regression is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. with greater levels of stress potentially leading to more overt regressive acts. Discussion Regression is a form of retreat. A person who suffers a mental breakdown assumes a fetal position. • Anal fixation can lead to anal retentive behaviors such as tidying and fastidiousness. So what? If the person with whom you are working is showing regressive symptoms. Example A wife refuses to drive a car even though it causes the family much disorganization. or miserliness • Phallic fixation can lead to conversion hysteria (the transformation of psychic energy into physical symptoms) which is disguised sexual impulses. including taking a parent position of authority (nurturing or controlling) or join them in their child place (thus building alignment).

A person greets another with 'pleased to beat you' (the repressed idea of violence toward the other person creeping through). In Freudian terminology. Repression is unconscious.See also Transactional Analysis. Thus defense is often 'repression + . 251 . this is suppression. It is not all bad. we push them away. An optimist remembers the past with a rosy glow and constantly repeats mistakes. such as dreams or slips of the tongue ('Freudian slips'). Repressed memories may appear through subconscious means and in altered forms. The level of 'forgetting' in repression can vary from a temporary abolition of uncomfortable thoughts to a high level of amnesia. If all uncomfortable memories were easily brought to mind we would be faced with a non-stop pain of reliving them.'. A woman who found childbirth particularly painful continues to have children (and each time the level of pain is surprising). repression is the restraining of a cathexis by an anti-cathexis. Repressed memories do not disappear. Example A child who is abused by a parent later has no recollection of the events. A man has a phobia of spiders but cannot remember the first time he was afraid of them. When we deliberately and consciously try to push away thoughts. where events that caused the anxiety are buried very deep.. Thus when things occur that we are unable to cope with now.. Discussion Repression (sometimes called motivated forgetting) is a primary ego defense mechanism since the other ego mechanisms use it in tandem with other methods. They can have an accumulative effect and reappear as unattributable anxiety or dysfunctional behavior. The Drama Triangle Repression Explanations > Behaviours > Coping > Repression Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Repression involves placing uncomfortable thoughts in relatively inaccessible areas of the subconscious mind. but has trouble forming relationships. although this may also be caused by the repression of one particularly traumatic incident.. either planning to deal with them at another time or hoping that they will fade away on their own accord. A high level of repression can cause a high level of anxiety or dysfunction.

I go out and chop wood.e. Example I am angry. Many sports and games are sublimations of aggressive urges. If you have caused a person stress and they feel unable to respond. but can build up problems for later. I end up with a useful pile of firewood. Be very careful with this. as dreams can be very symbolic. of psychoanalysis. you may find that they act as if nothing had happened. Help a person recover from the discomfort and dysfunction that repression brings by digging out the original memory. A man who has extra-marital desires takes up household repairs when his wife is out of town. Also listen for speech errors and other signals from the subconscious. See also Defense Mechanisms Sublimation Explanations > Behaviours > Coping > Sublimation Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Sublimation is the transformation of unwanted impulses into something less harmful. A person who has an obsessive need for control and order becomes a successful business entrepreneur. it may only cause more pain. You can even start a conversation about recent weird dreams and then listen for further symbols. fears and thoughts back to the conscious level of awareness. A person with strong sexual urges becomes an artist. This is a surprisingly common attribute of persuasive situations. I am also fitter and nobody is harmed. of course . was to bring repressed memories. This can simply be a distracting release or may be a constructive and valuable piece of work. to him. though be careful with this. i.. It can gain compliance in the shorter term.Repression is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms and. as we sublimate the desire to fight into the ritualistic activities of formal competition. 252 . When we are faced with the dissonance of uncomfortable thoughts. So what? When a person is being defensive in some way. Sublimation channels this energy away from destructive acts and into something that is socially acceptable and/or creatively effective. we create psychic energy. think about the repressions that may be at the root of their problem.done wrong. This has to go somewhere. the goal of treatment.

coping mechanisms. less constructive. Three levels of awareness Freud identified three different parts of the mind. In his more basic musings.A surgeon turns aggressive energies and deep desires to cut people into life-saving acts. 253 . based on our level of awareness. Fantasy Freud's Personality Factors Explanations > Personality > Freud's Personality Factors Three levels of awareness | Three components of personality | Energy and Cathexis | So what? Sigmund Freud described several components which have been very influential in understanding personality. for example by their sexual advances or aggressive outbursts. to re-channel their energies into more constructive activities. from focusing in very closely on one conscious act to a wider awareness that seeks to expand consciousness to include as much of preconscious information as possible. Freud believed that the greatest achievements in civilization were due to the effective sublimation of our sexual and aggressive urges that are sourced in the Id and then channeled by the Ego as directed by the Super ego. Discussion Sublimation is probably the most useful and constructive of the defense mechanisms as it takes the energy of something that is potentially harmful and turns it to doing something good and useful. So what? Help others who are causing themselves and others problems. It includes only our current thinking processes and objects of attention. Sublimation is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. Conscious mind The conscious mind is where we are paying attention at the moment. Beware of 'on the boundary' activities (including your own) where sublimated energy may switch back into unwanted or anti-social activities or other. Preconscious mind The preconscious includes those things of which we are aware. he considered such as painting as a potentially sublimated desire to smear one's own faeces. We can choose to pay attention to these and deliberately bring them into the conscious mind. and hence constitutes a very large part of our current awareness. but where we are not paying attention. We can control our awareness to a certain extent. See also Repression.

and the ego. the Ego is aware of reality and hence operates via the reality principle. the superego. The id has 2 major instincts: • Eros: the life instinct that motivates people to focus on pleasureseeking tendencies (e. The subconscious thus thinks and acts independently... It uses secondary processes (perception. judgment and memory) that are developed during childhood. It has no real perception of reality and seeks to satisfy its needs through what Freud called the primary processes that dominate the existence of infants. Ego Unlike the Id. thoughts. creatively finding ways to safely satisfy the Id's basic urges within the constraints of the Super ego. sexual urges). • Thanatos: the death instinct that motivates people to use aggressive urges to destroy. Three components of personality Clinical psychologist Don Bannister has described Freud's position on the human personality as being: ". Id The Id contains our primitive drives and operates largely according to the pleasure principle. Super ego 254 . whereby its two main goals are the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. The energy for the Id's actions come from libido. This has the alarming consequence that we are largely unable to control our behavior. This creates conflict. including hunger and self-protection. which is the energy storehouse. More recent research has shown that the subconscious mind is probably even more in charge of our actions than even Freud had realized.g. whereby it recognizes what is real and understands that behaviors have consequences. the struggle being refereed by a rather nervous bank clerk (the ego). the process and content are out of direct reach of the conscious mind. One of Freud's key findings was that much behavior is driven directly from the subconscious mind. which leads to Defense Mechanisms. This includes the effects of social rules that are necessary in order to live and socialize with other people.Subconscious mind At the subconscious level. and in particular that which we would sometimes prefer to avoid. which creates anxiety. which it uses to solve the Id-Super ego dilemma." Thus an individual’s feelings.basically a battlefield. The Ego controls higher mental processes such as reasoning and problem-solving. He is a dark-cellar in which a well-bred spinster lady (the superego) and a sex-crazed monkey (the id) are forever engaged in mortal combat.. and behaviors are the result of the interaction of the id. The dilemma of the Ego is that it has to somehow balance the demands of the Id and Super ego with the constraints of reality. recognition.

with energy from the senses being converted into psychic energy in the personality through a topographic model that takes sensed energy. particularly those for sex and aggression. which is needed for the Ego's secondary processes. or the expenditure of energy in discharge action upon such an object. The Super ego is a counterbalance to the Id. To persuade. Then encourage the Ego to make the 'right choice'.The Super ego contains our values and social morals. Repression occurs in the battle between cathexis and anti-cathexis. See also Defense Mechanisms. Object-cathexis This is the investment of energy in the image of an object. remember) and are contained in the conscience. So what? Although later theories have improved understanding. which often come from the rules of right and wrong that we learned in childhood from our parents (this is Freud. It occurs in the Id. then passes it through the unconscious and preconscious before it finally reaches the conscious mind. filters it through various associative metaphors. 255 . Ego-cathexis This is the investment of energy in mental representations of reality through associations and metaphors. Energy and Cathexis Freud viewed the forces on us as a form of energy. It occurs in the Ego and Super Ego. you can appeal either to the basic urges of the Id or the higher morals of the Super ego. Anti-cathexis This is energy used to block object-cathexes of the Id. Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory Explanations > Learning Theory > Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory The stages | Fixation | So what Sigmund Freud developed a theory of how our sexuality starts from a very young ages and develops through various fixations. It occurs in the Ego. and seeks to inhibit the Id's pleasureseeking demands. The Super ego has a model of an ego ideal and which it uses as a prototype against which to compare the ego (and towards which it encourages the ego to move). we can be trapped by them and they may lead to various defense mechanisms to avoid the anxiety produced from the conflict in and leaving of the stage. Freud's ideas still provide a useful model for the more complex actions that are really going on. If these stages are not psychologically completed and released.

has two possible outcomes. Anal fixation Anal fixation. biting. Phallic fixation At the age of 5 or 6. biting nails. smoking. boys experience the Oedipus Complex whilst girls experience the Electra conflict. needy and sensitive to rejection. near the end of the phallic stage. and has a lack of self control. Social rules Fixation Strong conflict can fixate people at early stages. which is a process through which they learn to identify with the same gender parent by acting as much like that parent as possible. • The Oral aggressive personality is hostile and verbally abusive to others. • The Anal retentive personality is stingy. Genital Conflict Weaning away from mother's breast Toilet training Oedipus (boys).The stages Age 0-2 Name Oral Pleasure source Mouth: sucking. 256 . with a compulsive seeking of order and tidiness. They will easily 'swallow' other people's ideas. swallowing Anus: defecating or retaining faeces Genitals Sexual urges sublimated into sports and hobbies. Electra (girls) 2-4 4-5 Anal Phallic 6puberty Latency puberty onward Direct sexual feelings towards others lead to sexual gratification. Same-sex friends also help avoid sexual feelings. using mouth-based aggression. which may be caused by too much punishment during toilet training. • The Oral receptive personality is preoccupied with eating/drinking and reduces tension through oral activity such as eating. drinking. The person is generally stubborn and perfectionist. being generally messy and careless. They are generally passive. Oral fixation Oral fixation has two possible outcomes. Physical sexual changes reawaken repressed needs. • The Anal expulsive personality is an opposite of the Anal retentive personality.

Defense Mechanisms Freud Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Theorists > Freud Description | Discussion | See also Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is the oft-misunderstood founder of modern psychotherapy as well as introducing such important concepts as the unconscious mind and the ego. This is Freud. where the son believes his father knows about his desire for his mother and hence fears his father will castrate him. He thus represses his desire and defensively identifies with his father. • Reality principle: Pragmatic deferral of pleasure. • Freud's Personality Factors: Ego. using a model to describe observed behavior. He was. super-ego and cathexis. • Incorporation: Primitive ingestion of things into the body. • Freud's Psychosexual Stage Theory: sex images in early life. • Identification: Associating with others. however. • Internalization: Adopting objects into the personality. • Transference: projecting one person onto another. • Life and death drives: Eros (libido) and Thanatos. remember. Girls suffer a penis envy. So what? Freud's theories are largely criticized now as lacking in substantial corroborative data. but then a shift of attachment occurs when she realizes she lacks a penis. • Narcissism: Primary self-love. avoiding discomfort. See also Klein. His ideas may thus still be used as metaphors for actual developmental issues. • Defense Mechanisms: Many ways we cope with stress. • Introjective identification: Introjecting good parts of others into the ego. He later also recanted. • Pleasure-pain principle: seeking immediate gratification. where the daughter is initially attached to her mother. • Early and Late Freud: How he changed his mind. id. She then represses her desire for her father and incorporates the values of her mother and accepts her inherent 'inferiority' in society. Lacan Early and late Freud Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Articles > Early and late Freud 257 . See also Sigmund Freud. noting that perhaps he had placed too much emphasis on sexual connotations. • Oedipus Complex: Inter-gender jealousies.Boys suffer a castration anxiety. She desires her father whom she sees as a means to obtain a penis substitute (a child).

. he realized that this was caused by something other than his magnetic personality.including the men... Like False Memory Syndrome. Early Freud In his early work of the 1880s. | Three types of transference | So what? Transference was identified by Sigmund Freud when he noticed that his patients often seemed to fall in love with him . From this. 258 . The two Freudian phases are summarized in this table: Early Freud Model Repression Emphasis Technique Understanding Mechanical. what is genuinely experienced as a memory is actually a construction. Later Freud By the late 1890s. Fortunately.. he theorized that later trauma was caused by re-awakening of those early experiences and that hysterical symptoms were displaced sexual desires.Early Freud | Later Freud | See also Freud went through two main phases of thought. He called the mix of perception and emotion 'psychical reality'. neurophysiological Memories External events Catharsis Of presenting symptoms Later Freud unconscious fantasy Phantasies and conflicts Translation of events into inner world Free association Of transference See also Freud. he concluded that many of these reported experiences had not actually happened and were actually memories that were based in early phantasy. whereby regression to the event to allow the repressed energy to be released. Psychoanalysis included catharsis. Refusal to reciprocate becomes a part of the treatment. he had many patients with hysterical symptoms such as fits obsessions who reported early sexual traumas that ranged from unpleasant to shocking. Transference Transference Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Transference Transference is. He also discovered transference where the patient replaces an earlier loved person with the analyst.

. Sibling transference When parents are absent in our childhood.Transference is. mothers are the source of unconditional love. Maternal transference is thus often deeper. Fathers are powerful. They assume wisdom. Male managers in companies often encourage paternal transference by taking on the mantle and behaviors of classic fathers.or five-year old child. When we regard higher-level leaders (e. They speak with authority.g. who then become disillusioned when this does not happen (hence the manager becomes cast as a witch). They know many things. This is an increasingly 259 . They then interact with the other person as if the other person is that transferred pattern. They make us feel safe. This may be from an actual person. such a parent. where 'father knows best' and the pattern is one of trust and compliance. but you will also expect me to love and care for you. Mothers also are the source of ultimate authority. and the threat of separation is very powerful. If you treat me as a parent. a company CEO. They reassure us that all will be well if we do as they tell us. the transference may be as a baby. powerful and protective. with more primitive and emotional elements than paternal transference. especially if the transference gives them power or makes them feel good in some way. After the separation of birth.. we may substitute these with sibling relationships. Types of transference Paternal transference When we create paternal transference. They provide a sense of control in our lives. We often transfer as a four. either with brothers/sisters or with friends. authoritative and wise. Maternal transference We develop relationships with our mothers at much earlier dates. the person who has patterns transferred onto them may collaborate play the game. This transfers both power and also expectation. where the father is distant. we turn the other person into either our father or an idealized father-figure. and so take on roles of babies more than children. Women managers often have excessive expectation put on them that they will nurture their staff. This can have both positive and negative outcomes. the pattern projected onto the other person comes from a childhood relationship. and we often have ambiguous relationships with them. They protect us and tell us what to do. We can also become Oedipal in our desire to be the sole focus of attention of our mothers. Transference occurs when a person takes the perceptions and expectations of one person and projects them onto another person. I can tell you what to do. Mothers appear in myth as both the fairy godmother and also the wicked witch. In the way we tend to become the person that others assume we are. or an idealized figure or prototype. they recreate unity by holding us and making us feel as one. Typically. In our early years in particular.

they may have a doctor pattern transferred onto them. of course. Conditioning. Looking-glass Self Identification Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Identification Description | Discussion | See also Description When I 'identify with' other people. We also form idealized prototypes. Remember the reciprocal nature of this: if you want to appear as a father who is unquestioningly obeyed. So what? First. notice the patterns of transference in yourself. You can promote sibling transference by creating a common enemy. they will identify with you more as a peer than as a leader. This can also lead to greater anarchy as we ignore leaders and work through networks rather than needing a controlling authoritarian hierarchy. as they do not fall into the leader-seeking behaviors of parental transference. and project these onto people when we need the appropriate roles. of course. When they see that you are threatened by the same things that they are. doctors and teachers.significant pattern as families fracture and mothers spend long hours at work and are often away from the child during the critical early years. priests. Thus when a person is hurt in the street and another stops to help. See also Freud's Personality Factors. you also need to show that you are wise and protective. A note: Bill Clinton was the subject of sibling transference more than other US Presidents. that is what you are seeking). People with preferences for sibling transference work well in horizontal. Don't. mother or sibling? Start behaving in the pattern and you are likely to create the relevant transference. In fact we invariably treat others not as they are but as we think they are. team-based organizations. He could thus get away with being the 'naughty older brother' that is secretly admired for his boldness. Other transference We also transfer non-familial patterns onto other people. make the enemy too scary. Do you want to be a father. however. 260 . for example of policemen. Thus we form stereotypes. Who do you want others to be? How are you thus interacting with people? Then decide what transference you want others to put on you. and transfer these patterns onto others. Defense Mechanisms. I find something attractive about them and seek to join with them in some way. and often as we think they should be. or they will seek the protection of a parent (unless.

See also Freud. This is the process whereby the personality is created. converting separate into self. These objects may be considered as being good or bad. it is benevolent and does not change the admired other. incorporation. such that they are both integral to sense of self and also experienced as separate and concrete internal objects. Internalization implies a transformation of object cathexis (the investment of libidinal energy in the object) into narcissistic cathexis (investment of energy in the self ). With the resolution of the Oedipal complex. introjection and identification are three more detailed methods. Internalization effectively turns object into personal subject. Melanie Klein related this to early experiences and phantasies of introjection. the external world is brought into the internal world and incorporated with it. Discussion When internalized. internalization is one of the highest-level concepts. This change may range from changing a single view to dress like them and trying to change all aspects of my life. an item is fully 'owned' and considered as normal. This bringing into the self resonates with the neonatal phase and its integrated wholeness. objects may feel that they are physically located within the body. Of the various notions of how we take in the internal world. A significant difference from such joining forms as incorporation and introjection is that identification is practiced by moving the self towards a desirable object rather than drawing the object towards them. When fully internalized. and hence generating intrapsychic coherence and integration. Internalization. 261 . I seek to change myself to be like the other either in some limited way or in all ways. In this way. These objects may have active relations with one another. for example attacking and rescuing one another. the ego ‘assimilates’ it to itself rather than repressing or turning away from the complex and confusing outer world. Discussion Freud used 'identification' to describe how his patients related to other people. Incorporation. If there is introjection. from brothers to prostitutes.When I identify with another. Introjection Internalization Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Internalization Description | Discussion | See also Description Internalization occurs when objects are 'installed' into the ego.

Also. this term is used to explain the way that incorporation is experienced and conceived. he described identification as accomplished through the murder and devouring the primal father. the original idea of internalization has been attributed to Shakespeare. they feel closer to them and usually like to be physically and 262 . but I can choose what to do with it. It is a a mechanism of the oral phase and a template for later identifications.). Identification Freud.Historically. London: Hogarth Pres Introjective identification Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Introjective identification Description | Discussion | See also Description Where a person finds another person attractive in some way. In Totem and Taboo (1913). Object Relations Theory Incorporation Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Incorporation Description | Discussion | See also Description Incorporation is derived from the Latin incorporare. it cannot be separated from me. This is what I call man’s internalization. Freud. Strachey (Ed. More recently. Totem and taboo. In this way. And Trans. Jung.’ See also Klein. S. in his Genealogy of Morals ([1887] 1956: 217) said ‘All instincts that do not discharge outwardly turn inward. they become more like the admired person. Identification.. who considered deeper factors. It is perhaps the most basic form of taking the outside world into the inner world. Although this need not mean actual bodily ingestion. Nietzsche. identified many myths and monsters by which the ego is orally devoured and consumed. meaning ‘to form into a body'. Incorporation. 13). being focused on bodily sensation and ingestion. Introjection. Freud. including destroying or expelling it. with it begins to grow in man what later is called his “soul”. Discussion Freud used incorporation to refer to a primitive wish to unite with or cannibalistically destroy an object. I make it undeniably a part of the physical. The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (vol. In J. having a part of that person in them. By bringing something into the body. solid and real me. See also Klein. Introjection. Once incorporated. then they will often take a part of that other person and introject that part into their own ego. Internalization.

An instinct differs from a stimulus in that it arises from sources of stimulation within the body. introjective identification with the leader also allows group members to more easily identify with one another (perhaps as 'identification by proxy'). libido) is concerned with the preservation of life and the preservation of the species. collaboration and other behaviors that support harmonious societies. cooperation. Introjective identification is an opposite of projective identification. Within groups. although the other person does not lose anything (and may gain our friendship). seeking to maximize gratification whilst minimizing guilt and punishment. and hence pro-social behavior. 1938) Life is hence seen as largely about dealing with these conflicts. it is form of 'psychic theft'. This is made viscerally explicit through the process of Mass or Communion. Projective identification. Eros Eros (the life drive/instinct. universal and constantly felt. Freud used introjective identification to describe how Christians introject Christ into themselves in order to be more like Him. an object and an aim. See also Freud. The source is a state of excitation within the body and its aim is to remove that excitation. (Freud. Thanatos Thanatos (the death drive/instinct. 263 . In some sense. operates as a constant force and is such that the subject cannot escape from it by flight as he can from an external stimulus. where they symbolically eat Christ's body and drink his blood. mortido. then the projection-introjection bond is completed. Eros is associated with positive emotions of love. An instinct may be described as having a source.emotionally closer to them. It thus appears as basic needs for health. Discussion Introjection by followers may occur as a response to projection by would-be leaders. aggression) appears in opposition and balance to Eros and pushes a person towards extinction and an 'inanimate state'. where unwanted parts of the ego are projected into another person. safety and sustenance and through sexual drives. If the part being projected is acceptable. perhaps for fear of distance leading to the introjected part (particularly if it is not fully internalized) being lost. Projection and Introjection Life and death drives Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Life and death drives Description | Discussion | See also Description Freud identified ‘instincts’ or ‘drives’ (Triebe) that he viewed as innate. It seeks both to preserve life and to create life.

Narcissus is the handsome and proud son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. Perhaps also it is an attempt to completely fulfil all needs. Echo. Eros and Thanatos interact and one can turn into the other. casting the human as base and primitive. Freud's drives are often misunderstood. Freud is using a dualist approach. Fixation is a particular effect that leads to repetition where the person is unable to remove their attention from something or someone. weak and unintegrated Ego. ‘The aim of all life is death. even to the point where is is harmful to us. the resulting frustration and indignity increases tension to the point where we seek the nearest potential gratification. Eros is seen as simple sexuality and hence as morally perverse. crying and laughter. Perhaps repetition is due to drives that are only partially satisfied. such a flipping of love and hate. Death Narcissism Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Narcissism Description | Discussion | See also Description Narcissus In Ovid's tale. This is at the root of several disorders. Repetition Freud also noted that we have a strong drive to repeat things. in that one is 'not the other'.. brittle. whereby the identification of Eros automatically defines an opposite. Rocking helps a baby sleep and traumatized adults will return to foetal position and rock frenetically.Freud saw drives as moving towards earlier states.. See also Freud. hate and anger. The nymph.inanimate things existed before living ones’ (Freud 1920) Thanatos is associated with negative emotions such as fear. in particular Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The death drive is also unacceptable as it opposes the idea of the sanctity of life and can be seen as excusing or even encouraging suicide. falls in love with him but is rejected and 264 . and that the most basic human fear is that of disintegration and death. Melanie Klein disagreed with Freud in that she believed that we are born with a fragile. Or maybe when an action fails to fully satisfy. It is important in early activities such as suckling and crying for attention. which lead to anti-social acts from bullying to murder (perhaps as projection of the death drive). which is to attempt the act again. including non-existence. Discussion In defining these drives. Eating preserves life but destroys that which is eaten. Eros and Thanatos both help define one another.

withdraws into a lonely spot and fades away. but do not form relational social bonds with others. the narcissist reduces them to nonhuman objects. • Given to frustration. • Fantasies of fame. Cerebral narcissists derive their self-adoration from their intellectual abilities and achievements. Symptoms Symptoms of narcissism include: • Self-aggrandizement to the point of exaggeration. Inverted narcissism Inverted narcissists projects their narcissism onto another narcissist. A degree of narcissism is is common in many people. which appears as narcissistic rage that seeks to destroy the good objects of others. Primary narcissism Primary narcissism is the initial focus on the self with which all infants start and happens from around six month up to around six years. • Envy of others. anger and irrationality when they do not get what they want. Somatic narcissists focus on the body. admiration and rewards from others. This leaves bad objects intact. which he cannot embrace. 265 . It is a defense mechanism that is used to protect the child from psychic damage during the formation of the individual self. The fear of extinction is very significant for narcissists. seeking beauty. They often age badly and the signs of aging infuriate them. where older children and adults seek personal gratification over the achievement of social goals and conformance to social values. It becomes pathological when the narcissist lacks normal empathy and uses others ruthlessly to their own ends. In order avoid being 'owned' by others. The goddess Nemesis hears her prayers for vengeance and makes Narcissus fall in love with his own reflection. physique and sexual conquests. • Seeking and requiring excessive attention. They experience narcissism vicariously but are still narcissists. Belief that the perception is reciprocated. They envy the young and will avoid or denigrate them. leaving behind her voice. He sits by the pool. • Exploitation of others without feelings of guilt. they may retreat further inside. watching it until he dies and turns into the narcissus flower. Belief in their superiority over others. deception and outright lying. failing exams. using projective identification to keep the narcissistic state both distant and close. Secondary narcissism Secondary narcissism is the more 'normal' form. Narcissists will deliberately harm themselves in order to frustrate others. Faced with damning external evidence. rejecting advice and taking drugs. Narcissist characteristics Narcissists interact socially with others. Narcissists often need to feel that they are the only good objects in the world and consequently harbor great envy. power and success.

Lacan For Lacan. Narcissism becomes problematic when this stage is not fully navigated and the image is not realized as such and seeking after this impossible perfection becomes an obsessive and unending goal. where the misrecognized 'perfect' image is loved. and identifies a whole class of self disorders that stem from a damaged development of this normal balance. the ego is split and never fully re-integrated. leading the person to remain. In particular. Oedipus is about separating and externalizing love of another (the mother) from the self. In narcissists. Freud described homosexuals and clinging parents as making narcissistic object choices. In Object Relations Theory narcissism is a type of object choice in which the self plays a more important part than the real aspects of the object. perhaps through some genetic causes. Klein Klein rejected Freud's idea of primal narcissism.Cause There are several schools of thought about what leads to narcissism. at least in part. narcissism starts in the mirror phase. to become a narcissist. A goal of the good-enough mother is to enable the child to form an integrated and healthy false self through steady disillusionment and use of a transition object. A common theme is that early transition into the 'real world' fails in some way. Winnicott For Winnicott. People make anaclitic object choices in the hope that others will fulfil narcissistic needs in the manner of their parents (and especially the nurturing mother). narcissism is basically the investment of libidinal energy in the ego. Kernberg 266 . Narcissism appears across families. but also in the way that a narcissistic parent is unable to bond with its children and thus causes it. When a narcissist loves another. Kohut Heinz Kohut notes that the subject-love of narcissism coexists with object-love of others in most people. Discussion Freud For Freud. Narcissus and Oedipus Narcissism is related to the Oedipus Complex in that Oedipus often follows narcissism and is a method by which narcissism is quelled. too. Narcissism is about love of the self. Fantasy generally is nicer than reality. these come from a lack of attention from parents or when the child is treated as an extension of a parent's ego. Narcissism is a form of false self. Secondary narcissism is regression to primary narcissism and is practiced because it provides gratification. Others who make narcissistic object choice invest their libidinal energy in aspects of themselves. in the early self-focused primary narcissistic stage. it is because they are like the self in some way.

To persuade a narcissist. Do not expect to be able to cure them. where the strict super-ego is superseded by the mores of the ego. Never become dependent on them as they will use and abuse you. Capitalism encourages a focus on gratification and social approval and hence also encourages more open narcissism. which is devalued or fixated on aggression. Lasch Lasch (1979) attributes increasing narcissism to permissive culture. Around the same time they realize that they are more alike to one than the other. 267 . which links with Lacan's need for successful transitions and the role of the father in the symbolic register. Pathological object relations are detached from the real objects because they are uncomfortable. Ensure you have something unique that they want for as long as you need their attention and compliance. See also Freud. Narcissism may also contribute to the break-up of capitalist systems as a focus on the self ultimately leads to increased transaction cost and diseconomies of scale. In Freudian times the more common condition was more in id-based sexuallybased repression. narcissism is a far more common condition addressed by psychoanalysts today. Defense Mechanisms Oedipus Complex Disciplines > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Oedipus Complex Description | Discussion | See also Description In the Oedipus complex. the attraction of a girl to her father and rivalry with her mother. a boy is fixated on his mother and competes with his father for maternal attention. then discard you. The opposite. Absent fathers are also seen as a cause. Managing narcissists When you are confronted with a narcissist in a work situation or where you do not want to arouse them. To help a narcissist. be impressed with them and avoid arguments. especially where they can support their ego through anger that is directed at you. Interestingly. Thus the child acquires gender. use flattery and recognition. Avoid arguments. show them their condition without accusation or blame. Sexual awakening At some point. is sometimes called the Electra complex. the child realizes that there is a difference between their mother and their father.Otto Kernberg views anaclitic and narcissistic object divisions as irrelevant and has a Self. He sees pathological narcissism as being more than regression to an earlier stage but requiring active investment in a deformed self.

that can also be seen in the long separation of boys and girls in play and social relationships. The symbolic phallus becomes a means of protection for the boy and the rituals of mastery used to cover up feelings of loss. both in terms of competing with each other for the child's affections and also competing with the child for the affection of the other parent. The process of transitioning A critical aspect of the Oedipal stage is loosening of the ties to the mother of vulnerability. Separation The boy thus returns to the mother as a separate individual. The father effectively says 'You must be like me -. This separation and externalization of love allows a transition away from narcissism of earlier stages.this can also be a part of the struggle to assert one's identity and rebellion against parental control. dependence and intimacy. increasing desire. Women thus create a tension in boys between a lost paradise and dangerous sirens. In a number of accounts. Separation leads to unavailability and hence the scarcity principle takes effect. Women become separated reminders of lost and forbidden unity. The father's role in this is much debated. also lost and must be given up as a part of the distancing process. Jealousies The primitive desire for the one parent may also awaken in the child a jealous motivation to exclude the other parent. Whilst their understanding of the full sexual act may be questioned. the child transitions their attentions from mother to father. from softness to general femininity are. 268 . This is a natural part of the child becoming more independent and is facilitated by the realization that the mother desires more than just the child. Primitive jealousies are not necessarily constrained to the child and and both parents may join in the may not be like the mother -you must wait to love her. That separation may be emphasized with scorn and a sense of mastery over women. in consequence. She becomes a separate object. The Oedipal move blocks the routes of sexual and identification love back to the mother.The child may also form some kind of erotic attachment to the parent of the opposite sex. removed from his ideal self. as I do. Their unique attributes. A critical point of awakening is where the child realizes that the mother has affections for others besides itself. Note that opposition to parents may not necessarily be sexually based -. Thus she can be the subject of object love. This is a source of male denigration of women. Transferring of affections may also occur as the child seeks to become independent and escape a perceived 'engulfing mother'. Women become thus both desired and feared. such as Lacan's symbolic register. some kind of primitive physical sensations are felt when they regard and think about the parent in question.' The child thus also learns to wait and share attention.

Laius. the female position of siren temptation.Excessive separation leads to a sense of helplessness that can in turn lead to patterns of idealized control and self-sufficiency. Discussion There are three common threads in the Oedipus complex: The primacy of the desire for one-ness. She thus resents her mother who she believe castrated her. The father does provide a haven from female-female jealousies. This perhaps explains something of why relationships with others is a more important part of a female life than it is for a male. 269 . The Electra complex. Historical Oedipus In the Greek play by Sophocles. the maternal embodiment of this and the necessity of paternal intervention. Oedipus is rescued by a shepherd and taken to the king of Corinth who raises him as a son. such that comforting is available but is required only upon occasion. it is a long time before he can be independent of her and hence must develop a working relationship that may reflect the tension of love and difference he feels. king of Thebes. Girls. a uniquely satisfying opposite-sex relationship can be built. This is not as strong a separation as boys and girls can sustain a closer female-female relationships with the mothers. she imagines she will gain one if he makes her pregnant. where the point of healthy distance is a dynamically negotiated position. What about the girls? Most writings about the Oedipal stage focus largely or exclusively on boys. The dangers of incestuous abuse add. with predictable jealousies and envy as the mother completes the triangle. as well as boys. The relationship thus may return to a closer mother-son tie. and perhaps develop. Whilst the boy becomes separated from the mother. once the incest taboos are established. It is neither a direct mirror image of Oedipus. is told by an oracle that he would be killed by his son and so leaves Oedipus out on the mountainside to die. need to find independence and their separation from the mother is a matter of creating a separate femininity. and so a healthy fatherdaughter relationship may be built. Jung suggested that when the girl discovers she lacks penis that her father possesses. and so moves emotionally closer to him. that also includes appropriate distance. although secret desires for the father can result in the girl feeling some guilt about the relationship. As with mother-son. The father symbolizes attractive power and a potentially hazardous male-female relationship is formed. as the start position is female-female connection. identified by Carl Jung. occurs where a triangle of mother-fatherdaughter plays out is not a part of traditional psychoanalysis. who are seen to have a particular problem as they start with an attachment to the Mother that they have to relinquish both from the point of view of individual independence and especially as a result of the social incest taboo which forbids excessively-close infamily relationships.

Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus. At Thebes. Freud cites the incest taboo as as at the root of many other prohibitions. blinds himself with her golden brooch. and including infantile sadism. or 'castration' and seeks to speak or use words such that it can stand in for that which is missing. The child then realizes its own lack. Klein Melanie Klein. taking this position requires living up to the god-like status of having the phallus. quarrels and kills him. as long as cultural norms and prohibitions can be met. the mother is characterized by 'lack' of a phallus. with whom he had two sons and two daughters. is told by the Delphic oracle that he will kill his father and marry his mother. in turn. But the mother desires the phallus that will cover over her division in language. through her work with young children. At a crossroads he meets Laius. He sees the struggle against this as a core part of this development period with transgressions in practice and phantasy. Failure to get past this trigger point and into the symbolic order is considered to be a classic cause of lasting neurosis. which constitute the first stages of the inverted [desire toward the same- 270 . boys are more likely to take the former position. Having a penis.from early infancy onwards includes genital sensations and trends. finding her. The ensuing triangular tension is seen as being the root of most mental disorders. (Freud. he flees Corinth. 1930) Freud links the Oedipus complex with development the superego. which uses guilt to prevent continuation of incestuously oriented relationships. Electra was the daughter of Agamemnon who helped plan the murder of her mother. saw Oedipal conflict occurring much earlier than Freud and involving part-objects rather than whole parent-figures. Note that Lacan considered that the Oedipal stage can be successfully navigated without the father. Horrified by this. When at last the truth comes out. Freud Freud puts the Oedipal stage as occurring between 3-5 years. as it is these. rather than the father himself which facilitates the way through Rose Jacqueline Rose uses Lacan to show how sexual identity is acquired through the Oedipus crisis. he correctly answers the sphinx's question and hence wins the hand of Jocasta. The child can hence either speak itself from the position of 'having the phallus' or lacking it. How early this starts has been questioned including a consideration that some version of the Oedipal stage occurring almost from the very beginning.. Lacan For Lacan. The pre-Oedipal child tries to make good the lack. 'We cannot get away from the assumption that man's sense of guilt springs from the Oedipus complex and was acquired at the killing of the father by the brothers banned together'.. He considers it a stage where the child experiences an erotic attachment to one parent and hostility toward the other parent.Oedipus. at least in phantasy. his real mother. She see emotional and sexual development occurring: '. However. rather than being something innate.

Moving away from the mother. He related pairing to the Oedipal stage and the importance of the family group. and early anxieties may reappear. for the boy. for example where the daughter continues to compete with the mother for the father's attention. or even exchanging bodily excretions. The reverse is also true. Bion Wilfred Bion placed the Oedipus complex even earlier than Klein. where the infant's world is largely split and relations are mainly to part-objects. XXI Pleasure-pain principle Explanations > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Pleasure-pain principle Description | Discussion | See also Description We are born with a pleasure principle.' (Klein. See also Freud. The gender polarity that Oedipus creates is echoed in modern feminist concerns and male confusion as rights issues erode instinctive positions. Standard Edition. 271 . that we will seek immediate gratification of needs. who represents self-involvement and denial of reality. 1945) She places the Oedipal complex as occurring in the paranoid-schizoid position. where there may be intra-gender rivalries. Civilization and Its Discontents. and the pain principle says that. Klein also identifies the Oedipal situation which occurs throughout life. S. As well as the classic early Oedipus complex. but perceives it through the infantile experience. is also a part of instilling the incest taboo. Other notes A common experience in families is that the opposite gender relationships of motherson and father-daughter are stronger than same-sex relationships. hypothesizing an innate oedipal preconception. (1930). Thus the Oedipal stage involves working through the paranoid-schizoid position to the depressive position. thus conceiving of feeding one another. in contrast to Narcissus. Oedipus is an escape from early fantasy of omnipotence. She saw how children realizes a sexual link between parents at an early parent and aggression toward opposite sex one] and positive Oedipus complex. whilst seeking pleasure people will also seek to avoid pain. the incest taboo holds and this is a relatively harmless attachment. In most cases. devouring one another. for which our bodies reward us with feelings of pleasure. Oedipus represents responsibility and guilt. Early group setting are familial or kinship and these are used as later templates for group activity.

Hedonists in the extreme will be selfdestructive in their use of sex. See also Utilitarianism. This can develop into a general preference in life towards avoidance. where you get more of what you reward and less of what you punish. Discussion The reality principle was originated by Sigmund Freud. Pull. rock and roll and other methods of gratification. a certain amount of confusion may occur.Discussion The pleasure-pain principle was originated by Sigmund Freud in modern psychoanalysis. Anticipated pleasure and anticipated pain are almost as powerful a motivator as the feelings themselves as we think about the pleasure and pain that may occur in the future. where the 'felcific calculus' is used to calculate the maximum utilitarian gain in happiness. 272 . although Aristotle noted their significance in his 'Rhetoric'. This is particularly difficult for an infant who is driven by primitive needs and lacks sophisticated reasoning. When pleasure and pain occur together. the idea that life is to be lived to the full and pleasure sought as a primary goal. It is arguable that these have had a significant effect on human evolution as they move us towards a more sustainable life. where the 'felcific calculus' is used to calculate the maximum utilitarian gain in happiness. and that Pain is the opposite. is not always a good move and we have to learn to wait. as in the Pleasure-pain principle. drugs. The reality principle says that we learn how deferring pleasure and enduring pain can result in an overall improvement in pleasure. 'We may lay it down that Pleasure is a movement. Pleasure and pain are basic principles in Conditioning. Pleasure is also related to Jeremy Benham's notions in Utilitarianism. Pleasure and pain are at the root of the principles of Pull and Push. Simultaneous pain and pleasure is a basis for masochism. leading us to become more concerned with avoidance of pain and hence paying more attention to it. Pain can be more immediate than pleasure. Push principle Reality principle Explanations > Psychoanalysis > Concepts > Reality principle Description | Discussion | See also Description Demanding immediate gratification. a movement by which the soul as a whole is consciously brought into its normal state of being. Deferrment of pleasure is related to Jeremy Benham's notions in Utilitarianism. more than 300 years BC.' The pleasure principle is at the base on hedonism. which itself may be pleasant or painful and hence determine what happens.

• Attack: trying to beat down that which is threatening in to the pressure to misbehave. • Emotionality: Outbursts and extreme emotion. • Intellectualization: avoiding emotion by focusing on facts and logic. Cognitive mechanisms: That change what we think. for example the cognitive dissonance and potential shame of doing something outside our values. Here is a full list of coping mechanisms: • Acting out: not coping . See also Pleasure-pain principle. that adds to the overall pleasure of delay. • Passive aggression: avoiding refusal by passive avoidance. • Introjection: Bringing things from the outer world into the inner world. • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. Behavioral mechanisms: That change what we do. who endure the pain of corporal annihilation in the belief in eternal pleasure in heaven. • Help-rejecting complaining: Ask for help then reject it. To handle this discomfort we use various coping methods. • Compensation: making up for a weakness in one area by gain strength in another. Conversion mechanisms: That change one thing into another. Defense mechanisms: Freud's original set. • Conversion: subconscious conversion of stress into physical symptoms. • Fantasy: escaping reality into a world of possibility. • Idealization: playing up the good points and ignoring limitations of things desired. we are subject to feelings of tension and stress. • Compartmentalization: separating conflicting thoughts into separated compartments. • Altruism: Helping others to help self. Avoidance mechanisms: That avoid the issue. • Avoidance: mentally or physically avoiding something that causes distress. • Denial: refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. • Aim inhibition: lowering sights to what seems more achievable. The reality principle also explains such as religiously-motivated suicide bombers. Attack mechanisms: That push discomfort onto others. Self-harm mechanisms: That hurt our selves. 273 . As a result. Here are coping mechanisms by type: • • • • • • • • Adaptive mechanisms: That offer positive help. • Identification: copying others to take on their characteristics. Sigmund Freud Coping Mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping Mechanisms We are complex animals living complex lives in which we are not always able to cope with the difficulties that we face. • Dissociation: separating oneself from parts of your life.Deferred pleasure also allows an ongoing anticipated pleasure.

which will hopefully then result in the coping mechanism disappearing. Other articles on coping: • Positive coping: Coping can be done well! So what? To help people cope. • Provocation: Get others to act so you can retaliate. many of them negative and uncomfortable as we try to repel or hide from uncomfortable feelings. If you are using deliberate theatrical methods during persuasion. • Sublimation: channeling psychic energy into acceptable activities. • Regression: returning to a child state to avoid problems. Concepts in psychoanalysis. The best approach is to discover the deeper cause and address this. The Kübler-Ross grief cycle. • Somatization: psychological problems turned into physical symptoms.• Performing rituals: Patterns that delay. • Post-traumatic growth: Using the energy of trauma for good. • Symbolization: turning unwanted thoughts into metaphoric symbols. See also Defense Mechanisms. Here are some of these: 274 . • Self-harming: physically damaging the body. • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position. • Suppression: consciously holding back unwanted urges. • Trivializing: Making small what is really something big. find ways to let them safely let go of the stress that they experience or gain a greater understanding of the situation. • Undoing: actions that psychologically 'undo' wrongdoings for the wrongdoer. Games. Be aware of your own coping mechanisms and move to more functional means of managing stress. • Repression: subconsciously hiding uncomfortable thoughts. • Substitution: Replacing one thing with another. Remember that coping actions are usually symptoms of deeper problems and addressing them directly can be ineffective or even counter-productive. Theories about resistance. Resisting persuasion Adaptive mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Adaptive mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what? We cope with difficulties in various ways. feigning a coping mechanism makes it harder for the other person to broach an apparently stressful situation for you. Sometimes we manage to act in more positive and helpful ways. • Projection: seeing your own unwanted feelings in other people. • Rationalization: creating logical reasons for bad behavior. Theories about how we handle discomfort.

• Sublimation: Channel psychic energy into acceptable activities. • Identification: copying others to take on their characteristics. To some extent. a number of other coping methods work well enough without doing any harm. living different value sets in the different groups to which 275 . • Performing rituals: Getting time to think. Thieves also may be very honest in their family lives. Eventually. In practice. These are some of the more positive mechanisms or methods that can be used positively. Remember that coping is not curing. whist when they are in the laboratory. There is sometimes honor amongst thieves. encourage them to use these rather than other defenses. • Intellectualization: avoiding emotion by focusing on facts and logic. where together they act as honest people. they question everything. Example A person who is very religious and also a scientist holds the opposing beliefs in different cognitive compartments. Compartmentalization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Compartmentalization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Compartmentalization is a 'divide and conquer' process for separating thoughts that will conflict with one another. • Undoing: actions that psychologically 'undo' wrongdoings for the wrongdoer. My son is an angel in school and a demon at home. • Substitution: Replacing bad things with good things. such that when they are in church. they can have blind faith. • Post-traumatic growth: Using the energy of trauma for good. If you are helping others adapt. • Idealization: playing up the good points and ignoring limitations of things desired. This may happen when they are different beliefs or even when there are conflicting values. So what? Try to use some of these more positive methods rather than falling into the more destructive mechanisms. the best approach is to address the underlying issue. • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. It is an adaptation in any form. we all compartmentalize our lives. • Compensation: Over-doing one thing to compensate for another weakness.• Compartmentalization: separating conflicting thoughts into separated compartments. Discussion Compartmentalizing is building walls to prevent inner conflict.

the compensation automatically is accessed. We rationalize this by explaining that 'that's just the way it is'. seeking to understand the other 'persona' and hence build passageways between them and become better friends with themselves (or at least gain greater acceptance and understanding). Discussion Compensation lets us avoid the discomfort of feeling inferior by counterbalancing this with a feeling of superiority in an area which is close enough to the uncomfortable situation such that where it appears. Thus when they are faced with their weakness. clothing. but I am good at. Where there are split personalities and there is a desire to extinguish one of them. 276 ... Compensation may also occur in ad hoc situations. In time. etc. and hence feel reasonably good about the situation. To get someone to do something that they would not normally do. Thus we may be ruthless at work but loving at home.we belong.'. Dissociation. Example People who feel inferior because they are short may train hard to be very strong. the walls may crumble. Make as much different in this compartment as possible. one therapeutic technique is to take two chairs and have the person alternate between the two seats as they have a conversation with themselves. See also Avoidance. for example where a person does not get a joke. they may compensate by hearty laughter or by feigning disinterest. for example where a person who is socially limited compensates with aggression. language. they may compensate by accentuating or building up strengths in another area. So what? To help someone become more integrated as a person. including location. then take the person to a higher level where they can see the common intent of both sides of the wall and how one side has mistakenly adopted the wrong path. People who are not intellectually gifted may turn their attention to social skills. Intellectualization Compensation Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Compensation Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Where a person has a weakness in one area. Compensation is usually relatively harmless unless the area of compensation is harmful in some way. they can say 'ah. help them build a new compartment in which to do it.

then (depending on your intent). To persuade someone away from something they are idealizing. either support them or take advantage of the weakness. Example A teenager in awe of a rock star idealizes their idol. So what? When selling something. They dream about how perfect their vacation will be. They ignore the star's grosser habits and rough background. A person in a religious cult idealizes the cult and its leader. crime etc. Note. imagining them to have a perfect life. idealizing what you are selling and the benefits that it will bring. it may lead to disappointment that result in betrayal effects. show them lots of unavoidable hard evidence that breaks the idealized perceptions.So what? See the compensation that others are using to identify their areas of weakness. We thus cope with potentially dissonant thoughts that we have made a wrong decision. See also Avoidance Idealization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Idealization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Idealization is the over-estimation of the desirable qualities and underestimation of the limitations of a desired thing. Discussion Idealizing allows us to confirm our decisions as being wise and intelligent as we play up the good things we have chosen and downplay detracting factors. where something that is not desired or disliked has its weak points exaggerated and its strong points played down. assuming they are perfect and that the outside world is very poor in comparison. 277 . I buy a sports car and look admiringly at its sleek lines. heat. not thinking about insects. to be kind and thoughtful. It also makes us feel better to pay attention to things we desire that spend our time thinking about less pleasant things. I ignore the fact that it drinks fuel and is rather uncomfortable. focus on the good things. and so on. that if this sales talk goes too far. The opposite of Idealization is Demonization. We also tend to idealize those things that we have chosen or acquired. Playing up the good things and pushing down the bad things also creates a contrast that makes the good things seem even better. A person has bought an exotic foreign holiday. however.

The reverse is also true.. not only from the flattery viewpoint but also because we generally trust people who are like us. Discussion Identification with another person has a number of benefits. Example A girl dresses like her friends. may be what you are trying to achieve. I am effectively escaping myself and my woes.. Attribution Theory Identification Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Identification Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Identification occurs when a person changes apparent facets of their personality such that they appear to be more like other people. Areas of identification may include external elements. such as clothing and hair styles (which may be chosen without consciously realizing the influences that are at play) as well as internal factors such as beliefs. By 'becoming another person'. Between them they both adjust their views and postures to be more similar to one another. and tend to take the same viewpoint. body language and dress of people that I dislike. values and attitudes. A person in a meeting adopts similar body language to their manager. 278 . It is said that 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' and identifying with another person is likely to make that person find me more attractive. Identification thus helps preserve the ego whilst concealing inadequacies. as opposed to being a more conscious mimicking. They may also be falsely identifying with you. in order to try to get you to identify with them. I both escape my inferiority and move more towards my ideal. as the person consciously as well as subconsciously wants to be like the other person. If I believe that person to be superior to me. This. values. This generally happens as a subconscious process. of course.See also Fantasy. as much because she likes the garb as any conscious desire to be like them. This process may be to be copy specific people or it may be to change to an idealized prototype. of course. It may also be because they are identifying with you on one point and hence following you on others. although these processes may occur together. So what? Notice how others are acting like you or seem to agree with your viewpoints. This may be that they actually agree with you. Two people in a party meet and each finds the other very attractive. and I will tend to avoid the beliefs.

A person who is in heavily debt builds a complex spreadsheet of how long it would take to repay using different payment options and interest rates. So what? When people treat emotionally difficult situations in cold and logical ways. A woman who has been raped seeks out information on other cases and the psychology of rapists and victims. using 'carcinoma' instead of 'cancer' and 'terminal' instead of 'fatal'. It is also known as 'Isolation of affect' as the affective elements are removed from the situation.In therapeutic situations. although you may also decide to challenge them in a more appropriate time and setting. Intellectualization is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. Idealization Intellectualization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Intellectualization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Intellectualization is a 'flight into reason'. where the person avoids uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and logic. identification may be harmful where the person is either escaping serious personal problems or where the identification they take on is harmful to themselves or others. you may need to bring the person back to themselves to discover and address the root causes of the problem. Example A person told they have cancer asks for details on the probability of survival and the success rates of various drugs. whilst the emotional aspects are completely ignored as being irrelevant. 279 . By using complex terminology. Jargon is often used as a device of intellectualization. the focus becomes on the words and finer definitions rather than the human effects. The doctor may join in. You can decide to give them space now so they can maintain their dignity. and that intellectualization allows for the conscious analysis of an event in a way that does not provoke anxiety. See also Using Body Language. only that they are unable to handle the emotion at this time. In such cases. Alignment principle. She takes self-defense classes in order to feel better (rather than more directly addressing the psychological and emotional issues). Freud believed that memories have both conscious and unconscious aspects. it often does not mean that they are emotionally stunted. The situation is treated as an interesting problem that engages the person on a rational basis. Discussion Intellectualization protects against anxiety by repressing the emotions connected with an event.

. In this way. Substitution. When faced with a difficult situation we may indulge in some form of ritualized activity rather than face the situation just now. It is an excuse they have used a number of times before (and repeated in their heads many more times again). Example When faced with being dismissed from a job. Dissociation. Wonder whether you should act in other ways. long scripts of speech or more complex combinations of behavior.When you challenge a person who is intellectualizing. You can also prepare a number of harmless small rituals to give yourself time to think when faced with tricky situations where a few seconds to gather your thoughts will be useful. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often takes this pattern to extreme. the person with OCD manages to put off anxious thoughts or actions indefinitely. another form of defense) or switch to other forms of defense. even for just a few moments more. It may also be a desperate act to try and put off the inevitable. This puts off an uncomfortable immediate future. I clear my throat and say something like 'I'm glad you asked that question. a person wrings their hands and talks about how hard they work and how events conspire against them. endlessly and needlessly repeating a ritualized behavior such as washing or counting things. Displacement 280 . See also Avoidance. See also Denial. Rationalization. These rituals can be small physical actions. they may fight back (which is attack. When asked a question for which I do not have an immediate answer. This may give us enough time to gather our thoughts and calm down a little.'.. we may avoid the problem for a few seconds and sometimes for much longer. In paying detailed attention to these actions. So what? Notice the ritual actions you are performing and notice the anxiety that may have triggered this. Repression Performing rituals Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Performing rituals Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Rituals are pre-defined sequences of activity. Discussion Rituals take time to perform.

Example Rather than making a difficult phone call. Sublimation Substitution Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Substitution Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Take something that leads to discomfort and replace it with something that does not lead to discomfort. See also Positive coping. with friends and family valued more. 281 .Post-traumatic growth Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Post-traumatic growth Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description In post-traumatic growth. • Self-perception changes through the increase in resiliency gained from realizing you can cope with hardship. This helps people cope and make meaning in trauma in that they can say 'at least something good came of it'. find ways of turning them to your advantage. After a terrorist attack. where the energy created by the trauma is turned to something positive. making them good. Discussion This is often a form of sublimation. This 'something' may be range of items. an individual who has suffered a traumatic experience somehow finds ways to turn it into something good. and more time being spent in helping others. people are friendlier with others nearby and help out. including a behavior. • Life philosophy changes. for example with acceptance of mortality and appreciation of each day. Help others to do likewise. Typically: • Interpersonal relationships are improved. Example A mother who has lost a child to cancer raises significant money for cancer charities. I call my daughter for a chat. So what? So when bad things happen. a context or a physical item.

Instead of putting up a mirror, I put up a photograph of myself when I was younger.

Substitution is a form of avoidance, as we avoid difficulty by substitution comfort. It is not the same as displacement, which moves a behavior from one target to another. We often use this simple replacement strategy to put off things we would rather not do. It often appears something like two similar magnetic poles approaching -- the close they come to one another, the stronger is the force to push them apart.

So what?
Watch out for procrastination and other forms of avoidance through substitution. Ask yourself why you are doing things. Deliberately will yourself to the necessary, but uncomfortable action. You will likely feel better afterwards. In helping others, watch for them avoiding one thing by doing another. Bring this gently to their attention and discuss ways forward or why they are doing this.

See also
Avoidance, Displacement

Explanations > Behaviours > Coping > Sublimation Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

Sublimation is the transformation of unwanted impulses into something less harmful. This can simply be a distracting release or may be a constructive and valuable piece of work. When we are faced with the dissonance of uncomfortable thoughts, we create psychic energy. This has to go somewhere. Sublimation channels this energy away from destructive acts and into something that is socially acceptable and/or creatively effective. Many sports and games are sublimations of aggressive urges, as we sublimate the desire to fight into the ritualistic activities of formal competition.

I am angry. I go out and chop wood. I end up with a useful pile of firewood. I am also fitter and nobody is harmed. A person who has an obsessive need for control and order becomes a successful business entrepreneur. A person with strong sexual urges becomes an artist. A man who has extra-marital desires takes up household repairs when his wife is out of town. A surgeon turns aggressive energies and deep desires to cut people into life-saving acts.


Sublimation is probably the most useful and constructive of the defense mechanisms as it takes the energy of something that is potentially harmful and turns it to doing something good and useful. Freud believed that the greatest achievements in civilization were due to the effective sublimation of our sexual and aggressive urges that are sourced in the Id and then channeled by the Ego as directed by the Super ego. In his more basic musings, he considered such as painting as a potentially sublimated desire to smear one's own faeces. Sublimation is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms.

So what?
Help others who are causing themselves and others problems, for example by their sexual advances or aggressive outbursts, to re-channel their energies into more constructive activities. Beware of 'on the boundary' activities (including your own) where sublimated energy may switch back into unwanted or anti-social activities or other, less constructive, coping mechanisms.

See also
Repression, Fantasy

Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Undoing Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

Undoing is performing an act to 'undo' a previous unacceptable act or thought. It is often a form of apology, although it may not include the actual act of saying that you are sorry. Confession is a form of undoing, including that done in a church to a priest or a secret admission to a close friend. An act or communication which partially negates a previous one. Examples: (1) two close friends have a violent argument; when they next meet, each act as if the disagreement had never occurred. (2) when asked to recommend a friend for a job, a man makes derogatory comments which prevent the friend's getting the position; a few days later, the man drops in to see his friend and brings him a small gift.

Lady Macbeth compulsively washes her hands after committing murder. A man who has been unkind to his wife buys her flowers (but does not apologize).


A person who has barged in front of others in a queue holds the door open for them. A teenager who has been rather noisy tidies the room without having to be asked.

When we do (or even think) something that is outside our values we feel shame and hence a need to make right what we have done that is wrong. Undoing can be a form of apology. By reversing former actions the person is tacitly admitting they were wrong.

So what?
Help people to undo the wrongs they have done to you by showing you forgive them, especially when they perform 'undoing' actions. You can also help them to undo wrongs, suggesting things they can do as much to alleviate their own anxieties as to repair relationships with others. In persuasion, a wrong done to a person is an opportunity for that person to request something in return. If the wrongdoer realizes their wrong, they will jump at the chance to undo it.

See also
Confession, Symbolization

Attack mechanisms
Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Attack mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

We cope with difficulties in various ways. Some are more positive than others. Perhaps the worst kind is where we may attack others. Arguably, all attacks on others are forms of coping with our own internal troubles.
• Acting out: not coping - giving in to the pressure to misbehave. • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. • Fight-or-Flight reaction: Reacting by attacking. • Passive aggression: avoiding refusal by passive avoidance. • Projection: seeing your own unwanted feelings in other people. • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position. • Trivializing: Making small what is really something big.

Not all of these lead to harm of others, but they all have the potential to do so.

So what?
Guard against negative behavior that can harm others and lead you into trouble. Try converting these into adaptive mechanisms. When you are working with others, beware of them attacking you! Sometimes, when you take the cork out of a pressurized bottle, there is a significant explosion.


See also
Adaptive mechanisms, Anger

Acting out
Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Acting out Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

'Acting out' means literally means acting out the desires that are forbidden by the Super ego and yet desired by the Id. We thus cope with the pressure to do what we believe is wrong by giving in to the desire. A person who is acting out desires may do it in spite of their conscience or may do it with relatively little thought. Thus the act may be being deliberately bad or may be thoughtless wrongdoing. Where the person knows that they are doing wrong, they may seek to protect themselves from society's eyes by hiding their action. They may also later fall into using other coping mechanisms such as Denial to protect themselves from feelings of shame.

An addict gives in to their desire for alcohol or drugs. A person who dislikes another person seeks to cause actual harm to them.

Acting out may be considered as actually not coping, although it is handling the pressure by giving in to one side, whereas most other coping mechanisms seek to handle the pressure of not giving in. A person who is acting out may decide to 'repent at leisure', seeking the pleasure of the now by mortgaging future contentment. This may be caused by cognitive shortsightedness or by contrarian tendencies. Acting out is an opposite of sublimation, whereby a desired behavior is displaced into an acceptable activity.

So what?
Help people who are acting out by highlighting how ashamed they will be later, such that when they consider acting out in future, the later shame is significant enough to prevent their acting out now. If the behavior you want is outside the other person's values, you can encourage them to act out, for example by promising to keep their behavior secret. However, this will not stop them (and you) from using other defense mechanisms later to suppress feelings of shame.

See also
Values, Sublimation


Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Displacement Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

Displacement is the shifting of actions from a desired target to a substitute target when there is some reason why the first target is not permitted or not available. Displacement may involve retaining the action and simply shifting the target of that action. Where this is not feasible, the action itself may also change. Where possible the second target will resemble the original target in some way. Phobias may also use displacement as a mechanism for releasing energy that is caused in other ways.

The boss gets angry and shouts at me. I go home and shout at my wife. She then shouts at our son. With nobody left to displace anger onto, he goes and kicks the dog. A man wins the lottery. He turns to the person next to him and gives the person a big kiss. A boy is afraid of horses. It turns out to be a displaced fear of his father. I want to speak at a meeting but cannot get a word in edgeways. Instead, I start scribbling furiously. A religious person who is sexually frustrated focuses their attention on food, becoming a gourmet. A woman, rejected by her boyfriend, goes out with another man 'on the rebound'.

Displacement occurs when the Id wants to do something of which the Super ego does not permit. The Ego thus finds some other way of releasing the psychic energy of the Id. Thus there is a transfer of energy from a repressed object-cathexis to a more acceptable object. Displaced actions tend to be to into related areas or subjects. If I want to shout at a person but feel that I cannot, then shouting at somebody else is preferred to going to play the piano, although this may still be used if there is no other way I can release my anger. Displacements are often quite satisfactory and workable mechanisms for releasing energy more safely. Dreams can be interpreted as the displacement of stored tensions into other forms (dreams are often highly metaphoric). Displacement is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms.

So what?

When people do strange things, work with them to find if there are other places from which they are displacing their energy - then deal with the real reason, not the displaced reason. Attend to your own displacements. You probably have quite a few, as do most of us.

See also
Avoidance, Fantasy, Projection, Somatization

Fight-or-Flight Reaction
Explanations > Brain > Fight-or-Flight Reaction Physical changes | Modern effects | So what?

When we perceive a significant threat to us, then our bodies get ready either for a fight to the death or a desperate flight from certain defeat by a clearly superior adversary.

Physical changes
Fight or flight effects include:
• Our senses sharpening. Pupils dilate (open out) so we can see more clearly, even in darkness. Our hairs stand on end, making us more sensitive to our environment (and also making us appear larger, hopefully intimidating our opponent). • The cardio-vascular system leaping into action, with the heart pump rate going from one up to five gallons per minutes and our arteries constricting to maximize pressure around the system whilst the veins open out to ease return of blood to the heart. • The respiratory system joining in as the lungs, throat and nostrils open up and breathing speeding up to get more air in the system so the increased blood flow can be re-oxygenated. The blood carries oxygen to the muscles, allowing them to work harder. Deeper breathing also helps us to scream more loudly! • Fat from fatty cells and glucose from the liver being metabolized to create instant energy. • Blood vessels to the kidney and digestive system being constricted, effectively shutting down systems that are not essential. A part of this effect is reduction of saliva in the mouth. The bowels and bladder may also open out to reduce the need for other internal actions (this might also dissuade our attackers!). • Blood vessels to the skin being constricted reducing any potential blood loss. Sweat glands also open, providing an external cooling liquid to our over-worked system. (this makes the skin look pale and clammy). • Endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killers, are released (when you are fighting, you do not want be bothered with pain–-that can be put off until later.) • The natural judgment system is also turned down and more primitive responses take over–this is a time for action rather than deep thought.

Modern effects
Unfortunately, we are historically too close to the original value of this primitive response for our systems to have evolved to a more appropriate use of it, and many of life’s stresses trigger this response. The surprises and shocks of modern living leave us in a permanent state of arousal that takes its toll on our bodies, as described by Hans Selye's General Adaptation Syndrome.


It also happens when a creative new idea makes us feel uncertain about things of which we previously were sure. The biochemical changes in our brain make us aggressive, fighting the new idea, or make us timid, fleeing from it.

A third alternative response which often comes before fight or flight is freezing. This is often used by prey as they seek not to be noticed by predators. Humans also will pause at signs of danger. By freezing, you also cut down on noise and visual change and so may hear or see things around you more clearly.

So What?
Watch out for angry red faces, cold and clammy skin, signs of a dry mouth, increased breathing rates and jitteriness from activated muscles (in yourself, as well as others). Also watch out for the various forms of coping that can be dysfunctional and contrary to behavior you are seeking to create. When others are thus aroused, they are not thinking straight and can be manipulated. You may even want to provoke them into this state. They also may become aggressive and unpredictable, so on the other hand you may want to avoid getting them into this state! If you get wound up yourself, stop. Get out. Use any excuse to go somewhere and calm down.

See also
General Adaptation Syndrome, Safety, Control, Threat forecast, The dog temperaments, Coping Mechanisms

Passive aggression
Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Passive aggression Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

A person who uses passive-aggressive method to cope with stresses on them does this by 'attacking' others through passive means. Thus the aggressive intent is cloaked by the passive method. Passive aggression often appears when a person is asked to do something which they want to avoid for some reason (such as priority of other work). By appearing to agree but not making any real commitment, they can avoid the action. A more severe form of passive aggression is to agree to commitments and then not do anything to fulfill them. A toned down version is to do the minimum possible whilst putting on a grand show of appearing to be fully engaged.

A person at a meeting is asked to complete a task with which they feel unable to comply. They talk at great length about it, discussing how


important it is and all the various complexities that would be involved. At the end of the meeting, they still have not agreed to do anything. A sales person uses a persuasive sales patter. The customer agrees that this is just what they want, but when it comes to signing the order, they find reasons why they cannot buy today. A change manager asks people to change what they do. They agree but do not actually do what they agreed to do.

Passive aggression is a method often used by subordinates who are unable to directly oppose their superiors, and so need to resort to subtle and indirect means. It is also used with peers who can only ask (but not tell) them what to do, particularly where there is a false culture of supporting one team mates but the realities are that the day job takes a strong priority over helping one another. This can also happen in a culture where it is impolite to say 'no' to a person's face. So people say yes, even when they mean no. 'Yes' in some cultures can mean 'I understand' but not 'I will comply with your request for action'. Passive aggression may be rooted in childhood, where the impotent child cannot fight back against parents, teachers and other authority figures, and so resorts to truculence and withdrawal of commitment.

So what?
When someone keeps avoiding making commitments or appears to make a commitment to you but somehow does not comply, then you need to change the situation, otherwise you will not get anything done. One way of handling this is to state very clearly what you want from them and then ask them directly (and repeatedly as necessary) whether they agree to do this (and by when). Another approach is to 'name the game', pointing out to them what you are seeing in their behavior (do not accuse them -- just describe what you are seeing).

See also
Attack, Avoidance, Intellectualization, Objection-handling

Reaction Formation
Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Reaction Formation Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

Reaction Formation occurs when a person feels an urge to do or say something and then actually does or says something that is effectively the opposite of what they really want. It also appears as a defense against a feared social punishment. If I fear that I will be criticized for something, I very visibly act in a way that shows I am personally a long way from the feared position.


So what? When a person takes a position or stance on something. convincing themselves that war is wrong (rather than the ‘cowardly’ position that war is scary). and particularly if that position is extreme. This may be a conscious concealment but also may well occur at the subconscious level such that they do not realize the real cause of their behavior. Freud called the exaggerated compensation that can appear in Reaction Formation ‘overboarding’ as the person is going overboard in one direction to distract from and cover up something unwanted in the other direction. To cause a Reaction Formation pattern. consider the possibility that their real views are opposite to this. Then give them the space and ideas to react against this undesirable pattern and create their own way of showing how they are actually very far away from the undesirable behavior.A common pattern in Reaction Formation is where the person uses ‘excessive behavior’. show the other person that a particular behavior is socially unacceptable. A man who is gay has a number of conspicuous heterosexual affairs and openly criticizes gays. help a person who is dysfunctionally forming contrary reactions by first create a supportive environment where they can admit and accept what 290 . Reaction Formation goes further than projection such that unwanted impulses and thoughts are not acknowledged. This offers you two options in persuasion. for example using exaggerated friendliness when the person is actually feeling unfriendly. Extreme patterns of Reaction Formation are found in paranoia and obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). You can either support their current position or carefully expose how their underlying tendencies are opposite (and how it is ok to admit this). Example A person who is angry with a colleague actually ends up being particularly courteous and friendly towards them. Reaction Formation thus can turn homosexual tendencies (love men) to homophobic ones (hate men). Discussion A cause of Reaction Formation is when a person seeks to cover up something unacceptable by adopting an opposite stance. Reaction formation is one of Freud's original defense mechanisms. where the person becomes trapped in a cycle of repeating a behavior that they know (at least at a deep level) is somehow wrong. An alcoholic extols the virtues of abstinence. A mother who has a child she does not want becomes very protective of the child. For example the gay person who has heterosexually promiscuous may be concealing their homosexual reality. such as a person who fears war becoming a pacifist. In a therapeutic situation.

Discussion The size of discomfort is proportional to the size of the problem. making it doubly embarrassing that we have not gained what we expected. Before this. laughing it off. A friend trips up and falls on his face. making small something that others find important. we are faced with the problem of having our expectations and predictions dashed. and hence allows me to ignore it. telling ourselves (and often other people) that it is not that important anyway. we make light of the situation. He tells his friends that she isn't that pretty anyway. Then support their changing of position to somewhere that is more acceptable and appropriate for them. Remember that defense mechanisms are usually symptoms of deeper problems and addressing them directly can be ineffective or even counter-productive. thus trivializing what was previously important. This is a common mechanism that is socially acceptable in many situations. Reactance Theory Trivializing Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Trivializing Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description When we are faced with a disappointment over something that is important to us. One way that we trivialize is to make something a joke. where it may appear to be modesty or not taking oneself too seriously. Simply showing the person that their position is opposed to their real feelings can just cause deeper entrenchment. Trivializing makes small something that is really big. I tell myself that I didn't need it anyway. He gets up laughing. This is used when that something makes us feel uncomfortable in some way such that we feel unable to cope with it just now. We may even have told other people about it beforehand. A person in a meeting is faced with a powerful counter-argument. particularly when we are applying it to ourselves. you should first work on their primary conflict.though beware of this appearing that you are using trivialization to attack rather than help them. Example A girl rejects the advances of a boy. I lose a lot of money gambling. Trivializing may also be used as an happening to themselves. 291 . So what? Help others to cope by making light of problems -. See also Projection. As a response. They trivialize it by saying that it is nothing new.

• Symbolization: turning unwanted thoughts into metaphoric symbols. • Intellectualization: avoiding emotion by focusing on facts and logic. • Acting out: not coping . • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. when you take the cork out of a pressurized bottle. • Fantasy: escaping reality into a world of possibility. it can still result in significant internal damage and may end up coming out in other ways. • Trivializing: Making small what is really something big. Whilst avoidance and denial is a relatively harmless method that can be useful in the short term. most forms of coping include denial as the person avoids the real issue. • Regression: returning to a child state to avoid problems. • Avoidance: mentally or physically avoiding something that causes distress. there is a significant explosion. • Idealization: playing up the good points and ignoring limitations of things desired. So what? Guard against negative behavior that can harm others and lead you into trouble. • Projection: seeing your own unwanted feelings in other people. You can also encourage a person to do something that they previously thought difficult by making light of it. beware of them Denialing you! Sometimes.If you are helping them develop. When you are working with others. • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position. • Passive aggression: avoiding refusal by passive avoidance. See also Adaptive mechanisms. • Rationalization: creating logical reasons for bad behavior. Try converting these into adaptive mechanisms. See also Attack Avoidance mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Avoidance mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what? We cope with difficulties in various ways. In some ways. you can question and probe why they made light of the situation. • Repression: subconsciously hiding uncomfortable thoughts. Some are more positive than others. • Denial: refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. Anger Avoidance Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Avoidance 292 .giving in to the pressure to misbehave. • Performing rituals: Patterns that delay.

we channel the energy created by the desire into fantastic imaginings. When people talk about them. Example I dislike another person at work. It may also involve finding ways not to discuss or even think about the topic in question. avoidance is a major defense mechanism in phobias. If the discomfort is very strong. may come from unconscious sexual or aggressive impulses. He also avoids looking directly at me. Fantasy also provides temporary relief from the general stresses of everyday living. we find ways of not experiencing them. so be careful. Intellectualization. Whenever the subject of school comes up. he changes the topic. I say nothing. for example. you may have to corner them or otherwise present them with a situation where they are unable to avoid the situation. Push principle Fantasy Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Fantasy Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description When we cannot achieve or do something that we want. Procrastination is another form of avoidance where we put off to tomorrow those things that we can avoid today. See also Denial. we simply find ways of avoiding having to face uncomfortable situations. You can also use avoidance to persuade a person to do something. When feelings of discomfort appear. things or activities. The discomfort. I avoid walking past their desk.Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description In avoidance. 293 . Displacement. Avoidance may include removing oneself physically from a situation. they may fight back hard. Discussion Avoidance is a simple way of coping by not having to cope. According to the dynamic theory. My son does not like doing homework. one of which is something you know that they tend to avoid or which is likely to be less desirable. So what? To get someone to face what they are avoiding. Give them a choice of two actions. They will pick the path you want in order to avoid the less desirable way.

Example A soldier explains his decision to join the army as 'defending the flag'. In your own life. it is a welcome and temporary relief and adds harmless spice to our everyday worlds. Escape Theory Symbolization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Symbolization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Symbolization is a way of handling inner conflicts by turning them into distinct symbols. Discussion Fantasy can range from harmless imaginings to delusional obsessions. Discussion Symbols are often displacements of deeper desires. For most of us. symbolizing the 'hand in marriage'. We go to movies or read books to escape into the prepared fantasies that they offer us. So what? Persuade by drawing people into imagined possibilities. 294 . however. Say 'What if' (with enthusiasm!) to send them into a world of excitement and potential. A boy who is punished by a teacher creates fantasies of shooting the teacher (remember the movie 'If'). although there may also be symbolic acts and metaphoric ideas. Idealization. Symbols are often physical items. A man asks for the woman's hand.Example A man who is attracted to a beautiful woman but who realizes that she is unattainable fantasizes about seducing her (or being seduced by her). where a person loses track of reality as they switch for long periods into their fantasy world. but know them as such. Help people escape from damaging fantasies by moving them gradually to less harmful ones. enjoy your fantasies. See also Displacement. Teach them to put their dreams on hold and switch back and forth at will between reality and fantasy. where the person has turned an unwanted or stressful thought into a concrete or metaphoric thing. A student who flunks university exams imagines that they could have passed the exams 'if they really wanted to'.

• Regression: returning to a child state to avoid problems.and perhaps surprise them with how well you understand them. • Acting out: not coping . Intellectualization. Rationalization Behavioral mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Behavioral mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what? We cope with difficulties in various ways. • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. So what? People leave streams of symbols through their lives. If you can read these. So what? Behavior is easy to see and hence is a strong signal that you can read in others and that they can read in in to the pressure to misbehave. • Identification: copying others to take on their characteristics. • Aim inhibition: lowering sights to what seems more achievable. Some are more positive than others. See also Displacement. • Compensation: making up for a weakness in one area by gain strength in another. • Attack: trying to beat down that which is threatening you. from the furniture in their houses to the minutiae of the words that they use and the actions they perform. Here are various mechanisms that change how we behave. you can learn a great deal about what is in their subconscious mind . • Undoing: actions that psychologically 'undo' wrongdoings for the wrongdoer. See also Adaptive mechanisms. • Avoidance: mentally or physically avoiding something that causes distress. Anger Aim inhibition Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Aim inhibition Description | Example | Discussion | So what? 295 . and Freud made significant efforts to interpret them. When people act in certain ways that seem strange to you or seem to be directed against you. pause to think. These are often coping mechanisms and are not about you.Dreams are highly symbolic. • Altruism: Helping others to help self. • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position. believing that understanding the symbols would lead him and his patients to uncover the original root causes of their problems.

so becomes a vet's assistant instead. It can also lead us to accept less than we might potentially otherwise gain. which she carefully and modestly grateful. Where you want a person to lower their sights.Description Sometimes we have desires and goals that we believe or realize that we are unable to achieve. reducing our goals to something that we believe is actually more possible or realistic. Example A self-made millionaire who grew up in poverty sets up a charitable foundation and gains great pleasure from how it helps others get out of the poverty trap. show them others who have done so and then show how those others are like the person in question. Aim inhibition may well include elements of rationalization and displacement. In aim inhibition. She receives social accolade and public recognition for her good deeds. Example A person who sexually desires another person but is unable to fulfill that desire (for example the other person is married) convinces themselves that all they really want is to be friends. although the prime force is the creation of achievable goals. Displacement Altruism Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Altruism Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Avoid your own pains by concentrating on the pains of others. show how what they want is unattainable. 296 . Aim inhibition is generally not particularly harmful and can be quite helpful in enabling us to live lives that would otherwise feel unfulfilled. See also Rationalization. Maybe you can heal yourself and feel good by healing them and helping them to feel good. we lower our sights. Discussion The gap between wanting and not having causes the tension that aim inhibition seeks to relieve. A person who wants to be a veterinarian does not get sufficient exam grades. So what? To help a person raise their sights.

I angrily criticize them back. So what? 297 . Altruism may also be less direct and aimed at helping others in a range of circumstances. Example Someone criticizes me in a discussion. Discussion Attack appears as a subconscious response in the fight-or-flight reaction. they may lash out at whoever is in the way. where aggressive feelings are redirected onto a substitute target. They angrily bang the keyboard. help others in the same situation rather than taking revenge on those who hurt you or falling into worse dysfunction.Discussion Altruism and other pro-social action may seem rather strange as a 'coping' behavior. where we unthinkingly respond to a sudden threat with an aggressive response. whether the other person is a real cause or not. A person is having problems with their computer. we will attack back. See also Sublimation Attack Explanations > Behaviours > Coping > Attack Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description 'The best form of defense is attack' is a common saying and is also a common action. and when we feel threatened or attacked (even psychologically). So what? So if you have been hurt in the past. altruism is a perfect mechanism for avoiding. thus seeking an indirect way of effecting a direct cure on oneself. According to the dictionary it is 'unselfish concern for the welfare of others'. you can help others choose altruism over more destructive coping mechanisms. If we have strong values about being unselfish and putting others first. When a person feels stressed in some way. Yet beneath the surface we all have our ills and seek to cope with them as best we can. Likewise. This may appear when the more direct approach would still be too painful. Direct altruism may be found when a person seeks to help others with the same problem that the person has. Attack is often also used in displacement. and perhaps even curing our own problems. They may also attack inanimate objects.

• Introjection: Bringing things from the outer world into the inner world. Here are various mental mechanisms that help us cope. • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position. Displacement Cognitive mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Cognitive mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what? We cope with difficulties in various ways. Fight-or-Flight reaction. • Denial: refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred. • Symbolization: turning unwanted thoughts into metaphoric symbols. • Suppression: consciously holding back unwanted urges. A therapist or counsellor may be able to help them understand the inner processes and hence deliberately change how they think. • Rationalization: creating logical reasons for bad behavior. • Projection: seeing your own unwanted feelings in other people. • Idealization: playing up the good points and ignoring limitations of things desired. Some are more positive than others. • Repression: subconsciously hiding uncomfortable thoughts. • Trivializing: Making small what is really something big. So what? Mental mechanisms like this are sometimes deliberate and conscious and sometimes invisible to the person so they do not realize what is really happening. • Somatization: psychological problems turned into physical symptoms. • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. See also Anger.When the other person is angry or attacks you. • Altruism: Helping others to help self. seek the underlying internal conflict they are feeling rather than believe that they are attacking you because you are bad in some way. • Dissociation: separating oneself from parts of your life. • Fantasy: escaping reality into a world of possibility. • Avoidance: mentally or physically avoiding something that causes distress. In this way. 298 . • Intellectualization: avoiding emotion by focusing on facts and logic. In the latter case it is difficult for a person to even begin to understand what is happening. • Regression: returning to a child state to avoid problems. • Compartmentalization: separating conflicting thoughts into separated compartments. • Conversion: subconscious conversion of stress into physical symptoms. • Identification: copying others to take on their characteristics. • Aim inhibition: lowering sights to what seems more achievable. you can help them recover (and also gain credibility). • Passive aggression: avoiding refusal by passive avoidance. Trivializing.

See also Adaptive mechanisms. blindness. It also is more than malingering. With time. for example taking them away from the initial situation. becoming mute or having a seizure. consider the possibility that it may be a case of conversion. So what? When a stressed person suddenly becomes paralyzed or otherwise physically handicapped. Example A person's arm becomes suddenly paralyzed after they have been threatening to hit someone else. so act to reduce their stress. yet is cruelly strict to children. It is different from psychosomatic disorders where real health changes are seen (such as the appearance of ulcers). third-person perspective. Dissociation Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Dissociation Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Dissociation involves separating a set of thoughts or activities from the main area of conscious mind. Anger Conversion Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Conversion Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Conversion as a defense mechanism occurs where cognitive tensions manifest themselves in physical symptoms. 299 . without realizing that there is a conflict between the two. Lesser symptoms include tiredness. Example A religious person preaches kindness to all. where you 'go to the balcony' and look down on the situation in order to remove emotion from your perspective (this is sometimes called 'dissociation of affect'). headaches and twitches. Discussion Conversion is a subconscious effect that can be as scary for the person as it is for those around them. Extreme symptoms may include paralysis. deafness. where conscious exaggeration of reported symptoms are used to gain attention. in order to avoid the conflict that this would cause. the symptom will go away. The symptom may well be symbolic and dramatic and it often acts as a communication about the situation. Dissociation can also appear as taking an objective. Explaining conversion to them may help.

with such as 'Let's stand back from this..A politician seeks legislation on government integrity.. Dissociation occurs in conditions such as hysteria and schizophrenia. as with the examples above.. Dissociation is very close to compartmentalization..'. it can lead to moral dilemmas and professional suicide. In hysteria. You can also use it conversationally. Example I have to give a presentation but feel scared. When challenged. This is used in therapy to help a person review a situation without revisiting the emotions involved. Discussion We often use admired and respected others for the models from which to draw out introjected qualities. They take on the strong-defender attributes that they perceive in their father and push away the bully. talk to them in their current value set in order to be accepted in the moment. 300 . they seem surprised that these are conflicting interests. However. Taking an objective 'out of the body' perspective has the effect of leaving emotions in the body. a large piece of the conscious mind is separated. Many others follow her lead. I put on the hat of Abraham Lincoln and imagine I am confidently giving an important address to the nation. yet also has some shady private dealings. So what? Where you can see a person dissociating. See also Compartmentalization Introjection Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Introjection Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Introjection occurs as a coping mechanism when we take on attributes of other people who seem better able to cope with the situation than we do. A business leader sets high moral standards within the company. whilst in schizophrenia there are a number of smaller portions separated from one another. A child is threatened at school. Discussion Dissociation is of practical value where it keeps separate different parts of your life.' or 'looking down on the situation. Telling the person that they have another persona may well lead to denial or some other defense.

it grabs attention by attacking the physical body. Think like them. If symptoms persist. See also Projection Somatization Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Somatization Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Somatization occurs where a psychological problem turns into physical and subconscious symptoms. as there is no physical cause of the problem. think about a person who is able to cope well with the situation. Of course you should get medical opinion first to determine whether there really is a medical cause (and perhaps to help them get physical relief). This can range from simple twitching to skin rashes. Thus a person taking on the strength of a more senior manager may also take on unwanted aggression and distain. Example A policeman. develops hypertension. you may be able to effect a 'miracle cure'. Be them. So what? When you feel threatened. This can have useful consequences. Put yourself in their shoes. a person who is overstressing themselves may get a physical problem that forces them to slow down. who has to be very restricted in his professional behavior. heart problems and worse. So what? When people have physical symptoms.When we introject aspects of another person. Get inside their body. A worried actor develops a twitch. The symptoms created can be a problem for normal doctors. consider the possibility of psychological causes. Discussion When the subconscious mind is suffering from a problem which is not addressed and cannot be considered. See also Regression 301 . Then manage the situation like a pro. And then realize that you can do it. The reverse effect can happen where a placebo actually causes a person to recover. for example. it is possible that we also bring in attributes that are less helpful as we take on their persona.

For example. the person minimizes their discomfort. Repression is subconscious. This approach is also used to suppress desires and urges that the person considers to be unworthy of them. This may range from sexual desires to feelings of anger towards other people for whatever reason. So what? To help a person deal with suppressed feelings. Actions that take the person into anxiety-creating situations may also be avoided. Instead. but more 'interesting' route.which can be in a huge torrent. See also Repression. One way of doing this is to regress them to incidents where the feelings were originally suppressed and then use therapeutic methods to enable them to re-experience the situation more appropriately. There are some people down there. However. Denial. I want to kick the living **** out of an idiot at the office. as the feelings are still held in the subconscious. Intellectualization Conversion mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Cognitive mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what? 302 . Suppression is conscious. Example An older man has sexual feelings towards a teenager and quickly suppresses the thought. Then seek to trigger their release . first create an open and accepting environment where there is no external reasons to remain suppressed. Discussion By avoiding situations or thoughts that lead to anxiety. I am about to take a short-cut down an alleyway. they continue to gnaw and create a sense of underlying and wearying low-level discomfort. for example of anger and crying (although more gentle release may also occur).Suppression Explanations > Behaviors > Coping mechanisms > Suppression Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description This is where the person consciously and deliberately pushes down any thoughts that leads to feelings of anxiety. I decide to take the longer. a person has been unkind to another and then avoids thinking about it. I smile at them and try to feel sorry for their Freudian plight. as this would lead to uncomfortable feelings of shame and the dissonance of knowing they had acted outside of common human values.

• Symbolization: turning unwanted thoughts into metaphoric symbols. So what? Conversion coping can be confusing as the real problem is hidden behind a different mask. • Conversion: subconscious conversion of stress into physical symptoms. The reasons and route of conversion is not always clear and some exploration can be needed to help understand what is going on. • Altruism: Helping others to help self. ask whether this is authentic or whether it is a problem being acted out in some different way. Anger Self-harm mechanisms Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Self-harm mechanisms Description | Example | Discussion | So what? We cope with difficulties in various ways. So what? Conversion coping can be confusing as the real problem is hidden behind a different mask. • Sublimation: channeling psychic energy into acceptable activities. One family of coping mechanisms is to attack ourselves in some way. The reasons and route of conversion is not always clear and some exploration can be needed to help understand what is going on. See also Adaptive mechanisms. • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position. • Aim inhibition: lowering sights to what seems more achievable. One family of coping mechanisms acts to transform the difficulty in some way. doing actual or psychological harm. • Conversion: subconscious conversion of stress into physical symptoms. • Self-harming: Conscious physical self-harm. • Somatization: psychological problems turned into physical symptoms. • Trivializing: Making small what is really something big. ask whether this is authentic or whether it is a problem being acted out in some different way. 303 . When people are acting strangely. • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target. • Post-traumatic growth: Using the energy of trauma for good. • Idealization: playing up the good points and ignoring limitations of things desired.We cope with difficulties in various ways. • Substitution: Replacing one thing with another. When people are acting strangely. • Somatization: psychological problems turned into physical symptoms.

which has a particular causal link with self-harm. perhaps because they believe they have done wrong or often because others have told them they are bad. When you are numbed by depression. Parents fear suicide. paradoxically. Others fear the rage being projected outwards. taken in anger or frustration. There is a whole spectrum of actions that can appear here. where sustained bodily harm is caused. you feel pain. Many of these can lead to low self-esteem. People who self-harm may be punishing themselves. Many hide their injuries and do not seek help. 304 . Self-harm can be an attention-seeking activity but mostly is not.See also Adaptive mechanisms. It can also be an obsessive activity that can lead to life-threatening damage. Anger Self-harming Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Self-harming Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description The person physically deliberately hurts themself in some way or otherwise puts themselves at high risk of harm. that can have many different causes. from harmlessly tapping one's head ('I'm so stupid') to drawing one's own blood and acting in reckless. This can be a one-shot activity. Self-harm is generally considered to be more about the more extreme end of this spectrum. Common causes include bullying. When you harm yourself. particularly amongst young people (particularly teenagers). nearsuicidal ways. this can. be life-affirming. death of a loved one. It can be scary for others when they find out the person is self-harming. neglect. abuse and debilitating illness. Example • • • • • • • • • • • Slapping oneself Banging one's head against a table Punching a hard wall Picking at wounds Cutting oneself with a knife or sharp object Burning oneself Biting oneself Picking fights with others (especially tough people) Reckless driving Body piercing or tattoos (painful!) Taking narcotic drugs or medicine overdoses Discussion Self-harm is a remarkably common activity.

It can also be a displacement. jealousy and so on. I want to harm someone else. the life drive. It can also result in explosive outbursts as we are unable to contain the emotion further. stress Emotionality Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Emotionality Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description When we become stressed or tension is caused. self-mutilation. This may give a clue to the original cause. but I cannot. Help them to socialize with caring others. Find doable challenges for them and help them succeed. If I cannot attack others at least I can attack myself as a substitute for the intended target. In helping others. fear. arousing similar or polar feelings. If you have any doubt or concern. such as running. When we display these emotions it can affect others around us. I feel I cannot control the world around me. including anger. Counting down from ten and just focusing on a nearby object can also be helpful when other activities are not available. As a result. 305 . a number of negative emotions may start to build. Some people are either not good at restraining their emotions or are less concerned about the effect on others and more about the personal benefits of emotional outbursts. or libido. Releasing blood can. the death drive may help to explain this oft-baffling activity. first find out when the behavior started. it is often a good idea to get professional advice. self-inflicted violence or selfinjury. Otherwise helping them to increase their confidence is likely to help. seem like letting out bad feelings. they regularly and habitually display extreme emotions. so I will harm myself instead. Watch for covering up of skin and excuses for bruises and other signs harm. Praise them for things well done.Self-harm can have a strong control aspect. A common social value is that we should not distress others. So what? Watch those you know who are unhappy or who have low self-respect. Freud discussed this as the opposite of eros. frustration. but at least I can do this. Self-harm is also known as self-abuse. 'bottling up' the stress. so many people hold the emotion in. dancing or listening to music. strangely. In psychoanalysis. See also Life and death drives. Give them harmless displacement activities that may reduce stress. This in itself can trigger other coping mechanisms.

Watch out for their outbursts (and subsequent denial of such). They also make us feel powerful. however. as if we can control a frightening and uncontrollable world. they reject this and return to their complaint. People who do control their emotions can also have problems as the emotions do not go away and can explode. When the partner suggests ways of resolving the problems the solutions are rejected out of hand and the person continues to complain. Help them find ways of harmlessly releasing pent-up emotion and resolve deeper issues. See also Emotions Help-rejecting complaining Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Help-rejecting complaining Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description A person becomes upset or otherwise elicits supporting actions from other people. As a result. show them the effect they are having on themselves and others. A man who has had long relationship problems is given to angry outbursts that both give temporary respite and yet add to the cycle of relational failures. People who seem anal and uptight are not free from emotion. they may become an over-emotional adult. they can be very emotional and can contribute significantly to family problems. Negative emotions such as anger and hate let us projection our problems onto others. 306 . Example A person complains to their partner about problems at work. When helpful suggestions or other comfort is offered.Example Teenagers often cannot contain the emotions caused by physiological and temporal development. you might wonder about deep causes and unresolved traumas. So what? When people are often emotional. To help people. still using emotion as an attention-gaining device. If they do not learn to manage their emotions as they grow older. Discussion Emotional outbursts start very young and many infants know little other way to get attention. leak or otherwise appear in confusing and embarrassing ways.

both verbal and physical.Discussion If a person who is distressed accepts help. See also Games. This situation can become a double-bind for the other person. The attention can then be put on the other person and away from the originator's stress. If you want to help them. Resolving the problem means losing attention. siblings and teachers. So what? If others complain to you and do not consider any solutions you offer. then they also accept the notion that the help will lead to their distress being alleviated. The teenager deliberately does something reprehensible. Asking for a solution to a problem may also be less about the problem and more about gaining attention. Socratic questioning Provocation Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Provocation Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description When a person feels stressed. gets told off. However. sometimes it is enough just to quietly accept them whilst repelling their demands for solution. who is required to offer solutions. Also consider if you must stay with them at this time. By provoking another person. ideally in a way that will lead them towards resolving the issue themselves. then blames the other person. if they find the distressful state somehow comforting. This is a common response when a person feels guilty about something. 307 . Example A very common context for provocation is between teenagers and their parents. A person who needs to affirm their power will provoke a weaker other in order to escalate into a conflict they are confident they can win. one way they avoid dealing with the real issues is to provoke others into some kind of reaction. then there is little value in continuing to offer solutions. but who soon finds that no solution will be accepted. the guilt can then be transferred to that person. A way of doing this is to ask them for more detail about the issue. Provocation is also a common causes of fights. or believe that they cannot be helped. and so is avoided. The pattern also continues in dysfunctional adult relationships. then accepting any support puts them into a tricky situation.

Perhaps it is unclear who started it. to see the silver lining to the clouds. By self-inquiry they realize they are trying to avoid going to a job they do not like. So they change their job. So what? So learn to turn bad things into good. • Root-cause solving: Seeking to fix the underlying cause such that the problem will never recur. This is a position that needs a certain amount of maturity in being able to accept one's own failings without excessive self-blame. do not rise to the bait! When you find yourself in an argument. So what? When others provoke you. Discussion Positive coping generally means framing the issue in a positive light that enables use to see an adversity as an opportunity.Discussion Provocation is a great way of avoiding one's own issues by creating more immediate issues for others. Displacement. See also Avoidance. 308 . A person misses a train several times. including: • Immediate problem-solving: Seeking to fix the problem that is the immediate cause of our difficulty. • Spiritual growth: Finding ways of turning the problem into a way to grow 'spiritually' or emotionally. Be positive and find how this can benefit your life. you can decide to de-escalate. Teach others to do it too. The hapless victim is thus distracted from provocateur and into a defensive position. Games Positive coping Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Positive coping Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description There are a number of approaches that we can take to cope in a positive way with problems. Example A student fails and exam. But once you know that it is a game. Perhaps it was you doing the provoking. They view it as an opportunity to deepen their learning and study hard for their re-sit. • Benefit-finding: Looking for the good things amongst the bad. pause to think about how it started.

DISC Types: Four simple types. These include: • • • • • • • • • 16PF: Cattell's sixteen basic personality factors. cathexis and other classic stuff. Personality models There are a range of models relating to personality. so you should also be flexible to handle the other person when they climb out of the box into which you have put them. Identity 16PF factors Explanations > Preferences > 16PF The 16 Primary Factors | The 5 Global Factors | So what? 309 . Preferences. Sheldon's Body Personality: You are what your shape is. but does not allow 100% predictions. Nurture. The only trap of playing the personality card is if you assume that people are nothing but their assessed personality. Type A and Type B personalities: Prone to heart attacks or not? So what? Assessing personality of people is very useful as it helps understand them. Satir's Stress Responders: Five types in response to stress. Understanding personality helps. and hence how they may be convinced (play to their preferences and traits). Their preferences do change with circumstance and as people we are particularly complex animals. although some are more about preferences and typing than inherent personality. Freud's Personality Factors: Id. MMPI: Clinical psychiatric conditions. The bottom line is to always remember that this psychology stuff is just a numbers game. biases and their preferences. See also Nature vs. Big Five factors: A simplification to five factors from the 16PF. • Personality is: Various definitions. their traits. Jungian Type Inventory: The oldest modern typing system. Post-traumatic growth Personality Explanations > Personality Personality models | So what? One of the enduring questions in our attempts to understand people is how we can simplify our understanding of people and also how we can categorise them.See also Sublimation. Ego. putting them into neat boxes so we can predict what they will (or at least believe that we can) and hence know how to interact with them.

There are 16 Primary Factors. conforming. Unlike some other systems. taciturn. mature. cooperative. more intelligent. which have also been grouped into five global factors. self-indulgent High Warm. competitive. The 16 Primary Factors These are Cattells' original personality factors. the focus of the 16PF is to identify innate characteristics without immediate concern for how they are applied. easygoing. likes people Abstractthinking. restrained. Primary Factor Ref Low Reserved. then whittled down to 4500. emotionally changeable. faces reality. impulsive Rule-conscious. nonconforming. then about 171 and eventually 16). enthusiastic. reserved. animated. detached. happy-go-lucky. assertive. unable to handle abstract problems Reactive. conscientious. submissive. cool.000. kindly. These were derived from an analysis of personality-describing words (initially 18. adaptive. outgoing. lower general mental capacity. impersonal. bossy Lively. easily led. stubborn. emotionally less stable. Liveliness F RuleConsciousness G 310 . higher general mental capacity. dutiful.16PF stands for the 16 Personality Factors or 'source traits' that were identified by Raymond Cattell in the 1930s as being the main set of factors whereby a person can be classified. avoids conflict. humble. prudent. distant. bright. disregards rules. less intelligent. affected by feelings. aggressive. introspective. attentive to others. spontaneous. impersonal. forceful. docile. fast learner Warmth A Reasoning B Emotional Stability C Emotionally stable. obedient. cheerful. silent Expedient. easily upset Deferential. accommodating Serious. expressive. formal. participating. calm Dominance E Dominant. aloof Concretethinking.

aesthetic. worrying. self-sufficient Perfectionist. non-disclosing. nononsense.moralistic. self-reliant. sentimental. easy Grounded. socially precise. impulsive. oppositional Abstracted. attached to familiar. flexibility Self-reliant. absorbed in ideas Private. can take stress Sensitive. distrustful. suspicious. artless. free of guilt. self-conflict. practical. flexible. intuitive. selfblaming Open to change. staid. individualistic. lax. thick-skinned. self-satisfied Traditional. worldly. control. involved Self-assured. exacting will power. worried. intimidated Utilitarian. self-doubting. unsuspecting. discreet. secure. guileless. unexacting. imaginative. naive. open. impractical. skeptical. conventional Forthright. prosaic. compulsive. liberal. rough Trusting. selfdisciplined. refined Vigilant. guiltprone. astute. rule-bound Social Boldness H Shy. unsentimental. dependent Tolerates disorder. hesitant. careless of social Socially bold. undisciplined. uninhibited. affiliative. confident. respecting traditional ideas Group-oriented. conservative. a joiner and follower. unpretentious. insecure. solitary. self-sentimental Sensitivity I Vigilance L Abstractedness M Privateness N Apprehension O Openness to Change Q1 Self-Reliance Perfectionism Q2 Q3 311 . wary. steady. accepting. unworried. astute. tough-minded. objective. timid. resourceful. polished. shrewd. threatsensitive. complacent. critical. solutionoriented. diplomatic Apprehensive. freethinking. absent-minded. experimenting. genuine. analytical. venturesome. tender-minded. organized. unconditional.

L +. Global Factors Low Introverted. timedriven Tension Q4 Relaxed. M-. This means that the earlier factors are more significant (so 'warmth' had a very significant effect and will moderate other factors). has high drive. torpid. open-minded. wilful Self-controlled. overwrought. I-. impatient. placid. determined Independence. selfless. tense.rules. social participant High anxiety. G+. emotionality. high energy. resolute. patient. L+. imperturbable. intuitive. Q2C-. F+. subdued Unrestrained. So what? 312 . nonempathetic. which are sometimes also called the 16PF5. low drive The single reference letters indicate the order in which the factors emerged from the statistical factor analysis used to derive them. which were developed later. socially inhibited Low anxiety. persuasive. inhibiting impulses 16PF A+. uncontrolled Tense. H+. well-adjusted Receptive. agreeable. These are not a simple grouping of the 16PF . frustrated. Q4+ Extraversion Anxiety ToughMindedness / Willpower Independence Self-Control A-. relaxed. Q1- E+. uncontrolled High Extraverted. N-. Q3+ Note that these are similar to the Big Five factors. impulsive. perturbable.some of the sixteen appear in more than one of the five. tranquil. Q1+ F-. Missing letters indicate The Five Global Factors (16PF5) This is a grouping and simplification from the above 16 factors. driven. composed. M-. feeling Accommodating. H+. O+. histrionic Tough-minded. The 'Q' factors emerged later when the initial factors were being tested.

The Big Five When working with other people five characteristics/traits/preferences are a lot easier to remember than sixteen. The general principle is that these factors are pretty fixed. Big Five Factor (16PF equivalent) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Describes Anxiety Angry Hostility Depression Self-Consciousness Impulsiveness Vulnerability Warmth Gregariousness Assertiveness Activity Excitement-Seeking Positive Emotions Fantasy Aesthetics Feelings Actions Ideas Values Trust Straightforwardness Altruism Compliance Modesty Tender-mindedness Competence Order Neuroticism (Anxiety) Extraversion (Extraversion) Openness (Tough-minded) Agreeableness (Independence) Conscientiousness • • 313 . Big five factors Explanations > Preferences > Big five factors The Big Five | Discussion | So what? The 'Big Five' were derived as a simplified set of personality indicators. This also leads to the obvious criticism that we are much more than 'five traits'. Using the first letters of the first three factors.Assess people either roughly using the above table as a guide or more fully using the standard questionnaire. They are similar to the 16PF and were identified later. so you can then project them onto other situations. The initial letters are also sometimes arranged to spell OCEAN (or CANOE). the term NEO often appears in descriptions.

Intellect. It measures four preferences. 314 . Also compared to men. women tend to be: • Much higher on Agreeableness. Known variants are included in the table below: DISC type Dominant Description Independent. • Lower on Agreeableness & Openness to experience. first borns tend to be: • Higher on Conscientiousness & Neuroticism. So what? So memorize these and use them to assess people as you meet them and hence generalize to other situations. The meanings of the DISC letters vary. • Slightly higher on Conscientiousness. You can also use one of the assessments tests available for more formal exploration. lower on sociability aspects. higher on sociability. but there has been debate about Openness. • Higher on assertive and dominance aspects of Extraversion. with alternatives including Culture. See also 16PF DISC types Explanations > Preferences > DISC types DISC types | Preferences | So what? DISC types This is a popular system originating in the 1920's by an American psychologist called William Moulton Marston. in which you are scored in each preference (thus resulting in a profile score across each type). and Openness to experience. according to whom you talk. Imagination. direct.(Self-control) • • • • • Dutifulness Achievement Striving Self-Discipline Deliberation Discussion Four of the big five are widely agreed. • Lower on assertiveness and dominance aspects of Extraversion. persistent. Compared to later-borns.

Focused on people than tasks. focus on the new and future. persuasive. a number of preferences can be seen within the DISC types. Supportive. perfectionist. including: Dominant Influential X X X X X X Steady X X Cautious Preference Focus on other people Independent. Preferences Just by looking closely at this. Ask 'What?' Social. busy. busy. Shy. outlines. Few. distractible. Good listeners and counselors. Private. Determined. but good friends. Ask 'Who?' Consistent. rather than tell. Compliant. Imaginative. Interesting) Steady Energetic. 315 . Tell rather than ask. Stable. Focus on own goals rather than people. Don't show feelings. Big-picture. internal Energetic and busy Tell rather than ask (vs. it is more behaviorally focused (Myers Briggs focuses more on the thinking processes). like stability. (Submissive. fearless. peace-seeking. friendly. Ask. Poor time managers. Like helping and supporting others. Calculating. Contemplative) Logical. Close relationships with few friends. Demanding. Inspiring. Ask 'Why?' and 'How?' When compared to the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. Driver. Careful. Ask 'How?' and 'When?' Slow and critical thinker. Impressive. Tell rather than ask. Doer) Influential Energetic. Correct. Interacting. (Cautious. Decisive. fact-based. (Inducement.(Direct. Status quo. Specialist) Conscientious Accommodating. optimistic. Concerned. follows rules. organized.

stability) Task-oriented (vs. building the relationship Listen to them talk about their ideas Help them find ways to translate the talk into useful action Don’t spend much time on the details Motivate them to follow through to complete tasks Recognize their accomplishments 316 . They are quite simple and thus easy to use. Internal Steady Conscientious So what? Understand the DISC type. With Dominant people • • • • • • • Build respect to avoid conflict Focus on facts and ideas rather than the people Have evidence to support your argument Be quick. Then play to the person's preferences and overall type.opposite) Imaginative. people) Flexible to changing world X X X X X X X X X X The DISC can be simplified in a 2x2 grid: People-focused Task-focused Active. and to the point Ask what not how Talk about how problems will hinder accomplishments Show them how they can succeed With Influential people • • • • • • Be social and friendly with them. Outgoing Influential Dominant Passive. big-picture. future-focused Like stability and predictability Like change (vs. focused.

With Steady people • • • • • • • Be genuinely interest in them as a person Create a human working environment for them Give them time to adjust to change Clearly define goals for them and provide ongoing support Recognize and appreciate their achievements Avoid hurry and pressure Present new ideas carefully With Conscientious people • • • • • • Warn them in time and generally avoid surprises Be prepared. MMPI History The MMPI was developed in the 1930s at Minnesota University as a serious and comprehensive personality test that can be used to detect psychiatric problems. There is also an abbreviated version (MMPI-3).hypochondriasis Neurotic concern over bodily functioning. to avoid confusion and argument. MMPI Scales Scale 1 . Due to its clinical use.htm Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) Explanations > Preferences > Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) MMPI History | MMPI Scales | So what? The MMPI system is not really a preference system of real interest here. Don't ad-lib with them if you can Be logical. there is a lot of concern that people taking it may fake results and hence there are three 'validity' scales to guard against this. so you can at least understand what it is when you bump into it. persistent and diplomatic See also Four Types http://www.discprofile. It has ten clinical scales to indicate different psychiatric conditions. A brief introduction is included just for completeness. Scale 2 .depression 317 .com/whatisdisc. although these are not 'pure' and hence the scales are often referred to by their number. It was revised in 1989 as MMPI-2 and a version for adolescents developed (MMPI-A). accurate and use clear data Show how things fit into the bigger picture Be specific in disagreement and focus on the facts Be patient.

Adolescents tend to score higher. social alienation.hypomania Tests for elevated mood.mmpi-info. difficulties in concentration. lack of deep interests. self-criticism. and guilt feelings. Scale 3 . lack of acceptance of authority. Women score higher too. Scale 9 . suspiciousness. Scale 0 . amorality. Scale 6 . flight of ideas. and sexual difficulties.Poor morale. and a general dissatisfaction with one's own life situation. excessive sensitivity. and socioeconomic Jungian Type Inventory Explanations > Preferences > Jungian Type Inventory MBTI history | Preferences | Types | So what? 318 . It also shows abnormal fears. feelings of persecution. education.masculinity-femininity Tests for homosexual tendencies. People who tend to score higher include brighter. including bizarre thought processes and peculiar perceptions.psychasthenia Originally characterized by excessive doubts. padded van and ask you questions. It is also related to intelligence. and brief periods of depression.paranoia Paranoid symptoms such as ideas of reference. and unreasonable fears.falseallegations. disturbing questions of selfworth and self-identity. Often have 'normal' facade and then go to pieces when faced with a 'trigger' level of stress. difficulties in concentration and impulse control. High scores are clinical depression whilst lower scores are more general unhappiness with life. Scale 7 . accelerated speech and motor activity. irritability.psychopathic deviate Measures social deviation.schizophrenia Assesses a wide variety of content areas. Men tend to get higher scores. Scale 5 . See also http://www. you'll be able to bluff your way out again. poor familial relationships.html http://www.. Scale 8 . Scale 4 . better educated and from higher social classes. it now indicates conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).hysteria Hysterical reaction to stressful introversion Tests for a person's tendency to withdraw from social contacts and responsibilities. lack of hope in the future. grandiose selfconcepts. and rigid opinions and attitudes. compulsions. So what? So when they take you away in a white.

® Preferences The Jungian inventory measures on four preference scales. External) S = Sensing (Observant. who wrote 'Psychological Types' in 1921.. the percentage of the population and a one-liner description of their major characteristics. E = Extraversion (Expressive. The most well-known of these is David Keirsey's Temperament Sorter.. Inferring meaning) Deciding (Formulating intent) From. The test for this is freely available in his book 'Please Understand Me II' and used to be free on the web. Open) Living Types The four preferences thus lead to sixteen types which use the E/I. Internal) N = Intuiting (Introspective. Emotion) P = Perceiving (Probing. they devised a written test (The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory.. with alternatives shown in parentheses. Below is a table with types. Logic) J = Judging (Scheduling. Flexible. Other variants have been evolved that are also based on the Jung typology. though they have started charging for it in 2003. Structured) . In particular. Another modern variant is Socionics.To I = Introversion (Reserved. Ideas) F = Feeling (Friendly. Preference Energising (Motivation) Attending (Acquiring information. or MBTI ) to identify the person's type. the standard terms are shown first. Katherine Briggs and Isobel Briggs Myers are a mother and daughter team who build the modern system that is probably the most popular typing system in the world today. Facts) T = Thinking (Tough-minded.History The Jungian Type Inventory is based on the types and preferences of Carl Gustav Jung. In the table below. giving a variable score to show the strength of each one.. INTJ (6%) ISTJ (12%) ISFJ (8%) INFJ (4%) Doing what should be done A high sense of duty An inspiration to others Everything has room for improvement 319 . T/F and J/P. S/N.

the endomorph is: • • • • Sociable Fun-loving Love of food Tolerant 320 . • Quite a lot of fat spread across the body. including upper arms and thighs. And finally. those that can handle the other side tend to excel. So what? Use the system in teams and groups to share information with one another and hence become more open. as our schools are workplaces tend very much to encourage logic and structure.ISTP (4%) ISFP (4%) INFP (4%) Ready to try anything once ESTP (3%) Sees much but shares little ESFP (5%) Performing noble service to help society ENFP (8%) INTP (4%) A love of problem-solving ENTP (5%) The ultimate realists ESTJ (12%) You only go around once in life ESFJ (8%) Giving life an extra squeeze ENFJ (5%) One exciting challenge after another ENTJ (6%) Life's administrators Hosts and hostesses of the world Smooth-talking persuaders Life's natural leaders You might notice that STJs are 24% of the population. Psychologically. They tend to have: • Wide hips and narrow shoulders. but like lefthanded tennis players. for your illuminated entertainment. which only serves to accentuate the fatter other parts. and is typified as the 'barrel of fun' person. here's the Jungian Type Prayers. This makes life particularly difficult for the NFPs of the world. This 'Left-side bias' is unsurprising. • They have quite slim ankles and wrists. which makes them rather pearshaped. Sheldon's Body Personality Explanations > Personality > Sheldon's Body Personality Endomorph | Ectomorph | Mesomorph | So what? Sheldon noted three personalities based on their physical make-up. Endomorph The Endomorph is physically quite 'round'.

they tend to have: • • • • • Narrow shoulders and hips A thin and narrow face. Physically. such patterns do have some level of interest.• • • • • Even-tempered Good humored Relaxed With a love of comfort And has a need for affection Ectomorph The Ectomorph is a form of opposite of the Endomorph. 321 . and have: • • • Large head. Muscular body. Psychologically they are: • • • • • • • • • Self-conscious Private Introverted Inhibited Socially anxious Artistic Intense Emotionally restrained Thoughtful Mesomorph The mesomorph is somewhere between the round endomorph and the thin ectomorph. and old theories are often ingrained in society. with a high forehead A thin and narrow chest and abdomen Thin legs and arms Very little body fat Even though they may eat as much as the endomorph. they never seem to put on weight (much to the endomorph's chagrin). they have the more 'desirable' body. Physically. broad shoulders and narrow waist (wedge-shaped). Nevertheless. Psychologically. with strong forearms and and thighs Very little body fat They are generally considered as 'well-proportioned'. they are: • • • • • • • • Adventurous Courageous Indifferent to what others think or want Assertive/bold Zest for physical activity Competitive With a desire for power/dominance And a love of risk/chance So what? Psychological profiling based on anatomical features is generally not considered to be reliable these days. as well as being based on some form of observation.

then they will generally try to avoid talking about them (and may in fact go to extraordinary lengths to avoid any such confrontation). When you meet a person who seems to fit in with the physical characteristics above. perhaps because they have difficulty controlling them or they may have been criticized as a child for showing emotion. they are not sure what they should do and so grasp at straws. in particular. Distracter The Distracter easily becomes confused by stressful situations. To avoid having to confront emotion. the Computer resorts to logic. they feel that nobody will ever do anything for them. as violent crimes are likely to be carried out by strong men. Their response to stress is largely to avoid it. 322 . Men. tend to be Computers. when faced with stress. becoming super-rational about the situation and working hard to appear supercool on the outside (although they may be churning like mad on the inside). look elsewhere for ways to understand the person. When they feel stressed. Instead of taking some positive action. Blamer The Blamer feels powerless and uncared-for. where they fit themselves to the appropriate model). Unsurprisingly. If it all works as predicted. The trap beyond this is to assume that all mesomorphs are criminal in nature. Computer The Computer feels exposed when showing emotions. Otherwise.The best approach is to use this as a test. be curious to see if they also fit into the psychological profile. Sheldon's original work included attempts to characterize criminals (in the style of Lombroso's original work in this area). Placater The Placater is first of all concerned about how they will be perceived. their feelings of isolation increase further. hiding their aloneness in attempted leadership. Their center of attention is on themselves and particularly on their perception of how others see them. he found that a number were muscular mesomorphs. bluffing their way out. This is not unlike the work that 'proved' women to be less intelligent than men because they have smaller brains! Satir's Stress Responders Explanations > Personality > Satir's Stress Responders Placater | Blamer | Computer | Distracter | Leveler | So what? Family therapist Virginia Satir identified five personality types in situations of stress. If there are any 'uncomfortable truths'. then well and good (it may be that they are actually in a self-fulfilling prophesy. As a result. All alone in the world. they compensate by trying to take charge.

• They are generally pretty fit and often well-educated (a result of their anxiety). • They feel the pressure of time. they are trying in vain to find some solace in different practices. without exaggerating or minimizing the situation. Type A The Type A personality generally lives at a higher stress level. which is based broadly on anxiety and stress levels. Discussion This typing was first described in relation heart disease in the 1950s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and R. They are comfortable with ambiguous and uncertain situations and even engage with threats rather than fighting them or running away. thinking about the outer and inner worlds. constantly working flat out. • They hate failure and will work hard to avoid it. When working with other people. They are comfortable with their own feelings and are able to discuss them. • They are often reflective. In doing so.In practice. if necessary create competition. So what? So when confronted with stress. Rosenham. they do not mind losing and either enjoy the game or back down. H. spot their stress response and react accordingly. know your own situation and seek to become a Leveller. Blamer and Computer. enjoying achievements but not becoming stressed when they are not achieved. they may well respond to the stress by shifting between the three previous types of Placater. even when they have achieved goals. with greater enjoyment in achieving of more difficult goals. It subsequently appeared in the Jenkins Activity 323 . Type A and Type B Explanations > Preferences > Type A and Type B Type A | Type B | So what? A simple division of preference or personality type is into Type A and Type B. They thus 'tell it as it is'. Type B The Type B personality generally lives at a lower stress level and are typically: • They work steadily. Leveller The ideal respondent to stress accepts it as normal. • They may be creative and enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. • They are highly competitive and will. • When faced with competition. They are thus constantly working hard to achieve these. This is driven by • They enjoy achievement of goals. • They find it difficult to stop.

which was originated to detect behaviors which lead to heart attacks (Jenkins. Big Five factors The need for: a sense of Identity Explanations > Needs > Identity Identity Formation | Group identity | Social comparison | Identity paradoxes | Identity statements | So what? Beyond the basic need for a sense of control. later showed that the main hazard in this is when the Type A person has a tendency to anger and hostility A subsequent study has challenged even this. Group Identity We categorize ourselves in terms of other people and groups. Dr. Evolution has taught us that it is beneficial to live in tribes. you may well describe yourself in terms of your work and 324 . whilst not necessarily leading to heart attacks.’ as psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott called it. When asked about yourself. causing distress and tears. 1971). When this ‘transition object. where we can share out the work of daily survival. a part of their identity is lost. denoting the importance we place on our sense of individual self. throwing the whole validity of this typing as a predictor of heart attacks into doubt. a cardiologist at Duke University. we are deeply driven by our sense of identity. of who we are.’ Many social theories are to do with creating or preserving our sense of identity. therefore I am. A mirror image of themselves can provide the sudden shock of realizing that they are separate beings. you might notice your own tendencies towards anxiety and stress which. or tendency to anxiety. ‘I’ is a capital letter. In the Jungian Type Inventory. Rosenman. through which they know their own identity (I am not my teddy). Type A looks more left-side STJ whilst Type B might be more right-side NFP. ‘I think. So what? In use. Whilst challenging a Type A would likely be very effective. Identity formation The sense of identity appears early on in life as the infant begins to separate themselves from an undifferentiated unity with their mother. it would not with Type B (where a more reflective conversation could be a better approach). can still lead to many stress-related disorders. As Descartes said. it is a simple typing difference and perhaps aligns with the Big Five factor of 'neuroticism'. is removed. Ayzanski. Young children typically cling to a single teddy bear or doll. Nevertheless. In persuading others the tendency towards A or B will affect your strategy. This pattern continues through our lives as we identify with our possessions and the things around us and feel bad when they are changed or lost. Redford Williams.Survey. See also Jungian Type Inventory.

This social comparison often appears in forms of status. In practice. and regularly break our values (Are you law-abiding? Yes? So when did you last exceed the speed limit? Are you thoughtful and kind? So when did you last criticize a friend?). Us In order to be allowed to join a group (and hence satisfy belonging and esteem needs).richer or more tasteful. Our sense of identity degrades when we fail . we instantly find justification and excuse for our misdemeanors. I may also feel more isolated as I realize that they may feel envious of me. we have to give up prioritizing everything for ourselves and be ready to put the group ahead of our own interests. 325 .which we often do as we accept constant social escalation of what 'success' means. Social comparison is often along some measure of relationships: ‘I work for AB Corporation. then I probably feel a lot more superior.’ If we lost our job. we have to change our sense of identify from always 'me' to thinking about 'us'. Perfect me vs. If I have a lot more than others. we feel equal. In fact we're not that great. even if we do not particularly agree with them. but also the loss of relationships and feelings of being outside the company with which we have identified ourselves for so long. When they are forced together. Social comparison Although we define our selves by our membership of groups. we also define ourselves by comparison and contrast with others. we feel superior. This includes taking on group values and beliefs.. In doing this. which is one reason we are driven to purchase status symbols that signals to others (and particularly to ourselves) that we are better in some way . The fear of rejection from the groups with which we identify is a powerful force and just the thought of this is enough to dissuade many people from ever taking their creative ability out of the cupboard where they have locked it for fear of its potential social effects. Identity statements How can you understand how a person derives their sense of identity? A good way is to watch for 'I' statements. real me We like to think we're perfect.’ or ‘I am married to Steve and have three children. The size of gaps also matters. If everyone has the same as us.. Identity paradoxes There are several paradoxes we have to navigate in our search for our selves. for example. I can. If we have more than others. it would not just be the loss of money (affecting our sense of control) that hurt us. we manage to mentally separate these two personas. which is itself a social construction. including: Me vs.

The verb to be associates any concept very closely with identity and this can be used to connect other types of identification item. they are connecting their self with these and including associated concepts into their identity. whilst evolutionary biologists pay more attention to what has been stored in our genes.. Whisper how others might not approve of what they are doing. Freud vs.. Darwin Freudian analysts will look first to childhood experiences. I remember. and so on directly through our genes from our parents vs.. Thank them.. Tell them they are good and attractive. 326 . So what? Act either to support or threaten their sense of identity. especially of personal and emotionally significant events. religion (I am Buddhist). attitudes.Statements of ability show how a person identifies themself in terms of what they can do. Contrast principle. Help them join groups. We associate our identity with the things and people we like. Give them recognition and reward for what they do. I am. Control. career (I am an accountant). Darwin | Separated Twins | Traits | So what? To what extent do we get our skills. Esteem. I like. social position (I am popular) and so on.. Criticize them. acquiring them from our experience. such as cars. Or hint that they are not that perfect. I have. We also identify ourselves through our memories and any form or recall.. This can include emotions (I am happy). Identity Nature vs. Another very strong 'have' item is about family and people will talk in particular about their children. younger days and other nostalgia offers further clues to a person's sense of identity. Some possessions in particular are strongly related to how people define themselves. nurture Explanations > Preferences > Nature vs. This when a person says they like flying or like a particular rock group. Possessions say a lot about a person. Ignore them.. This can be anything from assertion of rights to skills and career item. clothes and cameras. Control-Identity types Belonging. The surprising findings over recent years is that there is far more than we had expected in the nature argument.. It seems we get a lot more than the color of our hair and eyes from our parents--in fact at least half our traits are inherited.. nurture Freud vs. See also Clusters.

even if nature is prodding us in the opposite direction. but it either assumes a 100% nature argument or a (rather Freudian) fixed-in-childhood pattern. and then watch how develop differently (supporting the nurture argument) or similarly (supporting the nature argument). they went out and found twins that had already been separated through such as different adoptions. The first is an absolute score on a single scale ('How happy are you?') and the second is a position along a spectrum between (usually two) alternatives ('How happy or sad are you?'). who will have the same genes. or maybe talk with them about it. • Control-Identity types: Based on two key needs. Well--almost. • Types and typing: Combining preferences into character types. • Four Types: Four classifications that have appeared through history. separate them at birth. Here are just a few (also see beliefs about people). A famous study did just this. Rather than cruelly separate the twins. which we always have. Preferences vs. Preferences Explanations > Preferences Discussions about preferences | Preference scales | Typing systems | So what? What makes us different? One way of classifying people that appears in many systems of personality profiling is to determine a person's preferences in terms of how they perceive and respond to the world. Note that there are two styles that are commonly used. • Culture: Cultural models here are often based on shared preferences. So what? See if you can meet others from the other person's family. Are there any 'family traits'? The bottom line of the nature/nurture debate is that it is far harder (if not impossible) to change anything in a person which is hard-wired into their brains. traits There can be something of a debate as to whether you talk about Preferences or Traits. 327 . Nurture: Are we born with preferences or do we learn them? • The Context Effect: Our preferences change with the environmental context. Traits is probably an older and hence more established term. Many prefer (!) the term 'preferences' as it indicates choice.Separated Twins A neat way of studying the question is to take identical twins. Discussions about preferences Preferences are more than just making decisions • Nature vs. Preference scales There are many scales of preference.

• Optimism and Pessimism: Ways of seeing the world. Delayed Gratification: When to get rewards. • Type A and Type B personalities: Prone to heart attacks or not? Also: • Blevins' family roles: As played in family groups. Intuiting: Attention and meaning based on immediate data or deeper thought. • Maximizing vs. • Jungian Type Inventory: The oldest modern system. • Similarity vs. • Extraversion vs. • Sensing vs. • DISC Types: Four simple types. See also Learning Channel Preferences 328 . Objectivity: Viewpoint when perceiving the world may be engaged subjectivity or detached objectivity. Explain: When things go wrong. • Risk Bias: preference to take or avoid risks. Perceiving: Living a structured or unstructured lifestyle. Typing systems There have been typing systems going back to the Greeks and probably before. independence or contrariness. So what? Don't push rope. rather than messing about at the other end of the spectrum. • Imperative: Response to command may be conformance. • Thinking vs. • Contrarian vs. • Subjectivity vs. behaviorally or affectively. • Kolb's Learning Styles: Four learning styles based on two preference dimensions. • Instant vs. Conformist: Go against what is asked or follow all the rules. • Head. Feeling: Deciding based on logic or consideration of others. • Pain Thresholds: Where action is triggered. • Blame vs. Hands and Heart: We are driven cognitively. Here are some of the better-known ones: • 16PF: Cattell's sixteen basic personality factors. • Judging vs. • MMPI: Clinical psychiatric conditions. • Belbin Team Roles: Nine roles people play in teams. Find the other person's preferences and play to these. Difference: Focusing on what is the same about things or what is different. Minimizing: Making the most of life or simple living.• Attraction vs. Person: Getting the job done by task or person focus. • Margerison-McCann Team Performance Wheel: Eight roles that people take on in teams. Introversion: Motivation that comes from either people or thinking. • Big Five factors: A simplification to five factors from the 16PF. we blame others or the context. • Threat Forecast: We may predict the future as negative and threatening or positive and hopeful. • Task vs. Avoidance: We may be driven more by fears or desires.

At work. When we are inferring meaning. Culture. my risk preference increases significantly as they reward me with laughter and respect when I 'make a fool of myself' on the dancefloor. Parents know this: a child who is naughty at home is often as good as gold in school (the reverse can be true. When out clubbing with friends. So what? 329 . they might be exuberant and bouncy when out with their friends. In work we watch out for the bosses and focus on achieving defined objectives. When I pick up my dog's bowl in the kitchen. too!). At home. the meaning is more about relaxation. she gets a lot more excited than if I walk around the garden with it. Other people are not threats and there is generally more love around the place (and love at work may seem rather odd). In the hands of another person it becomes a threat. whilst in my sports I may take significant risks. A person may be quiet and introspective at work.Beliefs. Inference and context What does a gun mean? By itself. we first recognize individual things and then place them in their context to get a broader understanding. Decision and context The decisions we make and the preferences we apply when making them are also very context-dependent. eating and hobbies. The context in which these things happen may also be a part of that triggering sequence. it is a shaped piece of metal. Other people are seen as colleagues or threats. But what if you were in the bank and someone had a gun? Would you dive for cover? Not if it was a security guard. Beliefs about people. Preferences may also thus be learned within a context and hence be associated with that context. We thus have whole sets of meaning that are used for different contexts. Contextual conditioning Conditioning theories point out how repeated actions lead to triggered behaviors. such as when you meet someone in a dark alley. I may be very risk sensitive and plan my days carefully. Stereotypes Theories about how we understand people Theories about how we think about ourselves The Context Effect Explanations > Preferences > The Context Effect Inference and context | Decision and context | So what? We do not always behave in the same way in different situations because our current context is a significant part of the inference and decision process.

but you have to pay to get your hands on the instruments (thus creating a tidy revenue stream). As preferences change. examinations. Categorization One of our deep needs is to understand. Preferences in type A common way of creating types is to group preferences together. we desperately try to find which box to shove them into. and the way we do this is by classifying and categorizing the world around us. The common approach to sharing information on these is that descriptions of the types and their underlying preferences are widely available. See also Inferring meaning. Generally speaking they are commercial items that are used to make money is made by selling courses. When we meet a person. Before you appeal to their preferences. consulting and the questionnaires ('instruments') that are used to determine your preferences. Some of these systems are fairly open whilst many are proprietary and secretive. so also can types change. it doesn't mean they are introverted at home or elsewhere. More money is made and the integrity of the system protected by ensuring that only accredited people can administer the instruments. putting things neatly into boxes. Plusses and minuses The value of typing 330 . Preferences may change as you learn even by considering types and preferences themselves. We use this approach for one another as well. calibrate them for the context in which you are working. Operant Conditioning Type and typing Explanations > Preferences > Type and typing Categorization | Typing systems | Plusses and minuses | So what? Typing as discussed here is nothing to do with keyboards or printing. Myers-Briggs does this by using four two-ended scales and hence creating sixteen different types. either for general 'personality' understanding (such as Myers-Briggs) or as focus in specific areas (such as the Kirton Adaptor-Innovator Index in creativity).Just because someone is introverted at work. It is about classifying people into different types. Formulating intent Classical Conditioning. Are they the nurturing 'mother nature' type or and aggressive 'dominator'? Typing systems There are a wide range of systems that have been developed to identify preferences and type. you can decide that a preference you have is not what you really want.

Typing systems do not always get it right. Not everyone agrees with their types . It helps improve communication as well as general human understanding. So what? Use typing systems to help understand people and hence interact and influence them. such as when various nationalities are stereotyped as friendly or unfriendly. but beware of the stereotyping that can occur. you can have a significant effect on their understanding of themselves and hence how they think and act. It is easier to create stereotypes when there is a clearly visible and consistent attribute that can easily be recognized. so make up an answer (a 'neutral' middle score could mean 'I have no opinion' or 'I am equally balanced'). There are typing systems that are deliberately aimed at teams. How you answer the questions may depend on the context in which they are asked. See also Stereotypes Stereotypes Explanations > Theories > Stereotypes Description | Example | So What? | See also | References Description Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people whereby we attribute a defined set of characteristics to this group. You can use instruments for the best accuracy of assessment (although these are still not perfect) and you can also make rough assessments by observing people in action and guessing their type from your knowledge of the system. You may not be able to answer some questions. even though this typing may be based on an analogue scale. subconscious bias in questions (although a good test will compensate for this) and contextual factors. 331 . such as the Belbin system. it gives us a simple classification that helps them and us to understand why they behave the way that the do. Just by showing someone their type. This is why people of color. The dangers of typing One of the things that we tend to do when we are categorizing people is that. people being unsure about questions.typically around three quarters. is to put them into one of a limited number of typed boxes. These classifications can be positive or negative. We are effectively saying 'the world is made up of 16 (or however many) types of people and no others. police and women are so easily stereotyped.When we type people. This may be due to a limited instrument. People working in teams often use them to understand one another and compensate for missing types.

• Conversion model: We throw away the old stereotype and start again. so you can do these and they will often ignore it. 332 . So what? Using it Find how others stereotype you (if possible. Example Stereotyping goes way beyond race and gender. a visit to New York may result in us having a ‘New Yorkers are different’ subtype. It is more often a simplification to speed conversation on what is not considered to be an important topic. we do so in one of three ways: • Bookkeeping model: As we learn new contradictory information. etc. Stereotyping can go around in circles. • Subtyping model: We create a new stereotype that is a subclassification of the existing stereotype. Stereotyping often happens not so much because of aggressive or unkind thoughts. Men stereotype women and women stereotype men. even in people who consciously do not want to be biased. The same thing happens with different racial groups. 'Africans'. Even in the face of disconfirming evidence. another department in your company. First there is the generalized descriptions and attributes. we incrementally adjust the stereotype to adapt to the new information. Individual evidence is taken as the exception that proves the rule. be consistently different from it. To this we may add exemplars to prove the case.People from stereotyped groups can find this very disturbing as they experience an apprehension (stereotype threat) of being treated unfairly. which in origin seems to be more like 'European/non-European'). 'Ugandans'.. We change our stereotypes infrequently. you can do moderately unkind things which may be ignored. where it subtly biases our decisions and actions. 'Ugandan military'. They will have a blind spot to non-stereotyped behaviors. such as 'the policeman next door'. Defending To change a person’s view of your stereotype. supporters of other football teams. with additional characteristics added. particularly when we can draw a boundary around the sub-class. and so on. such as 'white/black' (an artificial system of opposites. We often store stereotypes in two parts. This is often used when there is significant disconfirming evidence. Thus if you are stereotyped as a ‘kind old man’. Beware of your own stereotyping blinding you to the true nature of other individuals. Stereotyping can be subconscious. In certain societies this is intensified as the stereotyping of women pushes them together more and they create men as more of an out-group. getting them to stereotype you positively). with each lower order inheriting the characteristics of the higher order. Consider conversations you have had about people from the next town. we often cling to our obviously-wrong beliefs. We usually need quite a lot of repeated information for each incremental change. such as 'black people'. When we do change the stereotypes. We may also store them hierarchically. Thus if we have a stereotype for Americans.

Doing this will significantly reduce the time you need to understand every person from the ground up. the speed of feedback and reward and again comes up with four cultures. • Kluckholn and Strodtbeck's Dimensions of Culture: Based on basic beliefs and values. organization or country can make a lot of difference when you want to change minds. Dilution Effect. • Trompenaars' and Hampden-Turner's cultural factors are another national-level system for looking at international differences. • The Competing Values Framework: In/out vs. stability/flexibility for another four-culture model. • Hall's Cultural factors: Time. • Deal and Kennedy's model looks at the level of risk vs. • Hofstede's cultural factors describes a set of factors that appear at national level and the differing priorities that different countries place upon them. which plots a 2 x 2 grid of taskpeople focus vs. So what? So take time to understand the culture of the person or people you are working with. 333 . It tells us how to behave and agree. Schema. • Elements of Culture shows things you can change to change the culture. Allport (1954) Culture Explanations > Culture Culture is what happens when people get together. Ultimate Attribution Error References Lippmann (1922). • Trompenaars' four cultures model. Find their shared values. Out-Group Homogeneity. Find how they and their peers share a world-view. See also Contact Hypothesis. • Creating a Positive Culture: ways to make culture organizationally helpful. Articles on culture: • What is Culture defines the term. If you can adopt their cultural approaches. the immediate evidence creates dissonance that leads to improved thoughts about the other group. Understanding the culture of a team. • Four American Fears: that are embedded in US culture. centralized-decentralized style. context and space. When they discover the other people are not as the stereotype. Representativeness Heuristic.Stereotyping can be reduced by bringing people together. • Grid-group cultural theory: Bonding and differences. mental models etc. you will appear to come from a similar culture and will more easily be accepted.

Cultures also have blind spots where they are vulnerable and hot spots where you should fear to tread.

See also

Four Types
Explanations > Preferences > Four Types History | Type 1 | Type 2 | Type 3 | Type 4 | So what?

Since the days of the Greek civilization, philosophers and scholars have been classifying people into four categories which, perhaps unsurprisingly, have remarkable similarities.
Date Type 1 Fire Yellow bile Choleric Type 2 Air Blood Sanguine Type 3 Water Phlegm Phlegmatic Type 4 Earth Black bile Melancholy

Empedocles Hippocrates Galen

Handy Kiersey Jungian DISC

1990s 1960s 1940s 1920s

Apollo Idealist NF Dominant

Dionysus Artisan SP Influential

Athena Rational NT Steady

Zeus Guardian SJ Cautious

Type 1
Achieves sense of control through direct action that aligns things to create harmony and reduce dissonance. Looks out to the future to seek necessary actions. Achieves sense of identity through inspiring others to align with their beliefs. Critical values include alignment, harmony, perfection.

Type 2
Achieves sense of control through exploration and problem-solving. Achieves sense of identity through independence and standing out. Critical values include freedom, innovation, risk-taking.

Type 3
Achieves sense of control through analysis and understanding. Achieves sense of identity through designing and creating. Critical values include rationality and originality.


Type 4
Achieves sense of control through making changes that affects others. Achieves sense of identity through expression and inspiring others. Critical values include harmony, vision.

So what?
Use the system in teams and groups to share information with one another and hence become more open.

See also
Jungian Type Inventory, DISC Types

The need for: Control
Explanations > Needs > Control Control is a deep, deep need | The control trap | So what?

No, this is not so much about how to control people as about their needs for control. The real secret is the deep, deep need that people have for a sense of control. By managing their sense of control, you can achieve far greater actual control. If you ignore this, you will soon fall into a power battle for control of the conversation and the agenda.

Control is a deep, deep need
Perhaps the deepest need people have is for control. When we feel out of control, we experience a powerful and uncomfortable tension between the need for control and the evidence of inadequate control. One of the most disturbing things about having a terminal illness, as those who unfortunately suffer from such afflictions will tell you, is the feeling of powerlessness, of being unable to do anything about it. Being unable to control the illness can be even more painful than impending death. From an evolutionary standpoint, if we are in control of our environment, then we have a far better chance of survival. Our deep subconscious mind thus gives us strong biochemical prods when we face some kind of danger (see Fight-or-Flight reaction). Other needs that lead to a sense of control include: • A sense of certainty. • Completion of outstanding things, so we don't have to worry about them.. • Understanding of how things work. • Being able to predict what will happen. • That people (including ourselves) and things are consistent.

Maslow revisited
Psychologist Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs, with the particular revelation that when lower level needs are not met, then higher-level needs will be abandoned in favor of shoring up the deeper needs. Take a look at the needs:


Notice how control is important within this, and especially how, the lower you go, the more important control is. We work hard to control disease and our susceptibility to it. Being ill gives a terrible sense of being out of control. Likewise for having a roof over our head (or not), and even in our social environments.

Not control, just the sense
In fact, we don't actually need to be in control all of the time. What we really seek is a sense of control. When our parents or our managers are controlling us, we can still be happy because we trust them to provide the control we seek in our lives. In fact many people actively seek parent-figures in all walks of their life who will provide this control. When seek the advice of experts and obey those in authority, we are depending on them for our sense of control.

Control is embedded in much of what we do
Look around and watch what people do. A significant portion of our everyday activity is related to achieving our much-needed sense of control. Rituals, for example, are everywhere. Why do we have them? They exist to reassure people everything is as it was and to provide a familiar framework for our daily lives. Social norms and values tell us what to do, what is right and wrong, what is good and bad. When everyone in the group follows the rules, we feel a sense of control.

Power and trust
The sense of control is closely related in opposite ways to power and trust. You can get a sense of control by taking control and acting, which is effectively using power. You can also get a sense of control by ceding it to others, which requires trust.

The control trap
There is a trap into which many sales people and other would-be persuaders fall. This pitfall is to try to hold tightly to the reins of control throughout the whole process.

Grabbing control causes resistance
When I grab control of the conversation, talking past the point when you want to reply, you will get increasingly frustrated as you wait for a pause in which you can respond. 336

Sales people do this when they insist on going through the whole sales pitch even when the customer just wants to pay, take the product and leave. Parents do it when they over-do the lectures to their children. A point which is initially accepted is later rejected at what gets seen as unfair punishment. Taking direct control of a conversation or situation does not persuade. It is possible that you get temporary compliance, but you will not get true persuasion.

Fishing is a delicate game
The control game is much like fly fishing. Pull to hard and the fish will slip the hook. Let it out too far and the line will snag or the fish will swim away. It is only through a sometimes-long process of give and take, you steadily reel in your fish.

So what?
So manage the other person's sense of control by changing those things that make them certain, able to understand and predict the things around them. This can be done by making things uncertain and inconsistent.

Giving control to get control
Giving up control gets control in two ways. First, by choosing when, where and how you give control, you still have hold of the reins. You have defined the cage in which the other person can play. Secondly, having allowed them to exercise control, you can evoke the reciprocity principle, such that the other person will willingly give up control of the conversation to redress the social balance. As someone said long ago, 'Give, in order that ye shall receive'.

Give them choice
When people exercise choice, they are controlling their environment. So give them a choice, ensuring that whatever they choose gives you an advantage. One of the most common sales closes is the alternative close, where you assume the other person is ready to buy, and give them a simple choice ('Do you want the red one or the yellow one.'). Don't give them too much choice, because this makes the decision harder and can thus lead to a reduced sense of control. Because we make our easiest decisions by contrasting two things at one time, the best number of options to give is two.

Open questions
Closed questions do not give control. In fact they can seem very controlling. Open questions give people the floor, letting them talk. This can be a scary step and can indeed lose all control. But you are the person who asked the question, so choose the question well to contain their response and possibly even give you information. Just having them talk is itself a great persuader. When people talk about something themselves, they are far more likely to believe in it than if they just sit back and listen to you.

Give them something to do


The corollary of questioning is to give them something active to do. Just like when they are talking, actively doing something, especially when they have choice, gives a sense of control. As with questioning, when you are directing the action, you are still in overall control.

People often keep talking because they are not sure that you have really understood what they have said. When you reflect back to people what they have told you, you show them that you have heard, that they have been successful, that they have controlled their environment. This will speed the point at which they will give you back the talking stick.

See also
Identity, Novelty, Control-Identity types

Explanations > Values About values | Historical values | Research on values | So what?

Values is a confusing word that often gets confused with 'value' as in the value you get from buying a cheap, but well-built house. Values are, in fact powerful drivers of how we think and behave.

About values
• • • • state. • • Value categories: different spheres into which we place values. Values, Morals and Ethics: splits hairs between these three rule-sets. Value of values: what are they for? Values types: there are two types of values: instrumental and endStress values: we use different values when we are under stress. Organismic valuing: Rogers' valuing process.

Historical values
• • • • • • • • American values: A list of traditional US cultural values. Aristotle's Ethics: Values from the classical world. Franklin's Thirteen Virtues: Ben Franklin's advice for good people. Nicomachean Ethics: Aristotle's masterwork. Prudentius' seven virtues: Source of Christian virtues. The Seven Deadly Sins: Pope Gregory's anti-list. The Seven Virtues: The counterpoint to the sins. The Ten Commandments: Basic Christian values.

Research on values
• Career Anchors: identified by Edgar Schein as shapers of what we do. • Governing Values: common modern values identified by Chris Argyris at Harvard. • Five Common Human Concerns: Kohl's beliefs/concerns. • Schwartz's Value Inventory: research-based set of common values. • Values in Action (VIA): Values from Positive Psychology.


Values are also often a significant element of culture, where they form a part of the shared ruleset of a group. When I break my values, I will feel shame and guilt. If you break my values, I will feel repulsed. If I maintain my values when tempted to break them, I will feel pride.

So what?
Know the the values to which the other person will subscribe (these are often common sense) as well as the actual values they enact in practice (watch them for this). From this:
• Beware of the values in practice which can be harmful to you (will they betray you?). • Know the values that if you transgress will lead to betrayal responses from them. • Find values that can act as persuasion levers.

If you act in a way which supports their values they will increase their trust in you.

See also
Social Norms, Guilt, Repulsion, Pride, Shame Kohlberg's Stage Theory, Preferences Theories about conforming Theories about groups Theories about trust Blogs by subject: Values

Control-Identity types
Explanations > Preferences > Control-Identity types Leader | Follower | Independent | Drifter | Balanced | So what?

People typically get their sense of control in one of two ways:
• • Taking control, 'driving the car', being in charge. Ceding control, 'trusting the driver', letting others take control.

They may get their sense of identity in two ways:
• • By themselves, from internal processes. From others, being recognized, belonging.

Depending on preferences for how people get their sense of control and sense of identity, they may fall into four different types. Dominating (taking controlling)


Internal (I define myself)






(Others define me)

Submitting (ceding control)

Leaders like others to look up to them and like to be in charge. At parties they are the 'life and soul' and are typically surrounded by others as they hold court. They may be social leaders, work managers or both.

Followers need recognition from others, but do so by ceding control and trusting that leaders will help them succeed. In parties, they circulate and chat, happily listening or talking, enjoying the company of others. At work, they are good team players and contribute to overall business success.

Independents are fiercely their own people. They go their own way and do their own thing. At parties, they may listen and argue, not really caring whether people agree with them. They may also stand confidently to the side watching the proceedings. At work, they like to find the best work for them and succeed on their own terms. In teams they can be argumentative or separate.

Drifters withdraw from the world where they can, living in their own internal world. In the real world, they generally do as they are told, though not from any desire to be liked. At parties, they sit miserably in the corner and leave as soon as possible. At work, they keep their heads down and do their jobs but do not really participate in team activities.

Someone whose comfort zone is fairly central may have a balanced position, giving or taking control as seems appropriate, and being with others or sitting alone with ease.

So what?
Remember that this is not four types, but two axes along which a person can vary infinitely. They may also be different in different contexts. Understand where you are on this scale and either deliberate stretch your comfort zone or find contentment where you are.


With others, go to their zone. For example, with non-social people, you can email them whilst for social people a face-face meeting is often better. Let those who need control to make decisions, whilst telling others what needs doing. You can also use their comfort position as a reward, perhaps taking them out of this zone to create persuasive tension.

See also
Control, Identity

Attraction vs. Avoidance Preferences
Explanations > Preferences > Attraction vs. Avoidance Preferences Attraction | Avoidance | So what?

Some people are motivated more by doing things, whilst others are motivated more by avoiding things.

People who are driven towards doing things tend to have positive goals and seek to achieve specific things. They are forward-looking and see the world as being full of opportunity. They generally have a passion and desire to succeed in order to gain either specific rewards or general recognition. They focus is largely on the future and when they have achieved something they may even forget about it in the headlong charge into further challenges. Some people have problems with this in that they are attracted to too many things. They dart from one opportunity to another, seeking gratification all over the place. They may be looking for something and they may not yet know what they want.

Those who are driven to avoid things something look like they are attracted to the things they are actually doing, but they are actually looking more over their shoulder than in front of them. For example people who are very energetic at work may be driven more by a worry about failure or criticism than by an attraction towards achievement. Those who are avoidance-driven focus more by their fears than their desires (which may well be fears in disguise). Avoidance can be a high-stress preference. We may be generally driven by attraction when things are going well, but when we are threatened or otherwise experience high levels of stress, we may use an avoidance strategy to get away from that discomfort. A problem with avoidance when compared to attraction is that there are many directions in which to run away from something, yet only one way you can run towards something. Motivating a person by triggering avoidance is not necessarily a helpful approach.


what do you do? Some people first ask 'Who is to blame?' whilst others ask 'What went wrong?' Blame Those who focus on blame when things go wrong believe that we all have responsibility and things go wrong because someone is lazy or incompetent. They take the moral high ground. it may be explained in terms of the company compensation system that encouraged that inappropriate decision. point out the problems of the past and the dangers of the present. 342 . They may also be driven by a sense of guilt or fear. See also Pleasure-pain principle. whilst it runs towards the shepherd who stands in one place and calls them. Desire. and pronounce guilt and sentence. Motivation. Fight-or-Flight reaction. Explain Other people attribute cause to the environment. A sheep runs in any direction to get away from a sheepdog. Explain Blame | Explain | So what? When something goes wrong. even when a person makes a bad choice. sitting as prosecutor. Their values typically say 'The wicked should be punished' and finger-pointing and blame is a part of this punishment. Explain Explanations > Preferences > Blame vs. and that many actions are driven more by external structures and systems than internal motivations. When you have a choice. seek their passions and lay opportunity in their path. They will swoop towards what you are offering. So what? For a blamer. to situations and systems.So what? For those who are driven by attraction. For those driven by avoidance. Thus. and blame others in order to distract or deflect attention from themselves. point out their potential culpability if they do not agree with you or help them point the finger in an appropriate direction. Utilitarianism Blame vs. judge and jury. be a shepherd. They thus make attributions about the internal characteristics and motivations of others. Show them a future where they can at least avoid the worst of the problems they face. making it work extra hard. rather than people. They typically see people as 'doing the best they can' in any situation. Fear.

Blame game Contrarian vs. get tricky when they realize what you are doing. When their hormones are telling them to grow up and leave home. Social Identity Theory 343 . This can. they will push against anything that tries to set a direction for them. Conformist Contrarian | Conformist | So what? Some people like to go their own sweet way. especially if the other person is a parent or anyone in authority. of course.just so long as they like you and you are in their list of people to follow. some people just don't want to play. You tell them to do one thing and they go and do the opposite. It is often that they need to assert their identity or maintain control by deciding things for themselves. whilst other want to go your way. See also Attraction vs. thinking about what you say and neither So what? 'Reverse Psychology' is a popular term for what you do with contrarians. Contrarian Some people are just 'ornery. Conformist At the other end of the scale to the Contrarian is the Conformist. Reactance Theory. avoidance preference. Suggest they do the opposite of what you want them to do. You can also point out objective rules and laws. As with any scale. or note how important it is to other people that they conform. do not blame or use guilt. Actor/Observer Difference. managed or changed. Conformist Explanations > Preferences > Contrarian vs. See also Attribution Theory. A lot of teenagers tend to fall into the Contrarian camp. They often have a strong need for belonging and/or esteem may conform from fear of rejection. They may even see any attempt at persuasion as a form of coercion. Fundamental Attribution Error.For an explainer. So make friends and ask nicely. Conformists will just want to do what you want . Another variant is to tell them that someone else wants them to do something. Balanced people will try to take a middle road. Context is important to which end of the scale choose and the same person can occupy both ends. as others might say. who follows rules and Social Norms to the letter. Thus a teenager will be highly conformist when in their 'gang'. rationally focus on external systems that must be coped-with. Instead. especially someone they do not particularly like.

Introversion Explanations > Preferences > Extraversion vs. they just want to understand it. They need little external stimulation .and in fact they can easily be over-stimulated. they seeks variety and action and like working with other people. Rather than trying to change the world. There is a view that introverts may act as they do because they are more easily overwhelmed by external stimuli. They tend to prefer work that has depth rather than not censure. They need a lot of stimulation and often express emotions. as opposed to extraverts who have a higher basic stimulation threshold and need the more visceral external stimulation to avoid boredom. They do well at school but may find University more difficult. Extraverts may see them as egocentric and passive. Their attitude is often relaxed and confident. They tend to think before they act. Their often want to change the world (rather than think about it). It is about where people get their energy and motivation from: other people or within themselves. Respond quickly without long pauses to think. towards people and things. They thus bottle up their own emotions. Allow talking out loud without definite conclusions. At work they like to work alone and often seek quiet for concentration. Extraverts like variety. They are understandable and accessible. Focus on the external world. Introversion Extraversion | Introversion | So what? Extraversion and Introversion are one of the preferences used in the Jungian Type Inventory. So what? With extraverts: • • • • • Show energy and enthusiasm. They think deeply about things and often do better at University than they did at school. Communicate openly . it is possible that they focus more on their inner worlds because they suffer from sensory overload if they spend too much time outside and focusing on other people. which can explode if pushed too far.Extraversion vs. At work. They tend to act first and think later. action and achievement. Introversion The energy of introverts is inward toward concepts and ideas. Extraversion The energy of extraverts is outward. Introverts may see them as being shallow and pushy. The naming is unfortunately a bit archaic as extraversion is not about being loud and introversion is not about being shy. They prefer work that has breadth rather than depth. the people and the things. They get their motivation from other people. Their attitude is reserved and questioning and they can seem subtle and impenetrable. 344 .

“What do you think?” Use polling techniques for input and decision making. as it can threaten the clean and rational idea. Make use of written responses where practical. heart and hands' is easier to remember than 'cognitive. Allow time for thinking before responding and decision-making. affective and behavioral' although it means the same thing. Pure intellect is held as the sharpest skill and any problem is simply a case of insufficient data or understanding. hands and heart Explanations > Preferences > Head. Do not assume commitment or decisions made. They prefer rational ideas and structure. They may also have high control needs and fear the loss of control that emotion brings. hand and heart Head | Hands | Heart | So what? We are all influenced by a combination of preferences for thinking (head). See also Jungian Type Inventory Head. The fear of emotion Cognitive people may have a low threshold of emotional overload and hence fear emotion. with a 'think-try-think' approach. Do not assume lack of interest. They use logical language and expect the world around them to be rational and behave in predictable ways. Head people learn by thinking. They typically theorize first about something and then try it out later. Paradoxically. The disdain of action Thinkers may look down on doers as unintelligent or lacking the wisdom of forethought. Encourage responses with questions as. Head People who are rules by their heads prefer to think before acting and are driven more by cognitive logic than by emotion. 345 . When something happens that they did not expect. Take words at face value. they may get angry when faced with emotional approaches. they are surprised and immediately start to work out what happened. With introverts: • • • • • • • Include introduction time to get to know you and trust you.• • • Allow time for bouncing around ideas. Putting ideas into action may be feared. Concentrate on one-on-one activities. obstructing it with messy reality. doing (hands) and feeling (heart). 'Head.

Hands People who are driven by the hands prefer to do things and then worry later about whether it was the right thing to do. viewing decisions that neglect emotions as dangerously inadequate. For Heart people talk about how people feel and the implications for society. talk about what has been done and how things really work in practice. For Head people. So what? Watch and listen to people to find their preferences. Distain for the egg-heads Doers tend to view thinkers as impractical time-wasters who do not understand the 'real world'. treading on toes without realizing what they are doing. They may be seen as ivory-tower academics who just like to play with unrealistic theories. or at least emotionally inadequate and lacking in people skills. they may internally rehearse a situation to predict how things will feel. See also Thinking vs. Those whose response to a problem is to leap into action typically believe that the only understanding worth having is gained through direct experience. They may also fear the cognitively-focused as being potentially Machiavellian or psychopathic. Irritation with the softies Action-oriented people may see those who pay attention to feelings as being softheaded and weak-willed. For Hands people. Before acting. At least they have got into action and have found out practically what works and what does not work. Wariness of the Ice-people People who focus first on feelings may well see Head people as cold and distant. They use affective language and expect people to be considerate with one another. They learn by experiencing and seeing how they feel about their experiences. Sympathy for the Blockheads Action-oriented people may be seen as bulls in the china-shop of human feelings. Such people are perhaps to be pitied or helped. They use physical language and expect the world to behave sensibly. they will try-think-try. Doing the job is considered the real issue and such sidelines as motivation is seen as a wasteful distraction. Feeling 346 . If the doer is seen as being deliberately inconsiderate and bullying then they may find themselves being ferociously attacked back by the vengeful feeler. then talk to those preferences. talk about the ideas and the theories and the bigger picture. Rather than think-trythink. Heart Those of us who are rules by our hearts think first about our feelings and the feelings of other people. This may be seen in pejorative comments such as 'That's just a theory'.

they will not accept commands blindly. Why do they do this? Whilst the imperative independent person will have a reasonable respect for authority. They may be going through a rebellious period during which they are struggling to establish their own independent identity (a typical teenage situation). Conformance When someone with a conformance preference is given a command. they will tend to obey with little or no question. in effect. then utilize their preference: • Conformance: establish your credibility and authority and then tell them what to do. 347 . I control my own life. evokes very different responses in people. thank you. and a command given by a person with perceived authority will be obeyed. act independently of it. or may even respond in a contrary way. Why do they do this? Most people are strongly socially conditioned to obey authority. whereby another person who is seen to be trying to control them leads them to grab back the baton. Do not try that again!' So what? Discover their preferences first with an unimportant command. They may also weigh up the pros and cons of disobeying the command. Independent The independent person may or may not obey the command. saying 'I am independent.Imperative Preferences > Imperative Conformance | Independent | Contrariness | So what? An imperative. depending on whether it makes sense to them. They are. Why do they do this? These people may have limited self-esteem or a weak sense of identity. Contrariness A person with a contrariness preference will tend to not only not obey an imperative. given their values. who may well fear rejection and punishment. They may have had controlling parents who taught them that is not a good idea to disobey. The contrariness acts as an indicator of their willingness to fight (as in the Fight-orFlight reaction). which they cover up with a contrary front. they are likely to do the opposite. A person may conform to the command. These people are rule-followers. They may have strong control needs. They will listen and think about how sensible the command is and whether it is acceptable. or command. depending on their preference in this area.

348 . or hint that they may not be able to do it.• Independent: use a rational argument or seek other ways of influencing them. In this way they maximize their pleasure. Say 'I don't know if you can run a full marathon' and they will be lacing up their running shoes in very short order. If they seek instant gratification and you want future change then offer them something now to gain commitment. show them how acting now will benefit them even more in the future. then customize the way you persuade them using rewards now or promised in the future. Perceiving Explanations > Preferences > Judging vs. See also Delayed Gratification Judging vs. Delayed Gratification Explanations > Preferences > Instant vs. Delayed Gratification Instant gratification | Delayed gratification | So what? Do you want it all now or are you prepared to wait? Some people have a focus on present pleasures whilst others are happy to wait for the good bits. enjoying the anticipated reward in the mean time. To change the mind of someone who seeks instant gratification put temptation in their path. Delayed gratification Those who are prepared to delay gratification will put off reward to a future date. Have what they want now to hand and offer it in exchange for future commitment. Given a dinner. Instant gratification Those who seek instant gratification have a present focus. Instant vs. So what? Understand how people delay (or not) taking of pleasures. • Contrariness: Wind them up and tell them not to do what you want them to do. They are less able to control impulses and are more susceptible to temptation and possibly addiction. they are more likely to eat the things the like best first rather than leave them until later. combining the anticipation with the pleasure of the event itself (although exaggerated anticipation can lead to disappointment). show not only the future benefits but also talk about how great it will be looking forward to the event itself. The naming is unfortunately a bit archaic as judging is more than evaluation and intuiting is not about looking at thing. If they delay gratification and you want them to do something now. To change the minds of someone who delays gratification. Perceiving Judging | Perceiving | So what? Judging and Perceiving are preferences used in the Jungian Type Inventory.

See also Jungian Type Inventory 349 . Perceiving Perceivers perceive structure as being more limiting than enabling. and seek closure in decisions. They are generally curious and like to expand their knowledge. They enjoy being experts. Realize changes in direction are not necessarily impulsiveness. Allow closure on consensus items. At work. they tend to avoid or put off decisions and like most the exploration of problems and situations. Judgers may see them as aimless drifters. When they ask for things they are specific and expect others to do as they say. Acknowledge the need for closure and short time schedules. creating plans and organizing their world to achieve their goals and desired results in a predictable way. They are self-disciplined and decisive. At work. Show your achievements and results. Perceivers may see them as rigid and opinionated. document those areas that require work or discussion. They are tolerant of other people's differences and will adapt to fit into whatever the situation requires. They get their sense of control by taking charge of their environment and making choices early. not necessarily following your calendar. they decide quickly and clearly and work to get the job done. flexible way. They get their sense of control by keeping their options open and making choices only when they are necessary. which they will freely acknowledge as being incomplete. Bring in new ideas and possibilities. With Perceivers: • • • • • Allow time for things to flow. Acknowledge the time for creativity. They prefer to keep their choices open so they can cope with many problems that the know life will put in their way. Encourage autonomy and personal freedom.They are about how we approach life: in a structured way or an open. Judging Judgers approach life in a structured way. Itemize achievements and decisions reached so far. So what? With Judgers: • not). • • • more • • Present a timetable and stick to it (or provide maximum warning if Allow time to them to prepare.

See also Amplification principle. looking for the very best deal they can hammer out. In negotiation they will argue every last point. making the most of it. which satisfies their basic needs. making every day and every moment count. Minimizers may be more quietly content than maximizers. balancing the best experiences with the costs of achieving them. Minimizers have a lower emotional overload threshold and so may be risk averse and avoid intense emotional experiences. When one items slows down or they need to wait. Maximizing has its costs and people who take this approach are more likely to suffer from regret. They live life to the full. Their conversations are straightforward and they are more comfortable with silence and their own company. but they may also envy their indulgence and fuller life. for example using a lighter touch in persuading a minimizer whilst engaging a maximizer in a more robust argument. They let time flow by. In negotiation they will either concede easily or see a balanced and sufficient agreement. So what? Assess the extend to which a person tend to maximize or minimize and where their natural balance point is on the spectrum between extremes. Maximizing A person with a maximizer strategy will seek to get the most out of their lives. whilst other seem to avoid this. Minimizers will likely have fewer friends and their relationships are less likely to be complex. Maximizers can usually handle complexity and typically have many activities on the go at one time. In buying or deciding they research widely before making the best choice.Maximizing vs. Minimizing Explanations > Preferences > Maximizing vs. Minimizing Maximizing | Minimizing | So what? Some people maximize their lives. Minimizing A person who prefers minimizing seeks simplicity over complexity. Tailor your influencing to this natural point. disappointment. In buying they seek something that is good enough. less over more. They are more likely to have many friends but may also seek intensity in an engrossing hobby. envy and self-recrimination. they quickly switch to another. Most of us live somewhere along this spectrum. Arousal principle 350 . appreciating the moment but not needing to squeeze it dry.

wind them up with direct or indirect threats or other immediate things that lead to them to a heightened state of arousal. our rationality reduces. 351 .Arousal principle Principles > Arousal principle Principle | How it works | So what? Principle When I am aroused I am full engaged and hence more likely to pay attention. When emotionally aroused. Ready for action When a person is aroused. Physical arousal happens when you hear a sudden loud noise or something or someone makes you feel threatened. where the whole biology of the body is changed. their whole body is poised for action and they are very easy to tip into doing things. Think about the motivating speeches of leaders. Think of a time when you were aroused by something. Beware in doing this that you do not wind them up so much they go in the opposite direction. When my emotions are stimulated. Your might have had a hot flush rushing up you neck and around your face. How it works Arousal occurs when the mind spots something that is important. Physiology of arousal Arousal is a physical state which can range from a gentle increase in interest to full-on fight-or-flight reaction. It also happens when you interest is piqued or an attractive other person flirts with you (or even just walks by). Remember when you were last in an auction. Hence emotionally aroused people are more open to carefully-placed persuasive methods. When you were aroused. consider building aspects of Emotional Intelligence. So what? If you want somebody to act quickly. To manage your own arousal and those you seek to help. you were ready to act at a moment's notice. You toes or fingers may have twitched. making us more likely to make rash decisions. we become emotionally engaged. often as a threat to basic needs although it can also be something that could help us achieve our goals. my ability to make rational decisions is reduced. There may have been a powerful tingling shooting up your spine. making me easier to influence. Emotional arousal When needs or goals are affected. possibly with relatively little thought about the consequences. either by threat or opportunity. Consider the threats of competitors. You probably experienced bodily sensations of some kind. Emotional arousal often happens alongside physical arousal (and it is not always clear which comes first).

Bad optimists are blind gamblers. People like working with optimists. but their attitude leads them to not only take risks but act in a way that increases the chance of good things happening. Emotions Theories about conforming. They are hopeful. They do not learn from experience and just keep sticking their necks out too far. Pessimism is bad for you health. In expecting the worst. They set their personal success bar low and do not strive for what they believe they can never attain. This can be a good survival strategy in that pessimists are ready for the risks. on the other hand. they are also not likely to be paupers as they always play it safe. 352 . So what? Persuade optimists by emphasizing the benefits and good things they may get. Effective pessimists. then they will assume they can do nothing and so do not fight fate. the pessimist lives in constant stress and anxiety. This may be based on inherited traits with a likely significant experiential influence. They over-estimate risks. They also set more challenging goals and so increase their chance of greater success. and possibly often and big-time. but everything else Effective optimists. Optimists explain things in three ways: • Internality – the cause of things are within my control • Stability – the cause of things will always be present • Globality – causality will influence not only what happened. particularly if they also have good judgement. Theories about being cont Optimism and Pessimism Explanations > Preferences > Optimism and Pessimism Optimism | Pessimism | So what? A classic choice is whether to assume the best or the worst thing will happen. assuming that bad things will happen. believing that good things can happen to them. Extreme pessimists expect the worst every time. Optimism Optimists assume that the best will happen or that they will be luckier than other people. whilst they are not likely to become millionaires. Persuade pessimists by playing up the bad things that may happen. have some sense of realism. The question is what they do about it. Their assumption that fate will always deal them a good hand leads them to lose out. which is bad for the body. on the other hand. hedge their bets and. Pessimism Pessimists expect the worst. They believe that good things only happen to other people. If a pessimist is also a fatalist. which can make them more effective leaders.See also Brain stuff.

Stress Risk Bias Explanations > Preferences > Risk Bias Risk attraction | Risk avoidance | So what? Some people take all kinds of risks. Another reason that people seem attracted to risk is that it the shortest route to what lies beyond it. First. Others need the real risks of extreme sports. Variation Note that although they may have general tendencies. and individuals may treat this potential gain differently. For those with a low arousal threshold. individuals can have different profiles for different types of risk. For many. They generally have somewhat lower arousal and stress levels. Taking risks can also seem like cheating death or other down-sides. Risk attraction People who are attracted to risks may do so for one of two main reasons. A thief will risk prison.See also Assumption principle. the goal may be the risk itself. but it is not the real goal. Thus a young man will dare to ask out a beautiful young woman. They are often driven more by fear and focus more on what they might lose than what they might gain. whilst others focus more on safely steering clear of them. making the risktaker feel invulnerable and all-powerful. They desire a certain outcome more than they fear the risk. There may still be a buzz in the risk. The actual risk taken to cause excitement depends on the person's arousal threshold. A gambler will lay a high stake on a horse with only an outside chance of winning. friends or other people in general Risk decisions are also balanced against potential gain. the apparent risk (yet known safety) of roller-coasters is more than enough. Risk avoidance Those who tend more to avoiding risks are at the opposite end of the scale to the riskseekers. Others who seem to avoid risk may do so purely because they are already contented and have neither unquenched desires nor need for further stimulation. the vicarious excitement of movies is often sufficient. Risk creates the buzz of arousal. for example: • • • Financial gain Gain in social status Thrilling physical sensations 353 . for example those that affect: • • • • Physical harm Financial gains or losses Social position Danger to family.

With risk-takers. they are still able to function normally. such as when you have a 'bit of a headache' and plan to go and get a tablet after you have finished what you are doing at the moment. If faced with the passive risk-ignorer. although we still have a lot in common. A physical itch on the body may lead to scratching or rubbing but the person otherwise does not seek to reduce the discomfort. This is the threshold of the experience of pain. but you can rescue them or otherwise offer help and advice. Neglect of probability bias Pain Thresholds Explanations > Preferences > Pain Thresholds Experienced pain | Tolerable pain | Intolerable pain | Forms of pain | Time effects | So what? We each deal with pain in different ways. Dare them to have a go. 354 . hold up a picture of a desirable future and either ignore or play down risks. Show them thrills and excitement. Threat forecast. but at some point it will start to become uncomfortable. will start to look for ways of reducing it. revelling in the danger). either crank up the risk until they cannot avoid it or seek another way to move them. Some of us are highly intolerant to pain of any sort whilst others seem to be able to withstand extreme discomfort. However. Low-level pain is seldom described as pain but as discomfort or irritation of some kind. So what? Challenge risk-seekers. See also Attraction vs. Risk-avoiders see the risks. You can also strategically place risks to shepherd them in the right direction. Experienced pain If you apply pressure to a single point on person's body. The same goes for other forms of pain: the discomfort is not sufficient to warrant much action. Tell them how others have failed. they will at first experience just the pressure and no pain. Don't pretend the risk isn't there. Deal and Kennedy's cultural model. and perhaps even see the risk as greater than it really is. if possible. Tolerable pain As the discomfort increases.• Success at work Perhaps the most 'dangerous' risk-takes are those that think little about the down-side of risks. avoidance preference. seeking only the almost addictive physiological 'thrill' sensations (for example joy-riders who steal cars and then drive them recklessly. there is a threshold above which the person will now describe it as painful and.

from grief to shame. look for their pain thresholds in various areas.Intolerable pain As the pain increases further. 355 . This outer control does not necessarily reflect the inner experience and bottling up negative emotions can make the feeling much worse. naughty pupils in school were given the choice of three strikes with the cane or hours of boredom writing out lines (many chose the shorter. In this way people faint and have nervous breakdowns. In days gone by. Emotional pain There are a number of negative emotions which are very uncomfortable. some of us (such as experts and teenagers) are more sensitive to it than others. Whilst this is generally more tolerable for most people. Women are generally said to be more tolerant of pain than men. then the body may take over and close itself down. where a lesser pain that continues over a longer period may be compared and traded with a greater pain that may be endured over a shorter period. Many people find having an injection very close to the intolerable threshold. You can then use these in persuasion -. with some easily breaking down in tears whilst others keep a 'stiff upper lip' in suppressing displays. punishment). People make choices here typically in medical situations. perhaps being programmed to endure the agonies of birthing. Time effects There can also be time effects in pain. and the tears of those who are experiencing emotional distress is evidence enough of the pain being felt. a level is reached at which the sufferer now actively and urgently seeks ways to reduce the pain and their Fight-or-Flight reaction may be triggered. Physical pain Physical pain is the most immediate form of discomfort and can easily be overwhelming. Cognitive pain Cognitive pain is the discomfort we feel when we are confused or uncertain about something. where different procedures may have different long-term alleviation but with correspondingly variable short-term discomfort. Seeking to reduce discomfort is called satisficing. People vary also in their expression of emotional discomfort. Forms of pain There are a number of forms of pain in which we have thresholds as above. If the pain is too great and cannot be alleviated.not by applying extreme pain but by applying gentle pressure in the right direction an d/or showing ways of reducing pain. yet military captives have been known to endure extreme physical torture. So what? When working with others. but more painful. where the person's goals change from achieving something positive to reducing the discomfort.

They focus on what is immediate. etc. They are create meaning from conscious thought. • Have a well-thought-out plan with details worked out in advance. • Use concepts and strategies sparingly -. They like logic and tend to pursue things in a clear sequence. They are good at spotting patterns and taking a high-level view.See also Satisficing. facts. At work. Intuiting Explanations > Preferences > Sensing vs. With Intuitors: 356 . Sensing Sensors pay attention to both immediate data from their five senses and from their own direct experiences. • Be practical and realistic. they like to acquire new skills and working at the strategic level.g. they will happily dig into the fine detail of the situation. as opposed to digging into the detail. limiting their attention to facts and solid data. The naming is unfortunately a bit archaic as sensing is more than touch and vision.concentrate more on the dayto-day consequences of a plan. They are about how we attend and create meaning: from immediate data or after deeper thought. where they will plan to change the world rather than continue to live in the imperfect present.). So what? With Sensors: • Show evidence (e. examples. they will have a clear schedule and like to use their proven skills in tactical situations. rather than trusting their subconscious. Fight-or-Flight reaction Sensing vs. and intuiting is not about gut-feel and fluffiness. • Show logical sequence of steps. and live life as it is rather than trying to change the world. Intuiting Intuitors process data more deeply than sensors and are happy to trust their subconscious and 'sixth sense'. At work. gut feel. details. They may be seen as frivolous or short-sighted by Intuitors. They may be seen as impractical. grounded. practical and real. intuition or whatever you want to call it. Intuiting Sensing | Intuiting | So what? Sensing and Intuiting are preferences used in the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI). • Be direct. They like ideas and inspiration and tend to have a focus on the future. As necessary. theoretical and lacking determination by Sensors.

Similarity-then-difference people tend to see the world top-down. • Don’t give details unless asked. Similarity Shown two cars. don’t ask for details. wheel angle and so on. you would very likely get different answers. They like simple understanding and will see the world more in black-and-white terms. 357 . other people will immediately notice how they are different.• Present ideas and global concept first. Those of us who prefer difference have an eye for detail and as a result are good at improving the world around us. but with interest and variation in it. Similarity then Difference Few of us who saw the two cars would see only 'cars' and in fact the majority of the population will say they are 'cars' first and then start to point out the differences. • When provided an idea or hypothesis or summary. then draw out the details. See also Jungian Type Inventory Similarity vs. They will happily design a detailed process for other people. Difference people are easily bored when they are faced with routine and structure. beginning at the outside and then working their way into the detail. work may come in spurts or bursts of energy. • Let them dream. They like the warmth of familiarity that gives them a comfortable sense of control. Difference If shown the same cars. encourage imagination. In work. they like a steady job. but will not use it themselves. people with a preference for similarity would say that they were--two cars! These people are not into detail and hence tend to prefer big-picture views. depending on whether they looked first for how the cars were similar or different. Even if the cars are apparently identical. difference preferences Similarity| Difference | Similarity then Difference | Difference then Similarity | So what? If you pointed at two cars and asked people what they saw. they will spot scratches. They also will like predictability and stability in their daily lives and will tend towards routine and order. accept the intuitive conclusion at face value as working hypothesis. • Be patient. They like the stimulation of novelty and are constantly seeking what is new and different. Difference preferences Explanations > Preferences > Similarity vs.

Be curious and playful with them. start with an explanation then ask or tell. Perhaps they find the subjective stance too painful or perhaps they find it too biased and 358 . They primarily seek variation in what they do. feeling 'done to' rather than being in control. then explain. For Difference-first people. These people will see the world bottom-up. For Similarity-first people. Subjective perception Those with a naturally subjective view tend to be more emotional. See also Subjective vs. objectivity preferences Subjective perception | Objective perception | So what? Think of a time when you were having fun. meeting the future head-on. objectivity preferences Explanations > Preferences > Subjective vs. They also tend to live 'in the railroad tracks'. They will follow processes they are given only if these make sense and they can understand how they work. Objective perception People who see life more objectively prefer to stand back. two cars. Give order and repetition to those who prefer similarity. Given the right encouragement. As you think about it. as they are more accustomed to experiencing the agonies and the ecstasies of the subjective life. of course. but also appreciate a moderate amount of stability. So what? Find out what the people need and then play to these. are you seeing the experience through your own eyes (subjective view). Show them new and different things. This does not mean they are disinterested. they also tend to be more easily empathetic with other people. Their experiential view will make them more empathetic and intuitive. starting with the detail and building up to the big picture. tell first. or can you see your body as if you are outside of it (objective view)? The population is fairly evenly split between those who naturally take an objective view and those who take a subjective view. as they think and remember their life very experientially. Never do the same thing twice with those who prefer difference. only that they find the objective viewpoint a preferable place to be.Difference then Similarity The final viewpoint is to see the differences between the cars and then point out that they are.

For the objective person. Negotiating on objective terms is. about what happens to them and how they feel. Task vs. talk in experiential terms.' that people are relatively simple and that motivating them correctly is simply a matter of pressing the right buttons. In fact in many models. be more detached. Task People with a task focus put getting the job done as the highest priority. or do they spend more time on the softer people stuff. the best place is often a balance between the two. The standard situation is a manager motivating their people. This is largely based on a view of 'rational man. Subordinates are thus motivated with clear objectives and regular reviews. watching the world. Position yourself as standing beside them. work slowly and otherwise act inefficiently. they prefer to see things from a more disconnected. There is a general belief that without close attention people will get distracted.? This task-people question also applies to both entire organizational cultures an individual people doing their job.and people-focus are independent scales. Do they focus more on what is to be done. Detailed work plans are drawn up. talking more in passive judgmental terms. Person preference Explanations > Preferences > Task vs. However. after all. Empathize with them and get them to empathize with your subject. People are seen as generally selfish and lazy. People with objective viewpoint are sometimes easier to persuade. Motivation is based around Control and the simple exchange of money for compliance. Although people can swing between task and people. unemotional viewpoint. People Attention here is paid to the emotional well-being of other people. playing on their natural territory. Person preference Task | People | So what? This is the classic managerial preference question that is enshrined in such icons as the Blake-Mouton Grid and McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y. they are more rational in their approach and may be good negotiators themselves. Meetings with others are brief and business-like. There is a general belief that if the people are happy then they will be optimally motivated to do the work 359 .untruthful of the whole picture. making sure they are happy. Whatever their reasons. before any people considerations. People are seen purely as a means to getting the job done and any human considerations are generally viewed as a waste. So what? For the subjective perceiver. The manager-worker division is quite clear: you think-they do. as they can see things from your viewpoint too. task. etc. rational.

and also too complex for simple behavioral techniques to work. In Transactional Analysis terms this is about being a Nurturing Parent rather than a Controlling Parent. The basic manager-worker division (although there is much less of a division here) is 'I guide and support-you think and do. They may be seen as cold and heartless by Feelers. The generally agree best position here is often seen as being a balance of both task and people focus. seeking truth and use of clear rules. They tend to see the world in black and white and dislike fuzziness. Feeling Explanations > Preferences > Thinking vs. it is assumed that they will also think intelligently about the work and. Others preference. In addition. There is also an underlying belief in such principles as Intrinsic Motivation and empowerment. See also Self vs. Trompenaars' four cultures Ohio State Leadership Studies. listening to their heart and considering the feelings of others. The role of the manager is thus seen more as being to motivate and support people. Feeling Feelers decide based primarily through social considerations. At work. they focus on tangible things. with a minimum guidance. They are about how we decide: through logic or through considering people. and when they do so. Michigan Leadership Studies Thinking vs. The naming is unfortunately a bit archaic as thinking is more than thought. they consider a decision to be made. Thinking Thinkers decide based primarily on logic. Perhaps because people are so variable.they are given. seek to create clear value.' Motivation is based around Identity and social exchanges that create loyalty and other emotional ties. monitor and improve much of what they are doing. will plan. they are task-oriented. So what? In motivating people start by understanding the beliefs that motivate both you and them. 360 . Interacting with them tends to brief and business-like. and feeling is not about being over-emotional or fluffy. People are seen as being basically good and caring. Feeling | So what? Thinking and Feeling are one of the preferences used in the Jungian Type Inventory.

• Be aware that how you communicate is as important as what you’re communicating. See also Jungian Type Inventory Threat Forecast Explanations > Preferences > Threat Forecast Threat perceivers | Safety perceivers | So what? One of our basic needs is for safety and as such we also have a strong need to predict the future. They infer negative meaning into situations which are often quite innocuous. So what? With thinkers: • Be brief and concise. • Demonstrate empathy by showing areas of agreement first. accept decisions that may not be based on facts. 361 .They see life as a human existence and material things as being subservient to this. and may believe people to be fundamentally selfish. This can lead them to be insecure and have low self-esteem. They value harmony and use tact in their interactions with others. At work. These people may have had a traumatic upbringing (or even been deeply affected by a single traumatic event). either seeing more danger than is really there or blithely missing the very real threats. This may have originated at home. don’t ramble with no apparent purpose. • Let them talk about personal impact. they are sociable and people-oriented and make many decisions based on values (more than value). Threat perceivers Some people see threats and danger in most situations. With feelers: • Introduce yourself and get to know the person. • Show how the idea will affect people and what people’s reaction would be. in the classroom or with other children. • Don’t assume that feelings are unimportant. • Be intellectually critical and objective. They may be seen as unreliable and emotional by Thinkers. They tend to be pessimists or even paranoid. • Present feelings and emotions as additional facts to be weighed in a decision. full acceptance may take a considerable amount of time. In doing so. • Be calm and reasonable. they may have a different value. • Be personable and friendly. we may misjudge the situations in which we find ourselves. • Be logical.

challenging others to move forwards. or provide a threat to make them move from their current position.Threat perceivers tend to respond with a Fight-or-Flight reaction. Can worry too much and not trust others. as they have no immediate need for movement. Solves difficult problems with original and creative ideas. Safety perceivers can be harder to persuade. They thus may be either aggressive or timid in character. Belbin roles The Belbin roles and brief descriptions are: Overall Belbin roles Implementer Description Well-organized and predictable. and see people as being fundamentally good. They are more susceptible to surprise from threats. either visibly remove the threat from the things you want them to move towards. These people may have had a stable and loving childhood. Safety perceivers Those who see the world around them as non-threatening will tend not to see some of the very real dangers. or at least a place they could go to where they felt safe. Lots of energy and action. Reliably sees things through to the end. Takes basic ideas and makes them work in practice. So what? For threat perceivers. Their lack of perception of real risks may also make them careless thoughtless. Belbin's team roles Explanations > Preferences > Belbin team roles Belbin types | Balanced teams | So what? These types (or 'roles') were defined by Dr. ironing out the wrinkles and ensuring everything works well. as they either run away from the threat or try to eliminate it. R. Can be poor communicator Doing / acting Shaper Completer/Finisher Thinking / problemsolving Plant 362 . Surprise them with danger or stand beside them in common bafflement at the threats others see in the world. Can be slow. fighting force with force. Meredith Belbin after studying teams at Henley Management College. Can be insensitive. They are often more self-sufficient and may well handle threats that do appear more rationally. They may be naive or optimistic.

Thinks carefully and accurately about things. work to their strengths and actively manage weaknesses. hands and heart preferences. Has expert knowledge/skills in key areas and will solve many problems here. Can be disinterested in all other areas. May lack energy or ability to inspire others.and may ignore the details. Can be seen as excessively controlling. Explores new ideas and possibilities with energy and with others. Good networker. Cares for individuals and the team. Sees the big picture. Respected leader who helps everyone focus on their task. Another way of dividing them is: Overall Leading Doing Belbin role Coordinator Shaper Implementer Completer/finisher Monitor/Evaluator Plant Specialist Resource/investigator Team Worker Thinking Socializing Balanced teams Teams work best when there is a balance of primary roles and when team members know their roles. there should be: One Co-ordinator or Shaper (not both) for leader A Plant to stimulate ideas A Monitor/evaluator to maintain honesty and clarity 363 . Can be too optimistic and lose energy after the initial flush. Can have problems making difficult decisions. • • • • To achieve the best balance. Monitor/Evaluator Specialist Coordinator People / feelings Team worker Resource/investigator Note the linkage here to Head. Good listener and works to resolve social problems.

Resource Investigator AssessorDeveloper Coordinator 364 . which are also offered in the table below.• One or more Implementer. The closest equivalents appear to be in the Belbin Team Roles. The roles The roles and brief descriptions are often shown in a circular format. Listens patiently before deciding. Likes to connect with people outside the group as well as inside. ReporterAdviser Gathers information and makes it understandable. Belbin equivalent Role Description Likes to help others.htm Margerison-McCann Team Performance Wheel Explanations > Preferences > Margerison-McCann Team Performance Wheel Belbin types | Balanced teams | So what? These functions are activities that take place within teams. See also Margerison-McCann Team Performance Wheel http://www. Monitorevaluator CreatorInnovator Not afraid to challenge norms.belbin. Likes independence to think and innovate. Plant ExplorerPromoter Good at seeing the big picture. Team worker. Likes experimenting with new ideas. Resource investigator or Completer/finisher to make things happen So what? Identify types when starting up teams and ensure you have a good balance (or handle the difference). Good at creating enthusiasm for new ideas. Good at starting new Prefers to be slow and fully right rather than quick and mostly right.

See also Belbin Team Roles Kolb's learning styles Explanations > Learning Theory > Kolb's learning styles Preference dimensions | Four learning styles | So what David Kolb has defined one of the most commonly used models of learning. Upholdermaintainer A great source of emotional strength for others on the team. Looks after the physical and social elements of the team. Play to people's strengths. Likes working with detailed information. not just one type. The message is the same: Understand the preferred roles of people on the team. As in the diagram below. although they are not identical. giving four different styles of learning. Likes 'making things happen' Thrusterorganisers Ready to add energy and turn an idea into an action May be impatient Likes completing things on time. Shaper Concluderproducer Likes using well-developed skills.Good at evaluating different options. Completerfinisher Controllerinspector Implementer Good with facts and figures. Get a good balance of people on a team. ACCOMODATORS Concrete DIVERGERS 365 . Good at methodical. it is based on two preference dimensions. Team worker So what? There are close similarities with the Belbin roles. May have strong views on how the team should be run. on budget and to specification. Good at organizing new activities. The underlying system is based on the Jungian Type Inventory. careful work.

Experience ^ Perception | Active Experimentation <--------. people will have a preference along the continuum between: • Concrete experience: Looking at things as they are. whilst the reflective observers prefer to watch and think to work things out. Divergers (Concrete experiencer/Reflective observer) Divergers take experiences and think deeply about them. They like to ask 'why'. like the concrete experiencer. thus diverging from a single experience to multiple possibilities in terms of what this might mean. takes a hands-on route to see if their ideas will work. Four learning styles The experimenter. people will take the results of their Perception and process it in preferred ways along the continuum between: • Active experimentation: Taking what they have concluded and trying it out to prove that it works. Processing dimension In the horizontal Processing dimension. and will start from detail to constructively work up to the big picture. 366 . Intuiting. Those who prefer abstraction will argue that meaning is created only after internal processing and that idealism is a more real approach. and that direct empirical data is essential.Processing ---| | V CONVERGERS Abstract conceptualizatio n ASSIMILATOR S ------> Reflective Observation Preference dimensions Perception dimension In the vertical Perception dimension. in raw detail. • Abstract conceptualization: Looking at things as concepts and ideas. after a degree of processing that turns the raw detail into an internal model. without any change. This spectrum is very similar to the Jungian scale of Sensing vs. People who prefer concrete experience will argue that thinking about something changes it. • Reflective observation: Taking what they have concluded and watching to see if it works.

Give them reading material. They like to ask 'how' about a situation. Convergers (Abstract conceptualization/Active experimenter) Convergers think about things and then try out their ideas to see if they work in practice. They like to explore complexity by direct interaction and learn better by themselves than with other people. They will also learn through conversation that takes a logical and thoughtful approach. Do not teach through play with them as they like to stay serious.They enjoy participating and working with others but they like a calm ship and fret over conflicts. with a strong preference for doing rather than thinking. The ask 'What is there I can know?' and like organized and structured understanding. with demonstrations where possible. If you cannot customize the design for specific people. use varied styles of delivery to help everyone learn. They learn through interaction and computer-based learning is more effective with them than other methods. Assimilators (Abstract conceptualizer/Reflective observer) Assimilators have the most cognitive approach. preferring to think than to act. They prefer to work by themselves. They often have a strong control need and prefer the clean and simple predictability of internal models to external messiness. As might be expected. thinking carefully and acting independently. they like hands-on and practical learning rather than lectures. They do not like routine and will take creative risks to see what happens. They like to ask 'what if?' and 'why not?' to support their actionfirst approach. See also Blevins' Family Roles Disciplines > Storytelling > Characters > Blevins' Family Roles 367 . So what? So design learning for the people you are working with. understanding how things work in practice. They like facts and will seek to make things efficient by making small and careful changes. They are generally influenced by other people and like to receive constructive feedback. especially academic stuff and they'll gobble it down. The best way to teach an assimilator is with lectures that start from high-level concepts and work down to the detail. and will respect the knowledge of experts. It can also be useful to describe this model to people. both to help them understand how they learn and also so they can appreciate that some of your delivery will for others more than them (and vice versa). They like to learn via logical instruction or hands-one exploration with conversations that lead to discovery. They prefer lectures for learning. Accomodators (Concrete experiencer/Active experimenter) Accommodators have the most hands-on approach.

the blamer points a finger away from themself.Blamer | Cheerleader | Distracter | Favored son | Hero | Invalid | Jester | Martyr | Mascot | Placator | Rebel | Saint | Scapegoat | Skeptic | Star | See also Blevins (1993) describes a number of roles that people take in families. the blamer points a finger. Individuals also tend more towards some roles than others. Note that different people may take different roles at different times and individuals may take on several roles at one. they get sympathetic attention. injured or otherwise limited in capability. This can make them arrogant. Others may be grateful for this release from responsibility. this helps people avoid emotionally difficult situations. Martyr The martyr endures suffering. 368 . Distracter The distracter draws attention away from problems and towards things that are easier to accept and handle. Hero The hero always saves the day when things go wrong or people are threatened. creating laughter and levity. of course. Blamer When things go wrong. Whilst they do not gain the highest prizes. Invalid The invalid is sick. Mascot The mascot is a good luck symbol. Things are never accidental -somebody is to blame. Jester This person makes light of most situations. They get given the best and are more easily forgiven. Like the distracter. They are harmless and loved. They may carry the hurt on behalf of others. In doing so. that can appear in the workplace and elsewhere and often crop up in stories. They give little but good feelings. sometimes through choice. Cheerleader The cheerleader stands on the sidelines and encourages others with great enthusiasm. often with little complaint. They help both individuals and the wider team. Favored son This person has a special place in the hearts of parental figures. they are safe and may well be popular. They are often a burden on others who feel obliged to carry them. For this sacrifice.

They look and think differently. They push away and are pushed away. She thus represents childhood extended and hence immortality and perpetual youth. In stories it both provides an echo of our experiences and plays directly to our desires and fantasies. For this. They are assumed to have a bright future. although of course a Virgin may know much (note here also how 'knowing' is often used as a euphemism for intercourse). Star The star is afforded special status. Saint The saint is unremittingly good. The Virgin The Flirt The Temptress The Seductress The Rake The Mistress The Whore The Unfaithful Husband The Cuckold The Lecher The Rapist The Virgin The Virgin is closely related to the Maiden. such as Rakes. Skeptic The skeptic is the doubter who questions everything and believes nothing to be absolutely true. In tales of morality. the Virgin has not had intercourse. They never think ill of others and work for the good of all people. 369 . Seductresses and Lechers may well be punished for their sins. Scapegoat When things go wrong.Placator The placator calms down conflict between others and helps people resolve issues. Rebel Rebels are autonomous individuals who do not fit in. From a sexual angle. of course. Virginity is also associated with innocence. In other tales they may be objects of fantasy who play out our secret desires and allow for vicarious pleasures. They can be useful truthseekers or annoying disrupters. They may feel superior and may be the subject of envy. Sexual characters Disciplines > Storytelling > Characters > Sexual characters Description | Example | Discussion | See also Sex is a natural part of human life for which we have very strong drivers. those who transgress social morals. and may be the same person. They personally avoid conflict and may concede much in order to do so. though they are not treated as one. the scapegoat is given and accepts the blame. they may feel like a martyr. They are put on a plinth and adored. They may also be annoyingly successful. Limitations are ignored and strengths are over-played.

There is a particular symbolism about the Virgin who has sex for the first time. Through his charm he seduces vulnerable women with little concern for the person and no view to any long-term relationship. it can also provide curious reversals that perhaps help men understand the state of female virginity. The Temptress The Temptress goes further than the Flirt. The Mistress The Mistress acts to some extent as a second wife for a man. in the manner of the explorer who first climbs a mountain or crosses a continent. Flirtation is often a game of mild temptation and acts as permissible titillation. sometimes more explicitly suggesting sexual or other pleasures and sometimes providing temptation just by her natural beauty. The loss of virginity symbolizes a one-way transition and perhaps the transition from youth to adulthood. tempting men into sexual relations. The Flirt thus adds pleasure but without actions that lead to later regret. she may threaten exposure unless he obeys her. Sometimes this is for her own pleasure but more often in stories it is to gain control over the man. remaining a relatively harmless stimulation that remains within the bounds of social morality. The Rake The Rake is the male form of the Seductress. women might be vicariously charmed and indulge in secret fantasies. Most of us flirt in small ways most days. whilst in other ways it is viewed despicable. If the Rake is sufficiently sympathetic. we may envy the conqueror or empathize with the innocent virgin. 370 . Something akin to blackmail. done as unconscious seeking of attention. In these days of open sexuality. particularly if associated with cynical seduction or base rape. although this is not the origin of the word. The man who 'deflowers' her. We may also fantasize of flirtation turning into something more. Watching stories of virginity. is seen as making a particular conquest. 'taking the cherry' (or many other symbolic metaphors). The flirtation may deliberate or may be relatively innocent. It is seen sometimes as admirable. Flirtation seldom becomes more. sexual pleasures and a sympathetic friendship. To fall for the temptation is to demonstrate a lack of self-control and perhaps cast oneself more as a base animal than a man of integrity. The Temptress thus creates a trial for men. and with moral indignation we may concur with his punishment. providing love. The Flirt The Flirt hints at sex but does not give it. She may also require compliance to her demands before further sex is given. The goal of the Seductress is often to ruin the man or achieve some other personal goal with little care for her lover. Men are also considered virgins before they have had sex. The Seductress The Seductress goes all the way. In some ways she may be the idealized wife. giving pleasure without demanding punishment. Other men might envy his charisma and ability to get sexual gratification almost on demand and with beautiful women.

In women they create fear of defilement and in men they evoke protective responses towards their women. He is seen as representing base instincts yet played from a safe social position where little can be done about his leching. To women they may be objects of great scorn and dislike. The Rapist The Rapist is probably the most hated of all sexual positions. For the Cuckold. Whores often represent the depths of desperation and are often pitied more than disliked. In stories. The most common emotion invoked by the Lecher is disgust. plying her trade as a route to survival rather than the more emotionally motivated Mistress. indulge in leching. The position of the Mistress is of relative precariousness. If she is independent or married. older men. the moral superiority of women. Occasionally they are more sympathetic. especially if she is dependent on her lover for financial support. The Lecher Whilst relatively harmless in not performing any sexual acts. The Cuckold may also take revenge on his wife in a reflection of the revenge taken on the Unfaithful Husband. See also Personality tests Disciplines > Human Resources > Selection > Personality tests 371 . Her anger may appear as cold rejection or comical destruction of his clothes and other prized possessions. The Cuckold The Cuckold is a man whose wife has been seduced by another man. wife. who may also be considered a Whore in some ways. Their unclean image also may represent danger and rough thrills for men. In stories. Particularly when exposed they act as a warning to other men. within which tensions may be complex and are common in many storylines. the Lecher still creates discomfort in women by his unwanted leering and other attention.The man. The Unfaithful Husband The Unfaithful Husband is one who consorts with Mistresses and Whores and perhaps succumbs to Seductresses. The Unfaithful Husband also represents the weakness of man and. and Mistress form a triangle. 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' is an appropriate saying when the wife finds out. by implication. for example when a youth gets carried away and later regrets his actions. particularly the rich and powerful. which comes from both women and other men. The Whore The Whore in stories is often at the bottom end of society. Rapists are often criminals who may also kill their victims. this is a position of defeat and domination by the other man and may thus elicit great anger and lead to acts of terrible revenge. then other tensions may be exploited in the story. although his anger is usually reserved more for the offending other man.

behavioral interviews Phenomenological and humanistic Internal FIRO-B Social-cognitive Internal and External Context and cognition Trait Internal Values. Walters.guess what . factor analysis. Kelley. behavior and relationship with performance. Learning though conditioning and shaping behavior. Psychoanalysis. Jungian Type Inventory (e. Example Psychodynamic Internal Unconscious mind Attention to dysfunction. Strong Freud/Jung influence. IPT 372 . OPQ.Description | Development | Discussion | See also Description Personality tests seek to identify . Influence by subjectivism and individualism Bandura. Focus on scientific proof.aspects of a person's personality that are correlated in some way with job performance. Based on clusters. Lewin. 16PF. neuroticism Criticised as defining intelligence with too few factors. Maslow.g. Misses cognition. Includes social and cognitive psychology. Type Focus Concern Notes Clinical background. predictability . MBTI) Biological Internal Heredity and learning Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) Behavioral External Habits and reinforcemen t Behavioral assessment.

where people often answer questions based on an idealized self or what they believe is needed. • Ipsative questions (forced choice and no middle option) • Conceal purpose of questionnaire (eg. there is a tendency to polarize at one end of the spectrum or recognize a need for flexibility and tend towards the middle.Personality tests are often administered as self-completed sets of questions about preferences and behaviors each of which contributes towards a score or position along a number of personality dimensions. There are several actions a test developer can use to minimize faking: • Give instructions with warning. • Include social desirability (lie) scale. For example. • Say ‘don’t think too hard’.g. Predictive validity Much research shows value of personality tools and their links to job needs.: Extravert X | Introvert Any given score may be correlated with a particular job. • Internal: Personality assessments are often based on self reports. for example the best pilots have emotional stability and extraversion. Eg. Personality is a complex concept and whilst personality tests can give useful indicators.g. although often from a viewpoint that (incorrectly) perceives them as very strong predictors of behavior. for example in Jungian Type Inventory. Development Personality tests are hard to validate and so are developed over a long period of hypothesis. Many people will self-select jobs based on their perceived via this. biodata that correlates nonobvious biographical data with performance predictors). • Contextual: People act very differently in different situations (e. In practice there are three types of instability: • Temporal: Personality can change over time. Discussion Personality tests are very commonly used. home and work). jobs that require significant interaction with people may have a correlation of extraversion with job success. • Promise (and give feedback) to the test-taker. 373 . MMPI. e. test and observation. Stability There is often a belief that personality is fixed and does not change. the world is not divided up into 16 (or less!) types of people who are unable to see or act outside of their personality profiles.

See also Personality Multiple regression Explanations > Social Research > Analysis > Multiple regression Description | Discussion | See also Description Multiple regression is used to explore the connection between multiple independent variables that act on a single dependent variable. too few are criticised as simplistic (eg. Big Five arguments). Despite concerns. such as consciousness and agreeableness. Extraversion is important in some situations. where the breadth of cover by each instrument is insufficient. male/female). Distortion and faking Distortion and faking can be a problem where people may deliberately or subconsciously bias their self-reports (where social desirability bias can have an undesired effect). 16PF vs. faking does not affect validity that much.). Faking good (Impression Management) can be useful in the target job and is itself an indicator of personality. lots of factors becomes unwieldy. order. The most predictive personality factors of job performance are conscientiousness and general intelligence (but what is ‘job performance’?). personality tests have low predictive validity of job performance. managers do less well if they are conscientious. though. for example people may be de-selected solely on test results. This can be confusing. The jangle fallacy occurs where same trait name used by two or more questionnaires.Bandwidth can be an issue. The independent variable can be ratio. It can be used to predict someone's score on one variable based on their scores on several other variables. Overall. The number of measurements made must be significantly more than the number of independent variables. Sub-factors of ‘conscientiousness’ in studies also varied (competence.but high agreeableness may result in lower sales and in some settings. interval. However. etc. but they are used often for this. There may be a central tendency where people take the safe choice. 374 . Work is often done in teams and personality tests often do not cover this (or do so only in a limited way). Acquiescent people tend to use 'yes' and 'agree' to answers more than they should. Combined traits are finding favour. People have even been made redundant from jobs based on personality tests (and giving them a biased report to show this). This should be at least 5:1 and should be more like 10:1 and preferably 40:1. dutifulness. Interval or ratio data is required for the independent variable. ordinal or nominal dichotomous (eg. such as sales .

• Closing techniques: From the discipline of sales. • Confidence tricks: Ways people get tricked out of their money. As such is it more observational than classically experimental. • Body language: A large part of communication is non-verbal. It is measured in 'standard deviation' units. although this is seldom completely true. • Change techniques: Ways to make change happen. 'Logistic regression' can be used for dichotomous independent variables. the independent variables are independent of one another. Ideally. When there are multiple dependent variables. beta shows the contribution of each. 375 . then it can be said that 45% of the variance is explained by the model. Thus the higher the beta. A beta of 3 means that a change in one standard deviation in the independent variable leads to a 3 standard deviation change in the dependent variable.Interpretation The R value is a measure of correlation between the predicted and observed values of the independent variable. The beta variable is a measure of how strongly the independent variable influences the dependent variable. in the website. then beta is equivalent to a correlation coefficient. See also ANOVA. • Assertiveness: Being neither passive nor aggressive. In multiple regression. • Conversation: How to hold down a conversation with others. • Conversion: Converting and retaining people in different beliefs. Discussion The great value of multiple regression is in the ability to predict one score based on multiple other scores. R-square indicates the proportion of the variance in the dependent variable which is accounted for by the model. or just collinearity. Multiple regression is different from ANOVA as it studies natural values rather than deliberately manipulating the independent variables. are generalized principles of changing minds and the psychological details of explanations and theories. the greater the impact of the dependent variable on the independent variable. it is said that there is multicollinearity. Factor Analysis Techniques for Changing Minds This is the main 'how to' section. An adjusted R-square figure allows a percentage claim. When independent variables correlate. an independent variable is often called a predictor and the dependent variable is called the criterion.45. When there is only one independent variable. Below it. a myriad of ways to gain closure. for example if it is 0. In this section we cover specific techniques by which people change minds and otherwise persuade.

hard data to show need for change. • Propaganda: covert persuasion of populations. • Questioning: Using questions to get the results you want. • Open Space: People talking about what interests them. • Self-development: Becoming who you want to be. • First steps: Make it easy to get going. • Resisting persuasion: A big list of ways to avoid being persuaded. • Negotiation tactics: Getting what you want. • Education: Learn them to change. • Interrogation: Getting answers to questions. • Involvement: Give them an important role. • Objection-handling: Ways of handling objections to the sale. • Destabilizing: Shake people of their comfort zone. Caveat Just a note of gentle caution: the word 'technique' sometimes implies some kind of magic. the better you will get. • Institutionalization: Building change into the formal systems and structures. Here is an alphabetic list of some of the methods you can use.• General persuasion techniques: Approaches and things that don't fit elsewhere. • Language: Much about subtle use of words. • Challenge: Inspire them to achieve remarkable things. Life is also about practice -. you may get something of what you want. 376 . • Evidence for change: Cold. • Coaching: Psychological support for executives. There is no magic and the techniques here are things that if you do. • Burning bridges: Ensure there is no way back. • Public speaking: Presentation and speech-making. Life is a numbers game: there are no guarantees. • Facilitation: Use a facilitator to guide team meetings. • Evidence stream: Show them time and again that the change is happening. building it up. • Command: Tell them what to do. then keep trying and keep trying different things. • Management causality mapping: Helping a team see its own role. but not how. • Using humor: Changing minds can be (and use) fun. • Happiness: How to be happy. with the implicit promise that 'if you do this you will get that'. so if things do not work for you this time.the more you try. • Listening: Hear the person as well as what they say. • Management by Objectives (MBO): Tell people what to do. • Burning platform: Expose or create a crisis to get things going. • Stress Management: Keeping it down. • Golden handcuffs: Keep key people with delayed rewards. • Rationalization trap: Get them into action first. • Tipping: How to get a bigger tip. • Hypnotism: How people are hypnotized. Change Techniques Disciplines > Change Management > Change Techniques These are techniques for creating change in any organization. • Boiling the frog: Incremental changes may well not be noticed.

Companion Close . These are also available. Restructuring: Redesign the organization to force behavior change. Setting goals: Give them a formal objective. 377 . Distraction Close .woo them to the close. Shift-and-sync: Change a bit then pause to restabilize.give them time to think.use manager as authority. Customer-care Close .offering a limited set of choices.• • • • • • • • • • • Re-education: Train the people you have in new knowledge/skills.put it in the diary. Calendar Close . Visioning: Create a motivating view of the future. Conversion techniques. Whole-system Planning: Everyone planning together. Artisan Close . which is the actions taken by the sales person to gain agreement to the sale. Balance-sheet Close . Conditional Close . Sequential requests Closing techniques Techniques > Sales > Closing techniques One of the most important stages of selling is closing the deal. Cost of Ownership Close . Spill-and-fill: Incremental movement to a new organization. Alternative Close .offer delighter to clinch the deal. Refreezing techniques to keep them there. Calculator Close .use calculator to do discount. Bonus Close . Stepwise change: Breaking things down into smaller packages.ensuring people can afford what you are selling. Concession Close . Compliment Close .flatter them into submission.reduce cost to daily amount.acting as if they are ready to decide. Creative methods.close with the principle of three. which are prescribed actions that sales people take to persuade the customer to make the necessary commitment. Assumptive Close .the Customer Care Manager calls later and rethe conversation. Bracket Close . Rites of passage: Use formal rituals to confirm change.adding up the pros and the them the goods. There are many closing techniques in sales. See also Creating a Positive Culture. Demonstration Close .compare cost over time with competitors.with the target in the middle. closure to resolving objections.emphasize how now is the best time to buy. Here are some of these: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • opens • • • 1-2-3 Close . sorted by Lewin's freeze phases.sell to the person with them. Socializing: Build it into the social fabric. Courtship Close .show the skill of the designer. Transitioning techniques to get them to the right place. Reward alignment: Align rewards with desired behaviors.give them a concession in exchange for the close.make three offers . Affordable Close . as: • • • Unfreezing techniques to get them going. Best-time Close . Daily Cost Close .catch them in a weak moment. Ask-the-Manager Close . Adjournment Close .

show you doubt the product and let them disagree. • No-hassle Close . • Think About It Close .show how others are queuing up to buy. • Summary Close . • Shame Close . and invent several closes around satisfying or threatening them. • Shopping List Close .close on a future them to a person in a story.respond only to what you want to hear. • Emotion Close .help them pay less for what they get. • Retrial Close . • Price-promise Close .show negative consequences of not buying. for example. then take it away.give them more info to tip them into closure.relax them with humor.someone else does the final close. • Empathy Close .offer them a special 'valued customer' deal. • Empty-offer Close . going cheap. • Ownership Close .buy now and help save the world. If people feel tricked or otherwise betrayed.tell them all the things they are going to receive.make it as easy as possible.make not buying shameful.persuade them to 'give themselves a treat'.for customers who are delaying.soiled goods.act as if you do not want them to buy the product.make the only option attractive. • Handover Close . • Puppy Close .act as if they own what you are selling. Here are closing tips to help you further. • Future Close . Note how many of these methods follow this rule. then sell to your new friend. You can go to each need. • Humor Close . they will not only not buy from you now.get them saying 'yes' and they'll keep saying 'yes'.acting cute to invoke sympathy and a nurturing response. • Opportunity Cost Close . • Golden Bridge Close . • Thermometer Close .make not buying embarrassing.sell on quality. • Now-or-never Close .not everyone can buy this. • Rational Close .to hurry things up. 'Sell on the tangibles.trigger identified emotions. • Embarrassment Close . • Selective-deafness Close . • Handshake Close . • Give-Take Close . • Repetition Close .go fast to stop them thinking too much.go back to square one.promise to meet any other price. This is a big list. • Economic Close . you close gap. not on price.offer handshake to trigger automatic reciprocation. • Treat Close .give something. • Valuable Customer Close .say how this is for intelligent people. they may well never buy from you ever again or 378 .close first on the small things.use a happy customer to convince the new customer. • Standing-room-only Close . • Quality Close .give them time to think about it. • Extra Information Close . • IQ Close . • Minor points Close . Don't forget the caveat in all of this.empathize with them.tick off list of their needs. • Fire Sale Close . close on the intangibles' is good general advice. • Ultimatum Close . • Testimonial Close . • Similarity Close .they score out of ten. but the real list of closing techniques is almost cost of not buying. • Exclusivity Close .use logic and reason. • Save-the-world close: .see if they are ready for a close.make them an empty offer that the sale fills. • Trial Close . • Reversal Close .• Doubt Close .repeat a closing action several times. • Hurry Close . • Never-the-best-time Close . • Yes-set Close .

Use of Language Conversion Techniques > Conversion Conversion is the changing of beliefs.. Reflecting: Bouncing back what they have said... More. 379 . More. Using Body Language. o Active care. See also Closure. social groups and organizations. • Conversion techniques: methods used to convert people. • Retention techniques: methods used to keep the converted in the group. Extrapolating. Body Language Interrupt. In particular beware of using unsubtle techniques with professional buyers. Sequential requests Books on Sales Closing Conversation techniques Techniques > Conversation techniques Holding a conversation is quite a useful skill that some people do naturally but the rest of us need to work at.. See also Listening. There are about 40 pages in this section. Interrupting: Taking back control so you can speak. Body pointing. including in religions. Using their name Building rapport: Bonding with them. Ask them about themselves. o Agreement Interrupt. Communication. Here are some methods and ideas you can use to initiate and sustain a sparkling conversation! • • • • • • • Opening the conversation: How to get things going. o Ask them easy questions. who can usually see them coming from miles away. o Finding their name. o Ask their opinion. More. Interest in the person. These pages are largely drawn from studies of destructive cults and brainwashing. • Conversion articles: a few additional articles on conversion. Clarification Interrupt... Caught short. Listening.. More. More. although the methods used are surprisingly common elsewhere. o Be negative. Encouraging.. Parroting..even turn all their friends against you. More to come. Closing tips.. Remembering their name. values. More... Their name: The most important thing you say. Argument. o Paraphrasing. Check your list. Closing the conversation: How to walk away. Questioning techniques. • Conversion theories: various explanations and collections of conversion techniques. attitudes and behaviors of individuals into different ideologies.. Concern for the person. Sustaining the conversation: Keeping things going..

at least in more acceptable forms. Keeping busy: so there is no time even to think about leaving. will drift back to their original beliefs. Love Bomb: to hook in the lonely and vulnerable. in many other groups and organizations. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Breaking sessions: that pressure a person until they crack. See also Retention techniques. Guilt: about the past that they can leave behind. 380 . then most people will. Information control: that blocks out dissuading thoughts. Confession: to leave behind the undesirable past. The Brain Syndrome Blogs by subject: Conversion Conversion Books Conversion techniques Techniques > Conversion > Conversion techniques Conversion to a different way of thinking and different beliefs appears in many different situations. Incremental conversion: shifting the person one step at a time. Although the techniques here are drawn from studies of brainwashing and cult conversion. Conditioning Cult links. Christmas compliance. Entrancement: to keep them in a controllable state. Higher purpose: associate desirability with a higher purpose. Dietary control: that weakens the person's thinking. Special language: that offers the allure of power and new meaning. Engagement: that draws a person in. Confession: to keep the person in a position of inferiority. particularly if coercive or authoritarian methods were used. Entrancement: open the mind and limit rational reflection. • • • • • Asset-stripping: that denudes the person of the wherewithal to Brainwashing links http://changingminds. Exhaustion: so they are less able to resist persuasion. Changing values: to change what is right and wrong.See also Conditioning. then it has been found that. Isolation: separating people from dissuasive messages. Persistence: never giving up. Thought-stopping: block out distracting or dissuading thoughts. Institutionalization. if there is no effort to sustain the change. they are surprisingly common. Isolation: separating people from dissuasive messages. wearing you down. Identity destruction: to make space for the new identity.htm Retention techniques Techniques > Conversion > Retention techniques When a person is converted to a particular set of beliefs.

This was particularly frightening at the time as the specter of the communist Russian USSR. was causing 'red under the bed' paranoia. this page explores some of the thinking around brainwashing and cult conversions. See also Conversion techniques Conversion theories Techniques > Conversion > Conversion theories Conversion to a new set of beliefs has been discussed in many different arenas. to standing bound with a rope around the neck such that falling would result in strangulation. and the thought of Americans being converted to communism against their will was terrifying for many. with its escalating nuclear capability.• • • • • Obedience: without questioning authority. Polarization: creating black-and-white choices. Striving: so there is always something more you need. Thought-stopping: blocking out distracting or dissuading thoughts. 381 . Sleep was also regularly disturbed. when American prisoners of war who had been incarcerated by the Chinese returned to America espousing communist ideals. with leaders separated from troops. Their social structure was also broken up. In particular. ranging from starvation to being incarcerated in tiny boxes for days and even months at a time. Special language: that leads you on to inner circles of power. Description The prisoners in Korea first suffered severe physical and psychological stress. • • • • • Brainwashing o Lifton's Brainwashing Processes Lifton's Thought Reform Schein's stages of conversion Hassan's BITE Sudden Conversion Syndrome See also Conditioning Conversion Books Brainwashing Techniques > Conversion > Brainwashing Description | Discussion | See also Brainwashing as a term and modern concept originated in the Korean War. religious expression banned and mail withheld and most other forms of cognitive stimulation removed.

When you are hurt. Overall. Demands were carefully paced. in particular having letters from home withheld and being told that their families did not care about them. When you are drowning in deep dread. if an officer died. Avoiding brainwashing A less-known. Critical factors Critical factors that increased the chance of people being 'brainwashed' included a negative or confused sense of identity and self doubt. this was effectively a 'big stick. They also learned 382 . including self-criticism over breaking of trivial rules. Subsequent studies concluded that there was no single method that led to brainwashing . When you are in total darkness. • Isolation from others. a small morsel of food would seem like a feast. small carrot' approach. then the man below immediately took charge. such as a devolving chain of command where. including: • Daily lectures that lasted for hours about the perils of Capitalism and the benefits of Communism with enforced participation. Coupled with a strong sense of guilt and a tendency towards black-and-white thinking. for example isolation and removal of stimuli that led people to seek any intellectual input. with rewards for initially small collaborations. where the interrogator lived with the prisoner and was often very friendly. clothing and improvements in living conditions. • Interrogations that lasted for weeks. such as food. fact is that there were also many Turkish prisoners of war. small rewards that encouraged the attribution of cooperation to free will and hence. yet none of these succumbed to the brainwashing attempts. subtle temptation. for any form of desired cooperation. When reflecting later about their behavior. would lead to the prisoners to change their beliefs to support their apparent support of Communism. Likewise. learned helplessness and hence a reduced ability to reason and resist. you will seek and be grateful for any rescue. you will grasp at any small straw of hope. it was difficult to blame what became significant acts on what now seemed like small rewards that were given. They also took care to show prisoners that all decisions they made were their own choice. • Humiliation and enforced public confessions.Meanwhile constant attempts were made to recruit them to the Communist cause. First physical and emotional treatment that led to exhaustion. This is attributed to several factors. by the consistency was the combined effect of many methods over a period of time that led to the conversion of the prisoners to belief in Communism. • Small rewards. to a starving person. but notable. followed by escalating requests. even if it was a private soldier. a small light will grab your attention. Thirdly. even Communist. This included an unbalanced diet that led further to brain dysfunction. Secondly. such people would most easily fall into the traps being laid for them. Discussion The overall approach had three main strands.

selfish. for example that group members will be saved when others outside the group will perish. This was particularly true of those with well-integrated and stable personalities. although if these people did convert. Attention is 383 . such as saving the world or helping people in need. which may be termed evil. however. He called the method used thought reform. Mystical manipulation A part of the teaching is that the group has a higher purpose than others outside the group. which is the ideology that is being inculcated in them. isolation from the ideas. Milieu control All communication with outside world is limited. Away from the controlled environment. and individuals are discouraged from thinking incorrect thoughts. See also Lifton's Brainwashing Processes Lifton's Thought Reform Techniques > Conversion > Lifton's Thought Reform Milieu control | Mystical manipulation | Confession | Self-sanctification through purity | Aura of sacred science | Loaded language | Doctrine over person | Dispensed existence | See also Robert Jay Lifton was one of the early psychologists to study brainwashing and mind control. Wearing off It has also been found that conversion seldom continues forever. This may be altruistic. and offered the following eight methods that are used to change people's minds.methods from each other of psychologically detaching themselves from the situation and viewing it all objectively and dispassionately. All things are then attributed and linked to this higher purpose. the effects of brainwashing gradually tend to wear off. It seems their realization of the dangers gave them sufficient cognitive efforts to resist. It may also be selfish. as original values and beliefs that may not have been fully eradicated (and in effect had gone into hiding) start to reassert themselves. Coincidences (which actually may be deliberately engineered) are portrayed as symbolic events. This even works at the intrapersonal level. Without treatment. Whether it is a monastery or a behind-closed-doors cult. either being strictly filtered or completely cut off. examples and distractions of the outside world turns the individuals attention to the only remaining form of stimulation. immoral and so on. they would then remain faithful to the new ideology for longest. Other studies have shown that those who most feared capitulation were actually those who were in least danger. the general psychological effects of the trauma caused by the conversion methods can have longerlasting effects.

they become our friends. master. This association of events is used as evidence that the group truly is special and exclusive. Confession Individuals are encouraged to confess past 'sins' (as defined by the group). particularly if the statement is made publicly. The consistency principle thus leads the person to fully adopt the belief that the sin is bad and to distance themselves from repeating it. The dogma of the group is presented as scientifically correct or otherwise unquestionable. who are taught that such atonement and self-flagellation is a valuable method of reaching higher levels of perfection. Self-sanctification through purity Individuals are encouraged to constantly push towards an ultimate and unattainable perfection. Loaded language New words and language are created to explain the new and profound meanings that have been discovered.) or by giving them new authority within the group. and we will tend to adopt their beliefs more easily. Discussion of inner fears and anxieties. This creates a tension between the person's actions and their stated belief that the action is bad. Rules and processes are therefore to be followed without question. traveller. and any transgression is a sin and hence requires atonement or other forms of punishment. When we bond with others. The unattainability of the ultimate perfection is used to induce guilt and show the person to be sinful and hence sustain the requirement for confession and obedience to those higher than them in the groups order of perfection. etc. 384 . This may be rewarded with promotion within the group to higher levels. This also has the effect of exhausting people. which may be meted out by the higher members of the group or even by the person themselves. as well as confessing sins is exposing vulnerabilities and requires the person to place trust in the group and hence bond with them. Revelations are attributed to spiritual causes. absolute and nonnegotiable. for example by giving them a new status name (acolyte.given to the problems of out-group people and attributed to their not being in the group. This effect may be exaggerated with intense sessions where deep thoughts and feelings are regularly surfaced. as does consideration of any alternative viewpoints. Existing words are also hijacked and given new and different meaning. Aura of sacred science The beliefs and regulations of the group are framed as perfect. Not being perfect may be seen as deserving of punishment. making them more open to suggestion.

where people who are being elevated within the order are given the power of understanding this new language. values and words of those outside the group are equally invalid. In fact this conflict can be used as a reason for confession of sins. no free will. Inc. the beliefs. such that wrong-doers are framed as terrible and evil. and consequently work hard to be accepted and not be ejected from the group. Dispensation also goes into all aspects of living within the group. giving a sense of exclusivity.. weak. perhaps. The consequence of this is that the person who controls the meaning of words also controls how people think. There is no privacy and.W. 1963. In this way. Norton & Co. whilst outsiders are doomed to failure and loss (which may be eternal). ultimately. The meaning of words are kept hidden both from the outside world. There are no rights of membership except.This is particularly effective due to the way we think a lot though language. People who leave the group are singled out as particularly evil. black-and-white thinking is embedded in the language. Thus. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. beliefs and values can all thus be cast as being invalid if they conflict with group rules. they are used as examples of how anyone who leaves will be looked down upon and publicly denigrated. Rather than being ignored or hidden. Past experiences. The meaning of special words may also be revealed in careful illuminatory rituals. Outsiders who try to persuade the person to leave are doubly feared. W. Who is an outsider or insider is chosen by the group. Schein's stages of conversion Techniques > Conversion > Schein's stages of conversion Unfreezing | Changing | Refreezing | See also 385 . for the leader. any person within the group may be damned at any time. See also Robert Jay Lifton. Insiders are to be saved and elevated. Any and all aspects of existence within the group is subject to scrutiny and control. People thus have a constant fear of being cast out. whilst those who do right (as defined by the group) are perfect and marvellous. Along with this comes the importance of the the group's ideas and rules over personal beliefs and values. Doctrine over person The importance of the group is elevated over the importance of the individual in all ways. Likewise. lost or otherwise to be despised or pitied.. Dispensed existence There is a very sharp line between the group and the outside world.

Thus the person uses these beliefs and patterns without thinking when faced with relevant situations. it is important to isolate the person from any disconfirming evidence or other persuasive forces that might pull them back to their original beliefs. Behavior Modification Techniques Behavior modification methods are used. Mystical Manipulation 'Mystical manipulation' involves interpreting coincidental and the perception of coincidental or inevitable events as spiritual signs. He identified the following activities that are used during changing: New Identification A new identity for the target person is imposed formally in indoctrination sessions as well as informally through personal relations with individuals. Throughout these stages. beliefs. including reward and punishment.Edgar Schein was one of the original psychologists who investigated brainwashing. values. making them normal rather than new. they will come to accept the new beliefs as normal. 386 . He identified three basic stages (similar to Kurt Lewin's change stages). During refreezing. Unfreezing The person current beliefs. monotony. and rhythm are often used to numb the thought processes of recruits. praying. decreeing. and converting activities are framed as being friendly or casual. Recruits are trained that such signs are symbols of the greatness of the group. After a long enough period of being banned from criticism and not receiving any external encouragement. the person is generally kept unaware of the intent of conversion. Mind-altering Techniques Hypnosis. It is also important that there is a period during which the person is not allowed to criticize or question the new ideas in any way. books on group doctrines. etc. etc. and visions. thoughtstopping methods. are instilled in the target person. and the control of environment. repetition. tapes. These are often carried out through excessive chanting. Eliciting of Confession Testimonials and/or confessions are forcibly and continually extracted from recruits as a means of keeping recruits dependent and obedient. Changing The 'Changing' phase is where new behaviors. are shaken such that they start to doubt themselves and seek alternative ways of understanding. Refreezing Refreezing involves fixing the new beliefs into the basic patterning of the individual.

such that all information supports the group. that has the acronym 'BITE': • • • • Behavior Control Information Control Thought Control Emotional Control What is perhaps scary is that much of this can. Schein with Inge Schneier and Curtis H. 'Thought-stopping' practices such as chanting. Words are invented and reinterpreted to have special meaning. Information Control The information that the person has access to is strictly controlled. This is typically coerced by repeated punishment of self-willed actions. Information made available is massaged to provide 'proof' of group ideals. Coercive Persuasion: A Socio-psychological Analysis of the "Brainwashing" of American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists. Barker. from what they wear and eat to what they do each moment of the day. thus ensuring individuals do not get hold of inappropriate information (whilst also helping to increase the status and desirability of higher positions within the organization). meditation and prayer are used to create altered states of suggestibility and lack of challenge. Thought Control The thinking of individuals is controlled first by an implicit assumption that the ideas and ideals of the group are correct and unchallengeable.See also Edgar H. Individuals are encouraged to report on one another and also on their own innermost thoughts and confess 'sins'. Anything else is framed as a polar opposite and hence to be avoided or destroyed. Buzz phrases and clichés are used to simplify complex situations into trivial things that can be discounted or adopted without deep thought. Information within the group is based on 'need to know' and seniority rules. be applied to most organizations! Behavior Control Behavior control involves regulation of every part of the life of the target person.W. plus reward of actions that follow given rules. New York: W. 387 . Norton. 1961 Hassan's BITE Techniques > Conversion > Hassan's BITE Behavior Control | Information Control | Thought Control | Emotional Control | See also Steve Hassan is a well-known cult member turned anti-cult proponent. at least to some degree. its beliefs and that which directs the person's action. He describes four areas of control that are used to convert and retain people in groups. Outside information is blocked to avoid disconfirming evidence.

and (b) alternative beliefs being right. believing in white (and disbelieving in black). 388 . Sudden people often make excellent protagonists. and particularly if they see our beliefs are being wrong. They may appear to prefer structure and logic. If they believe in black. they can only leap the chasm between black and white in a single bound. going from strong opposition to an idea to strong support of it. Extreme positions are taken that jerk emotions between excitement and dread. If there is conflicting evidence about the area in question. then the person can more easily ask searching questions and pay attention to whichever evidence confirms their current belief. especially if the person in question is particularly susceptible to such forces. Guilt is regularly used to show a bad past that must be shunned and overcome. Sudden Conversion Syndrome Techniques > Conversion > Sudden Conversion Syndrome The sudden personality | Consistent evidence | Social pressure | See also The 'Sudden Conversion Syndrome' occurs where a person switches diametrically a belief in a short space of time. punishment within the group and doing anything without approval. then for them to convert. losing salvation.Emotional Control Emotions are both controlled and used to persuade. which they get by seeking and creating certainties in their lives. Consistent evidence Sudden conversion is more likely to occur when there is significant and consistent evidence points to (a) current beliefs being wrong. The sudden personality The sudden conversion experience typically happens to people who see the world more in black and white. making this a significant effect. Most of us are strongly affected by social pressures. as they go from vocal and visible opposition to 'seeing the light' and subsequent vocal and visible advocacy in a short space of time. Fear is induced about outside threats. then we will feel a powerful urge to convert to their way of thinking. People who leave are framed as weak or evil. People who convert suddenly may also have a high need for control. If all of our friends clearly have strong beliefs in one area. Self-sustaining phobias are thus created about anything that may challenge the group's ideals. although this logic may be made of false arguments as they seek emotional certainty over truth. Social pressure Social pressure is another strong factor that influences conversion.

suggestion Exhaustion | Confusion | Suggestion | See also By using a combination of exhaustion and confusion. such that they are almost too tired to think. where a low level of activity with no time for rest wears them down gradually. Theories about groups Conversion articles Techniques > Conversion > Conversion articles Conversion to a new set of beliefs has been discussed in many different arenas. The person first is exhausted and then starts to struggle in vain and eventually gives themself to their fate. • Social psychological conditioning: Five stages used by terrorists in conversion. confusion. going on at great length to wear down their opponents. Erratic meal times and an imbalance of foods will upset the body and brain chemistry. It is much like drowning. Exhaustion. using complex arguments and following up with a request for agreement. • Exhaustion. where you may see someone hold the stage. Keeping them busy is a subtle and persistent method of erosion. Generally. confusion. physically. • Conversion is: Defining what we mean. this page explores some of the thinking around brainwashing and cult conversions. Diet also has an affect on people's state of alertness. mentally and emotionally. • Ten Stages to Conversion: Steps commonly used along the way. • Brainwashing: The basic structure.See also Beliefs. suggestibility is whereby people can be more easily persuaded. Once regularly used by police for interrogation. • The vulnerable persona: The person who is easily converted. confusion. In particular. suggestion Techniques > Conversion > Exhaustion. External chemicals such as various narcotics can also be used to cause this up-and-down effect that has the overall downwards progression of 'one step up and two steps down'. • Cults: Definitions and methods. Exhaustion The first stage in breaking down a person is by exhausting them. This method is used surprisingly often in everyday conversation. a lack of any essential nutrient will lead to exhaustion. A series of shocks that trigger the Fight-or-Flight reaction cause an initial adrenaline rush followed by the inevitable down. this method has since been shown to be too effective at getting innocent people to confess to crimes they did not commit. Conversion. suggestion: Three common stages. 389 .

Leading questions. then we can predict what will happen and hence control our environment 390 . under stress. lectures. Information Control. How it works Breaking patterns Repeating patterns of events help us predict and feel a good sense of control about the world. and is thus forced to think hard about. See also Breaking Sessions. confused and subsequently persuaded. for example showing that people that you thought were your friends are now acting as if they are your enemies or somehow do not care about you.Confusion When people are exhausted. figures information and data that is simply too much for them to process. then we become uncertain. they will grasp at straws. Losing control One of the deep needs we have is to be able to understand the world around us. and so on. for example. If we understand. Various other forms of information control allow the person to be manipulated. people seek reduction in stress rather than any thoughtful outcome. as people miss the fact that they are being led and are only too happy to agree. videos. The overload effect is accelerated if the information is relevant to them. The more senses that are assailed. Satisficing Confusion principle Principles > Confusion principle Principle | How it works | So what? Principle A drowning person will clutch at a straw. Other forms of persuasive language will also be far more likely to effective. When patterns are are disrupted. So push them under water then offer a straw. seeking an answer to the problem that it faces. Satisficing is the effect where. Suggestion When people are confused. Confusion is caused by information that the mind cannot process. and virtually anything you suggest will be gratefully accepted. then their cognitive capabilities are not fully functional they are far easier to confuse. Internal conflict and consequent confusion particularly happens when a person sees themself as acting outside their own values and other aspects of their own identity. if it is interrelated and if it is inherently complex. will more easily lead to the answers which are sought. Another method of confusion is to deliberately offer conflicting information. Confusion principle. the quicker the confusion arises. It may be delivered as things to read. Deluge the person with facts. discussions. Overload of information is a simple method of confusion.

Overload is multiplied when what is being communicated is complex or difficult to understand. When the expectation does not meet what was predicted. People expect you to follow those rules. So what? The most common way of confusing someone is simply to overload them. Just as a drowning man will clutch at a straw. Clutching at straws Increasing stress leads to a point when we go from seeking the best solution to the problem at hand to seeking a solution just to reduce the stress. Satisficing. Need for completion. perhaps unsurprisingly. Unexpected surprise When we predict. Bounded Rationality Cults Techniques > Conversion > Cults Description | Discussion | See also 391 . There are many written and unwritten rules of conversation and interpersonal communication. If you break them. used by hypnotists as a method of hypnotic induction. and consequently find nirvana. we set up expectation. they will quickly become confused. Sends you inside What is the sound of one hand clapping? What is the sound of a tree falling in the forest when nobody is there? What is the point of such meaningless Zen sayings? The clue is in the deeper intent of Zen. When we cannot make sense of our experiences. we are surprised and confused and have to stop to figure out what is going on. Confusion is used in many persuasion techniques as a way of destabilizing the other person. making you think so hard about what they mean that you forget yourself. Lewin's freeze phases Motivation theories. As you struggle to find a meaning where none exists. It is especially effective if what you are saying is of interested and makes them think and want to respond. The confusing koans are designed specifically to send you inside. Herbert Simon called this 'Satisficing'. where a A major goal is to find enlightenment. the assumption that an answer must exist sends you on an ever-deepening spiral. Confusion is a method that is. Confusion can send you so far inside and so deep that it puts you into a trance. so also will a confused person grab at any idea you offer them in the hope that it will help them crawl out the sea of confusion in which they are wallowing.and stay safe. See also Need for a sense of control. This effectively shortens the time to the point where the other person becomes overloaded and needs to stop and process the information given to them. Just keep giving them things until they crack. we feel confused and scared and seek a way of getting out of the cognitive deep water in which we find ourselves.

They will use harsh techniques. Such groups often cause the families of its members great distress as they are rejected and alienated by their formerly loving children and siblings. the universe and everything. justifying their use by assertions (and maybe genuinely held beliefs) that they are saving their targets from damnation or worse. which can range from companies to families to street gangs to religious groups. be justified by cult members) include: • Initially very friendly. of course. prayer. A further way of identifying such cults is that the are often quite Machiavellian in their methods. of course. for example. etc. convert and subjugate their will to that of the leader and the group. becoming more demanding • Out-group people cast as sinful. This difference in values leads to very strong emotions around their intent and methods. where the leader takes the position of ultimate expert in intellectual discussions about life. absolute power only extends to ideas. The basic definition A best definition of a 'cult' for our purposes is simply a group of people with an authoritarian structure. Absolute power In simple spiritual or knowledge cults. the leader may be ceded total control over every aspect of their followers lives. in an academic discipline. At the other extreme. devotion and money • Pressure to donate large sums of your own assets • Leaders can do no wrong and must always be obeyed • Non-stop work. Thus. then you may be in a destructive cult. Destructive cults There is thus a spectrum of what could be called cults. corrupt absolutely. Some indicators of destructive cults (which will. are groups where members are subjected to a range of 'mind control' methods intended to attract. The cult literature generally focuses on this end of the spectrum. such that the leader has total authority. Many others view these methods as unethical. 392 . a respected professor who has founded the field may be effectively unchallenged by others working in the field. What is generally called 'cults'. from Jim Jones' suicidal group to more peaceful groups of drop-outs who are just trying to avoid the pressures of the rat-race. however. bad or deluded • Members live in poverty. either from curiosity about how such things happen or with concern for those drawn into such situations. cannot be questioned and is always right. that fills every moment • Severe punishment (psychological and/or physical) for transgressions • Motivation through encouraging feelings of guilt If you are in a group where some or all of these are true.The term 'cult' brings to mind a range of different ideas. leaders live in luxury • A focus on obedience. This absolute power can.

This includes breaking of all ties with families. They may also have difficulty forming relationships outside the home. yet not as radical as the more extreme groups which they may eventually be encouraged to join. 393 . conversion and retention are. for example in school or at work. All others become a distant 'them' who can be described generically as 'they are all the same'. Depluralization Stripping away of membership of all other groups. as the person first joins intermediate groups who may have a more radical position. both ideologically and emotionally. when we are discussing these matters. Thus. The methods of attraction. He noted that terrorists tend to come from families where the father is absent or otherwise lacking in ability to provide the normal guiding role. Self-deindividuation Stripping away the person's identity. See also Links to cult sites. This may include changes of clothing. we simply talk about 'groups' rather than use the more emotive 'cults'. Values Social psychological conditioning Techniques > Conversion > Social psychological conditioning Depluralization | Self-deindividuation | Other-deindividuation | Dehumanization | Demonization | See also Anthony Stahelski (1974) identified five stages of social psychological conditioning used by terrorists that have very close similarity with techniques used by cults. This may be a slow process. This may well also include separating them from their families. who might well attempt to persuade them back to a more normal way of thinking and acting. This happens when they are 'ready'. evaluate or name such groups (see links to sites which do this). This identity destruction allows the terrorist organization to reconstruct the person's core identity as a fighter. bomber or other role needed by the group. and thus are attracted to groups who offer acceptance and comradeship. however of great interest. friends and other groups who are now outsiders. Right and wrong (and hence values) are accepted from group leaders without question. for example to wear clothes that are similar to the extreme others and which may be a military uniform of some kind. taking several years. Other-deindividuation Stripping away the personal identities of enemies prevents any relationship with them. thus isolating the person and making them more susceptible to the terrorist messages.This site does not judge.

debased. There is constant pressure for unquestioning obedience to the authority in the group. unreliable. Isolation helps this. unwanted behaviors and for new behaviors. information control can be applied. March 2004 Ten Stages to Conversion Techniques > Conversion > Ten Stages to Conversion Control environment | Physical fatigue | Mental fatigue | Uncertainty | Confession | Superstimulation | Crisis | Euphoria | Proselytization | Restimulation | See also These are ten stages identified by Melia and Ryder that lead to conversion. germs) and deserving of being killed. They are framed as animals (rats. such that destroying them is actually doing the world a favor. as well as restrictive cults. They train hard together. for example by death threats to family and friends. thus creating strong social bonds between the groups members. Anthony: Terrorists Are Made. 2. Those who wish to leave may be coerced into staying.Dehumanization Framing the enemy as being less than human. so if control of this can be applied then much behavior can also be managed and directed. etc.. Physical fatigue When the body is exhausted. 1. lack of sleep. cockroaches. much as the training of more legitimate military units. See also Stahelski. Institutions such as prisons.) or worse (filth. immoral. This includes and control of stimuli both for old. turning them them into objects that are easy to attack without shame or guilt. monasteries and college campuses use this.. Others are thus defined as stupid. Control of the environment We take many behavioral cues from our environment. Demonization Framing the enemy as being evil. and so on. Once isolated. the person will be less resistant to suggestion and will more easily break down. Journal of Homeland Security. Physical fatigue can be caused by such as excessive exercise. Not Born: Creating Terrorists Using Social Psychological Conditioning. inadequate nutrition and 394 . unrepentant and unredeemably bad. Destroying evil thus becomes the act of the righteous and earns salvation and other spiritual accolade and reward. And.

Confession Confession leads to letting go of the old ways and feeling guilty about not adopting the new ways and beliefs. It can also be enhanced with both legal and illegal drugs. 6. challenging conversations. dancing and flashing lights. including chanting. interpersonal conflicts. removing control. from tobacco to narcotics. sure of the higher purpose of what they are doing. Superstimulation Stimulation is necessary for our normal functioning. and so on. financial problems. Proselytization Now converted. Crises may be deliberately provoked by such as breaking sessions. If any doubt remains. drumming. we may be transitioned into overwhelming altered states and euphoria in which we may be persuaded to other ways. Crisis Crises. 9. then this action seals the knot of belief. having to solve difficult problems. Mental fatigue Physical fatigue leads to mental fatigue. having to listen to and understand complex sermons. 4. Euphoria Euphoria is an altered state that can be achieved through forms of entrancement or sudden realization and learning. which is the main goal of making the person suggestible. strengthening the new pattern of thinking and acting. marching. threatening punishment. Mental fatigue can be created by engagement and tasks such as having to learn long tracts of text. 7. which leads in turn to further mental fatigue. 8.3. 5. which can be caused by any of the previous stages can be a trigger to emotional breakdowns and consequent deep change. 395 . This is often a moment of breakthrough and change to the new way of thinking. Superstimulation is triggered through such as heavy rhythm. Uncertainty can also be used to challenge existing beliefs. Tension may be caused by reframing old beliefs. but if we overload on it. making that which once was assumed to be always true into something that is shaky and open to change. Tension and uncertainty Uncertainty leads to tension. judging and other threats. the person becomes an evangelical zealot and ready to convince others. In particular that which once was unclear now becomes clear and important.

of literally becoming 'nobody'. self-esteem and confidence. too have been damaged by their own upbringing. particularly in their teens when they take their values from their peers. A weak sense of identity A most common problem that many people face is that they have a weak sense of identity. Teachers also echo the role of parents and an early offhand criticism can deeply wound the child for many years. and although most do their best. as they are easy to convert and easy to retain. In order to shore up this position. predictability and completion. Even annoyed attention is better than none. Dysfunction can thus echo down through generations of people. When a person finds ambiguity frightening. A need for reassurance In this low identity position. In transactional terms. then they are susceptible to methods that place them in uncertain and ambiguous positions. the commitment must be deepened and assured. they feel their sense of self leaking away. Restimulation Once converted. Low self-esteem When people are not sure of who they are. both to attack and also to using support as a lure. The vulnerable persona Techniques > Conversion > The vulnerable persona A weak sense of identity | Conditioning | Converting the vulnerable | See also There are some people who are more susceptible to conversion than others.10. and tend to repeat the patterns that they received. They look at others and consider them superior. Psychologist Eric Ericson showed in his Developmental Stage Theory how easy it is for well-meaning parents to damage their children's trust. This makes them vulnerable. A need for certainty Another factor that affects vulnerability is the person's need for certainty and a sense of control that seeks certainty. Social conditioning Children are also affected by their social environment. they will often feel inferior to other people. Groups seeking new members often prey on such people. they will often seek succor from others in the form of praise and other forms of attention. casting out of any remaining previous behaviors and beliefs and hammering home the new. They look in the mirror and see a child. Conditioning Parental conditioning Parents are not taught how to be good parents. they. they see themselves as a child and others as parents. 396 . This fear of annihilation can be very debilitating. This may be enacted by repetition of previous stages. and they can easily fall into such as the 'recognize me' game. such that they seek support for this from others. Often this is due to problems in their past.

regular maintenance is required. Reinforcement: Post-action motivation. such as the Love Bomb. Four stressors: different methods of causing stress. so maintain the person's sense of identity in a weakened state.Institutional conditioning People can also be conditioned into vulnerable states by institutions such as the army. often from their body language alone. Easy retention Groups do not let their members become harmful to the group itself. punishment and behavior. the breadth of his discoveries are often reduced into a few words. However. Behavior and Consequent. is consequently easy to control. where much of their environment is controlled and they have been taught to obey orders without question. As with much historical research. the identity is attacked and destroyed through various identity-destruction and confusion techniques. and they may emerge with a much stronger 'new' identity. An easy conversion A weak sense of identity makes for an easy conversion. Conditioning Explanations > Conditioning Ivan Pavlov is famed for his experiments with dogs in discovering Classical Conditioning (although it is less known that this was a by-product in his researches into digestion. are highly effective. if the person is left to their own devices their conversion will become extinct more easily. for which he received a Nobel Prize). • • • • • • • A brief history of Behaviorism: Some key protagonists. Easy attraction Vulnerable people are easily identified. They will easily seek attention and hence methods that offer them attention. many of whom are basically vulnerable. Classical Conditioning: Pavlov's original triggering of responses. This gives the vulnerable person an ideal way of leaving behind their past weakness. This is why some groups have very high levels of activity with their members. as they regularly think about such things themselves. This section provides more space to explore some of the more interesting discoveries he made. although controlled retention is easy. First. Operant Conditioning: Reward. Extinction: removal of conditioned or undesirable behaviors. The vulnerable person is thus constantly reminded of such punishment and. Next. ABC analysis: Understanding Antecedent. Thus the threat of expulsion is very scary for many people in whatever groups they belong. the new group identity is imprinted. 397 . The vulnerable conversion The vulnerable person is affected in two ways when faced with conversion attempts on them. Leaving such a secure and predictable environment can be highly unsettling and leaves many ex-soldiers in a highly vulnerable state.

stimulus or both. Discussion ABC is the 'complete package' of a behavior including not only its cause but also the reinforcement that leads to it being embedded as a repeating pattern. • Types of Operant Conditioning: The four types of conditioning. It can be helpful to break the pattern down into this sequence to better understand critical points and root causes. more like ABABABAC. So what? Whilst realizing that dogs and people are not quite the same. ABC provides a useful method that is easy to explain and consequently may be accepted in situations where you want to help people change. • Transmarginal Inhibition: When faced with stress the body may shut down. it nevertheless gives many interesting pointers that may well indicate how people may behave under similar conditions. ABC can be a whole string of cause and effect. as below. Example The ABC patterns of couple who are disagreeing is analyzed using a table. ABC analysis involves understanding the stimuli for behavior and the subsequent events that may act as reinforcement. and hence discoveries about the behavior of dogs cannot be directly translated into the human domain. 398 .• The dog temperaments: four different types of response to stress. Analyze a behavior not just by looking at what happened but also at what happened beforehand to trigger the behavior and what happened afterwards to reinforce it. encouraging the pattern to repeat again in the future. Antecedent Small niggly complaints Person arrives late Behavior Explosion into argument Other person complains Consequent The pleasure of making up Discomfort for the rest of the evening This is used to help find ways to break the overall pattern and hence help them live together more harmoniously. ABC analysis Explanations > Conditioning > ABC analysis Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description ABC stands for Antecedent-Behavior-Consequent. Then change the behavior by changing the reinforcement. • Three stages of breakdown: during which behavior changes.

she always made me feel warm and wanted. 399 . Classical Conditioning does not work in all circumstances. Thus the association is made between the US and CS. In particular it is more effective where the conditioning may be of evolutionary benefit. UR). Classical Conditioning Explanations > Theories > Classical Conditioning Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description If a stimulus that results in an emotional response is repeated alongside another stimulus which does not cause an emotional response. When I smell the perfume now. learn to avoid the electric shock when it was paired with light and noise (but injection+light/noise failed). ringing a bell and then feeding them. Maybe this is related to learning about natural hazards like lightning or falling objects. he could ring the bell and their mouths would salivate. but they did not learn to avoid the liquid when they received electric shocks afterwards. Garcia and Koelling (1966) showed that rats soon learned to avoid a sweet-tasting liquid when it was followed by an injection that made them ill. or just before the noise. In more detail.ABC analysis could be called SBR is just that ABC is more likely to be remembered and can be more client-friendly (behaviorist terms can be a bit too reminiscent of Pavlovian conditioning). If a movement is made at the same time as. eventually the second stimulus will result in the same emotional response. The rats did. for Stimulus-Behavior-Reinforcement -. So what? Use this method to help analyze patterns of dysfunctional behavior (yours and others) and hence find ways of breaking the pattern and hence improving the situation. such as moving hands to clap loudly (conditional stimulus. then the person will learn to flinch when the movement is made without the noise necessarily being there (the conditional response. She always wore a particular perfume. I immediately feel warm and wanted. Research Pavlov did famous experiments with dogs. For example a sudden noise (an unconditional stimulus. we are pre-conditioned to unconditionally respond in certain ways to stimuli. US) makes us flinch (the unconditional response. Presumably this is connected with learning what foods they could safely eat. however. with either stimulating the same response. CR). Example I liked my aunt. After a while. CS). Classical Conditioning is thus ‘learning by association’.

So what? Using it If you want to persuade someone to do something. Eventually. Check that they're not trying to program you. The uncertainty as to whether the person will win or lose gives opportunity for prediction (and hope) of winning. This is called 'extinction'. the reward or punishment has been applied irregularly. then a second condition has been created where. however. but is not 100% certain in all cases. Then do that specific thing and they'll think of doing the desired behavior. Natural extinction Behavior that have been created may become extinct if they are not fully maintained. Defending Watch out for people repeatedly touching you or having strange behaviors. 400 . Extinction Explanations > Conditioning > Extinction Natural extinction | Extinction through accustomizing | Extinction through extreme experience | So what? Whereas conditioning is about creating a desired behavior. If the stimulus is not applied and the response thus not generated over a long period of time. This situation takes longer for the pattern to become extinct. An important factor here is that conditioning must be maintained. If. as the person is now maintaining it themselves. upon receiving the stimulus. is not a one-shot activity and requires constant attention. Predictability of stimulus If the condition has been created with regular and predictable reward or punishment. it is often desirable to eradicate other behaviors. Gradual decay At any time. This implies that the underlying persona is not changed at a fundamental level. a response has at best a probabilistic correlation with stimuli. the person forecasts and imagines the reward or punishment being applied. for example. with sufficiently frequent rehearsals and re-stimulus-and-response. and that conversion. This is one reason why gambling is so addictive. by accident or trial the person will find that the reward or punishment does not happen and thus the behavior gradually becomes extinct. for the pattern to continue over time. then probability of conditioned behavior happening will decay in a given pattern. then the absence of the reward or punishment will quickly lead to extinction. without external stimuli. get them to do it at the same time as doing something they like doing. For example the person who has not heard the loud noise for some time would not experience as much discomfort as they would soon after conditioning. A loud noise that has been associated with pain will very likely cause a person anguish. Do something specific every time they do something you want (like touching them somewhere or making a specific sound).

with his discovery of the three stages of breakdown. This is also apparent in the use of pornography. This leads them to seek to capture the experience with further extremely careful with flooding (it is not recommended except by psychological professionals). Don't bother with aversion methods . you can either ignore it and hope it goes away. analogous to medical inoculation. techniques such as electric shocks have been used. In therapy. A stimulus is constantly applied and more extreme responses encouraged until there is a sudden reversal and the stimulus no longer has any effect. but actually exacerbating it to the extreme. and sometimes yet more erotic (and even illegal) tendencies. then they remember how easily they defended against the weak attack and so are better able to handle the real thing. So what? If you want to eradicate a behavior. 401 . and are understandably controversial (if you have seen Stanley Kubrick's 'Clockwork Orange' then you will appreciate the potential effects). or you can deliberately use desensitation or flooding methods . where you present a weakened form of the experience such that the person finds it easy (and even laughably so) to resist a simulated 'attack'.Extinction through accustomizing Another way of making a behavior extinct is to help the person become accustomed to the stimulus and hence not find it frightening or stimulating in any way. Aversion therapy Aversion therapy uses the methods of conditioning to break a conditioned experience. Desensitization When a person receives a stimulus and experiences the conditioned response a number of times. as done wrong it can simply worsen the situation. This is used in therapy for example by starting with a weak triggering. where dogs faced with near-death experiences 'forgot' all of their previous conditioning (and it took Pavlov several months to reinstate them). then the intensity of the emotion they feel may well become dulled with familiarity. where it is called flooding. Extinction through extreme experience A strange thing that happens sometimes is that a behavior may become extinct not through ignoring the triggers that cause it. and increasing the stimulus at the speed at which the person becomes desensitized. Reversing breakdown Pavlov found. A person who is stimulated by a pornographic image will find that it soon has less effect than it previously had. Thus a behavior that is not desirable is punished when it appears. a fourth stage. Flooding This is used in therapy.they are not reliable and could cause moral backlashes. It is not clear the extent to which aversion therapy works at all. Inoculation Inoculation is a simple method. When faced with the real situation.

As with the effect of delay. that the dog would start to go into a breakdown process. Pavlov discovered four different ways in which he could induce stress in them. Confusion Finally. Physical stressors are pain and exhaustion. Directedness Direct threat Indirect erosion Exhaustion Pavlov's four stressors Physical Pain Stress target Mental Delay Confusion 402 . Discussion Two of these stressors are physical and two are mental. the result was that the dogs' ability to resist stress was weakened. Either way. either by over-working them or by depriving them of food. and hence became confused and uncertain. Delay A further way of inducing stress was to cause cognitive distress by inserting a delay between the ringing of the bell (that signaled meal-time) and the delivery of the food to the dog. this method induced additional cognitive processing that eventually led to exhaustion and an inability to cope. Mental stressors delay and confusion.See also Conversion techniques Four stressors Explanations > Conditioning > Four stressors The four stressors | Discussion | So what? In his experiments with dogs. He found that if the voltage was too high. The four stressors Pain Pavlov used electric shocks to the legs of the dogs as a part of the conditioning process. The dogs thus experienced the Cognitive Dissonance of expecting food and finding that it was not there when it should be. he could use conflicting signals such that the dogs could not predict what to expect. Another way of dividing them is by the methods of direct threat and indirected erosion. Exhaustion Another physical method of causing stress was to exhaust them. Thus we can create the 2x2 matrix as below.

do not punish them when they do not work— reward them when they do. It will decrease if it is followed by punishment. they quickly learned to deliberately press it to get food. Favorable circumstances are generally known as reinforcing stimuli or reinforcers. In any situation where other people may suffer stress and distress. 403 . So what? Using it If you want someone to work harder. To be effective.These stressors have a remarkable similarity to methods used in Conversion techniques such as Brainwashing. Whereas Classical Conditioning involves automatic. Also. they should punish only behaviors they wish to extinguish--they should not punish for not doing what should be done. always remember the caveat. Research Skinner put rats and pigeons in a box where pressing a lever resulted in food being dispensed. Operant Conditioning associates a stimulus and a response. From accidental knocking of the lever. the other methods are regularly used to various degrees. See also Confusion principle. pre-programmed responses. So what? Although direct pain is seldom a real choice in human persuasion. including in many day-to-day situations as well as specific environments such as military interrogation. Conversion techniques Operant Conditioning Explanations > Theories > Operant Conditioning Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References Description A behavior will increase if it is followed by positive reinforcement. Example Parents often try to balance praise and punishment. whilst unfavorable circumstances are known as punishing stimuli or punishers. Operant Conditioning involves learned behaviors. Operant Conditioning is also known as Instrumental Conditioning. whilst Classical Conditioning associates two stimuli. If you want them to stop smoking. Operant Conditioning is thus ‘learning by consequences’. make it unpleasant when they do rather than pleasant when they refrain.

Intrinsic reinforcement Intrinsic reinforcement is reinforcement that is done internally. I will still smile and thank you. You hand me the salt and I say thank you. Negative reinforcement 404 . so you keep offering me the salt. In other words it is something we do to ourselves. Extrinsic reinforcement Extrinsic reinforcement is reinforcement from without. Conditioning. such as thanks or smiles. the degree of physicality in the response or the alacrity with which the response is gained. Next time you might offer me the salt without being asked. Secondary reinforcement Secondary reinforcement is less clear and is learned only through experience or musing. for example. Primary reinforcement Primary reinforcement has a clear causal connection between behavior and reinforcement. When there is a delay. Reinforcement Reinforcement Explanations > Conditioning > Reinforcement Description | Example | Discussion | So what? Description Reinforcement anything that tends to increase either the strength or frequency of a response. Thus. Positive reinforcement Positive reinforcement is where something pleasant happens after a behavior. The frequency of the response may be measured by the probability of the response.See also Classical Conditioning. Timing is important in reinforcement. clearly outside of our internal thinking. a person who cooks a friend a particular meal discovers after doing this several times that it seems to make the other person somewhat friendlier. then the causal connection is easier for the other person to identify and internalize. The strength of a response may be measured with such as the intensity of emotion experience. although this may be done with external stimulus. Classic examples of extrinsic reinforcements are money and physical punishment. As a result. the behavior increases. When a reinforcement is applied immediately after a behavior. for example where complying with a simple request results in the reinforcement of thanks. that connection becomes increasingly difficult to make and hence the reinforcement becomes less effective or takes longer to effect the desired change. given a stimulus and the number of times that the response is achieved.

but am still anxious about what will be said. When you hand me the salt. I deliver slightly late and to better time. I stare at you. For the child this is not the perfect response but it is better than nothing. for example increasing a behavior that it is intended to decrease. When it is shown food in the future. then time may be ignored although general anxiety and riskmanaging behavior may be created by the inability to predict when this will happen. Next time. I may well become confused about priorities -. Fixed and variable ratio The ratio of behavior to reinforcement can be varied. When the timing of the reward (or other reinforcement) cannot be predicted. The mother has thus reinforced the nagging behavior. such as of beliefs or values. The mother frequently response angrily. Fixed and variable interval A reinforcement may vary based not on how often the behavior occurs but on time. so it continues to nag. The uncertainty results in anxiety and behaviors such as 'jumping the gun' and gambling. the behavior increases. it is more likely to try begging first. You do not hand me the salt. A schoolteacher does not allow her pupils out to play until they are quiet (negative reinforcement). It may also act perversely. Motivation Whilst extrinsic motivation is effective at getting short-term behavioral change. Random effects When reinforcement is applied randomly. When it begs. Repetition and rehearsal 405 . When food is shown. it is given the food. you hand me the salt to avoid the nasty stare. This makes it predictable and thus relatively comfortable. it can cause stress and confusion. A variable ratio means that the reinforcement is not used every time although it might be used. Discussion Reinforcement often happens without specific intent. I do not stare at you. self-sustaining change. Intrinsic motivation is far more effective at causing deeper. If I am rewarded for delivering a product on time on one occasion. then later punished for producing on-time delivery that does not meet certain other goals. such as salary payments. but not given to a dog it performs a range of tricks it has been taught by being given food. Fixed-period rewards tend to focus attention increasingly on time as the reward approaches. A fixed ratio can include every time (1:1) or the reinforcement may be applied every nth time the behavior appears (1:n). As a result.Negative reinforcement occurs when something that is not liked does not happen when a behavior occurs. it seldom leads to internal change. Example A child nags a busy mother until it gets attention.

Lively These dogs were also very responsive to stress. Thus a girl who does not want the attention of an amorous boy ignores all chat.Repetition. As you visualize acting in certain ways. according to their reactions to stress. When you practice something. Beware of trying to decrease a behavior by punishment. coping well with it. To increase a behavior.. Manage the cues and reinforcements to create desirable behavior. you get better at it. Extinction When no reinforcement is applied. but were not as extreme in their reactions as the strong excitatory animals. any purpose of the behavior is not satisfied. Strong excitatory These dogs were highly strung and easily became very excited with moderate levels of stress. understand how others (and yourself) are programmed to react. Punishment Whilst reward and punishment are both forms of reinforcement. with no consequence. especially when it is predictable. Punishment is not negative reinforcement and is less effective. The dog temperaments Explanations > Conditioning > The dog temperaments The four temperaments | Discussion | So what? In his experiments with the behavior of dogs given different stimuli. So what? In any situation. leads to learning. What is rather interesting is how similar to human reactions that these responses seem to be. Weak inhibitory 406 . The four temperaments These are the categories that Pavlov used. discomfort is delivered when a desired behavior does not happen. Calm imperturbable These dogs had a generally passive response to stress. They neither became particularly excited nor paralyzed. This is because. This applies also to the self. then a behavior is likely to disappear ('extinction'). they are different in effect especially with humans who respond variably.. particularly to punishment. reward it consistently.often just as well as if you had acted physically. as this may result in the increase of unwanted other behaviors. Ivan Pavlov found that they could be categorized using for different temperaments. In negative reinforcement. you learn -. cajoling and criticism. Punishment happens after a behavior that is not desirable. You also get more comfortable with the behavior as you condition yourself. Rehearsal can be done largely internally.

including inhibition and blocking of brain functions. then stressing an active person will work. 407 . These may also equate to Jung's (and Myers Briggs) Introversion and Extraversion. High levels of stress led them to a state of virtual paralysis.Reacts to stress with extreme passivity in order to avoid tension. whereby when the brain is overloaded. The four types can be organized as a 2x2 matrix by separating them by their level of passivity and the extremeness of their response to stress. with appropriate caution. Each dog thus has a 'breaking point' at the limits of their endurance to stress (Pavlov called this 'transmarginal inhibition'). Pavlov found that when broken down. but then retained their conditioned behaviors for longer. then they are also likely to easily fall by the wayside. People with extreme responses are likely to need less stress to get them moving. they became much more susceptible to conditioning of new behaviors. whereas the calm imperturbable ones took longer and more stress to break down. whilst less response could be due to a more limited sensitivity. to help understand the responses of different to people to stress. An interesting point here is that the weak inhibitory dogs broke down first but also forgot their new conditioning first. Discussion All dogs could be induced into the paralyzed state. Extremeness Pavlov's four temperaments Extreme response Moderate response Active Strong excitatory Lively Passivity Passive Weak inhibitory Calm imperturbable So what? These types can be used. Extreme response dogs had a much lower tolerance of stress. it protects itself by shutting down. If you want to enthuse people. Understand whether the other person has an active or passive response. Extreme response may be due to a heightened sensitivity to the environment. whilst stressing a passive person may cause them to retreat. Also know that if a person is easy to convert to your cause. Pavlov concluded that this must be some kind of protective mechanism. but required higher levels of stress than the weak inhibitory types.

It has. Discussion The ultra-paradoxical behavioral reversal is equivalent in humans to the Stockholm syndrome. Thus there would be no response to a strong electric shock. and vice versa. Extremes of emotion. for example dogs behaving in a friendly way towards keepers who they had previously disliked. putting people into situations where they are so frightened that they forget to perform their stress response. Extraversion vs. whilst they still responded to weak stimuli. they would be more anxious to get tasty or large quantities of food than small and bland food. in order to seek ways to escape the stress. they are creatively trying things that they had not previously tried. they forgot everything they had learned up until that point and it took months to restore the conditioning. Thus with food. And one more A further stage that Pavlov discovered was when the laboratory flooded and the dogs were rescued just before they drowned. This may also help to explain sudden conversion. In their terror. in desperation. Paradoxical stage In the next stage. the dogs ceased to respond to strong stimuli.See also Fight-or-Flight reaction. where prisoners become emotionally attached to their captors. Some therapeutic methods use the additional stage. It is as if they were so mentally and physically exhausted. can lead to a sudden release of past terrors. It is as if. It is as if their brains had acted to protectively shut down against stressors that could not be handled. 408 . for example been used to create a cathartic release in shell-shocked soldiers. whilst a response was still seen for mild shocks. Ultra-paradoxical stage In this stage. Pavlov found that they would break down through three different stages The three stages Before the three stages. they did not have the inclination or were no longer able to distinguish between the levels of stressors. behaviors started to reverse. Equivalent stage In the first breakdown stage. dogs would react differently to different stimuli. the dogs would react in the same way to stimuli of different strength. it seems. Introversion Three stages of breakdown Explanations > Conditioning > Three stages of breakdown The three stages | And one more | Discussion | So what? In his experiments with the responses of dogs to stress. This is of course very hazardous and 'not something you should try at home'.

Manage this state carefully. with negative stimuli eliciting positive responses and vice versa. What Pavlov found in his studies was that TMI led to a loss of previous conditioning. for example with loss of sight. try a gentler persuasion to see if they are at the paradoxical stage. Four stressors Transmarginal Inhibition Explanations > Behaviors > Conditioning > Transmarginal Inhibition Description | Discussion | So what? Description When faced with extreme stress or pain. • Paradoxical phase. This threshold varies with the individual. the body will shut down rather than allow the person to endure the physical or mental discomfort caused. with some people shutting down early whilst others being able to endure greater discomfort. hearing. • Ultra-paradoxical phase. where a quality reversal occurs. 409 . When people start to reverse behaviors. was first identified by Ivan Pavlov in his experiments with dogs and later taken up by Carl Jung. So what? Watch for people who have a low threshold and start to shut down under relatively low levels of stress. where a quantity reversal appears in significant stimuli eliciting small responses and vice versa. See also The Brain Syndrome. then perhaps this is an effect of stress. There is a threshold level at which the shutting down happens. use of limbs.So what? When the other person is responding in the same way whatever you do. Discussion Transmarginal Inhibition (often abbreviated as TMI). Factors that can lead to this state include increasing discomfort levels and increasing the unpredictability of when the discomfort will be experienced. TMI goes through stages in which normal stimulus-response patterns are increasing changed: • Equivalent phase where big stimuli elicit big responses and vice versa. be careful: they may be at the point of breakdown. The body may also shut down partially. Thus a person being tortured or otherwise enduring extreme hurt will fall unconscious. If you increase your action and they ignore it. William Sargant and others. etc.

Punishment Punishment works when a behavior is weakened as a result of experiencing a negative condition. The basic structure is as follows: Do X ==> Y happens ==> Feel good ==> Do X more Example A person lifts a finger. which is pleasant. The dog gets fed.Types of Operant Conditioning Explanations > Conditioning > Types of Operant Conditioning Positive reinforcement | Negative reinforcement | Punishment | Extinction | So what? There are four types of operant conditioning by which behavior may be changed. Next time they put on a coat when it seems cold. They put on a coat and no longer feel warm. The basic structure is as follows: Do X ==> Z happens ==> Feel bad ==> Do X less Example 410 . A child screams. The dog eventually sits. Negative reinforcement Negative reinforcement happens when a behavior is strengthened as a result of stopping or avoiding a negative condition. Its parents pay it lots of attention. The basic structure is as follows: Z happens ==> Feel bad ==> Do X ==> Feel better ==> Do X more Example A dog is thirsty and goes outside where it finds a bowl of water. Whenever it is thirsty in future. The following table summarizes these and the paragraphs beyond explain further. The child screams more often. even beginning to lift a finger leads to the dog sitting. A person goes out in winter gets cold. In time. it goes outside. Conditio n Positive Negative Negative Positive or negative Condition occurs? Yes No Yes No Name Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Punishment Extinction Behavior Strengthened Strengthened Weakened Weakened Positive reinforcement Positive reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened as a result of receiving a positive condition.

fingerprinting. Deny them visitors. disinfecting. After a visit. both psychological and physical. See also Extinction Institutionalization Disciplines > Sociology > Articles > Institutionalization Description | Discussion | See also Description Institutionalization is an often-deliberate process whereby a person entering the institution is reprogrammed to accept and conform to strict controls that enables the institution to manage a large number of people with a minimum of necessary staff. It feels discomfort. The person may be required to 'willingly' engage in humiliating acts. including weighing. Force a break with the outer world Separate the person from the external world. Depersonalize from the beginning The process of denying the person their old identity starts when the inmate enters the door. removal of personal possessions and dressing in undifferentiated clothing. Extinction Extinction occurs when a behavior is weakened as a result of not experiencing an expected positive condition or a negative condition is stopped. bathing. looking for food and finds none in the outhouse. photographing. Attacking them with 411 . It is made to stand in a corner. It hits siblings less in the future. searching. A child hits a sibling. watch how they behave carefully and only allow subsequent visits if they show no signs of rejecting the institution. Force obedience Unquestioning obedience is forced by harsh punishment. It does not look for food in the outhouse next time. There may be deliberate 'will-breaking' activities. Force them to face into the institution rather than hanker after external contact. typically as a part of the 'welcoming' initiation rites. Y expected ==> Anticipate feeling good ==> Do X ==> Y does not happen ==> Feel bad ==> Do X less Z happens ==> Feel bad ==> Do X ==> Z does not happen ==> Feel better ==> Do X less Example A dog sniffs around.A cow grazes an electric fence. A child screams and is ignored. Destroy the self Forcing obedience acts to destroy self-determination. Allow visitors only as a reward for acceptance of institutional rules. It learns not to go near the fence. This may be continued to the point where the inmate does not even know who he or she is. They scream less in the future.

albeit in more moderated form (although the psychological effect can be equally devastating). • Interrogation tactics are many. terrorists and criminal masterminds. • Four stages of interrogation: Formation. how and when they use the toilet..: Description and discussion. preparation. The model of outer and inner worlds mirrors the individual's outer and inner world. Physically assault them Physical handling. many of the institutionalization methods may be found. See also Conversion techniques.verbal abuse continues to erode their sense of an integrated self. • Interrogation questions: Questions that lead to answers. defacing them with tattoos. including the repetition of futile and useless work is dictated to them. even bedding. The process of institutionalization is complete when the inmate fears and rejects the outside world. parents and suspicious partners as well as the military. The institution needs to create inner models where the institution is introjected as accepted normality and the outside the institution is projected as a bad object. • Interrogation is.. Even in less harsh environments. • Rules for respondents: If you need to resist interrogation. lawyers. deliberately want to control and manage their inmates such that they conform and do not cause problems. A simple and powerful method is to deny them even their name. Interrogation Interrogation Techniques > Interrogation Interrogation is a highly emotive subject that brings up pictures of spies. may all be controlled. The pages here include an exploration of some aspects of this subject. Yet it is a reality of both the modern world and past ages and is used by police. What they do. from prisons to monasteries to asylums. shock therapy and more teaches them that not even their bodies are sacred and are under the control of the institution. how they eat. When they speak. • Four rules for interrogators: Key things to get what you seek. and include: 412 . Discussion Many institutions. reducing them to a number. feeling at home only within the institution. • Rules of interrogation: Rules of the game for both interrogator and respondent. although it may have a period before release in which it seeks to de-institutionalize the inmate. so they cannot even form attachments to inanimate objects. Everything that they possess. Of course this brings another problem when the inmate leaves. Control every aspect of their lives Controlling every element of their lives takes away their ability to decide. may be regularly changed. Giving them menial tasks show them as inferior. interaction and completion. but this may not be the concern of the institution.

Detecting lies. Appeal to Fear. quickly. o Silence: Just wait. Coping Mechanisms. o Informality: Being their friend and catching them in vulnerable moments. There is a significant literature on interrogation. Questioning techniques. o Lie detectors: Using a polygraph or other machines to detect lies. o Direct question: Just ask the question. That's all. Negotiation. o Story reverse: Get them to tell you their story backwards. Persistence principle Rules of interrogation Techniques > Interrogation > Rules of interrogation | See also Description | Example | Discussion | See also Description Here are ten 'rules of the game' described by Walton. o Friends and family: Leverage emotional relationships. 1. or allow the proponent to infer it. 413 . although much of this is primarily available to professional organizations such as the police and the military. (2003). by which an interrogation might take place. o Authority and power: Play on symbolic authority. The rules cover both the interrogator (the proponent) and the person being interrogated (the respondent). o Nobody cares: Show them that they have been abandoned. o False replay: Repeat their story incorrectly. o Truth switching: To identify lies. o Rapid fire: Ask many questions. Those who are likely to be interrogated. o Only way out: There is one choice: confession or some form of extinction. The basic things described here will bring no surprises to such people. o Good cop. o Dire consequences: Exaggerate the bad things that may happen. Closing techniques. The respondent needs to take care not to inadvertently say something that might give out the information he wants to conceal. Stress. will have a strong understanding of interrogation methods and will be trained in counter-interrogation methods to help them withstand many interrogation techniques. o Inquisition: Sustaining an ideology through confession.o Already know: Say that you already know what is required. o Easiest way out: Exchange required information for release. bad cop: Classic hurt and rescue. o Sympathy: Be sympathetic to their situation. See also Power. False Memory Syndrome. particularly the more well-organized groups. o Extreme tactics: Used in military and other areas. o News: Allow them filtered contact with the outside world.

2. The proponent may coerce the respondent to reveal information through threats or sanctions, but only by the means allowed. 3. The proponent needs to pose questions to the respondent, and these questions can, and often should be, leading, loaded and deceptive. 4. The respondent should answer in formulations that are vague, ambiguous, misleading or confusing, if that will help serve his ends. 5. The proponent should probe critically into the respondent’s prior replies, and try to use them to extract information. 6. The respondent should take care to try to be consistent in his replies and in the commitments that can be inferred from them. 7. If the proponent finds inconsistencies in the respondent’s commitments, or implausible statements, or statements that are inconsistent with information from other sources, she should ask questions that critically examine them. 8. If the proponent extracts the information she wants from the respondent, then she has achieved her goal and the dialogue concludes in her favor. 9. If the proponent terminates the interrogation without getting the information she wants, and the respondent preserves his interests, the dialogue concludes in the respondent’s favor. 10. The two parties can use any arguments, even ones considered irrelevant or fallacious from the viewpoint of a critical discussion, to achieve their ends.

This is a normative set of rules, thus identifying a what 'should' happen rather than what happens in every case. It is based on an interrogation context in which the respondent does not want to give the information that the interrogator is seeking.

Four rules for interrogators
Techniques > Interrogation > Four rules for interrogators Prepare well | Promote a path of least resistance | Be methodical | Be patient | See also

Of course there are many things that interrogators may do, but here are four general rules that will go a long way to getting you what you seek.

Prepare well
The effective interrogator is well prepared. The person being interrogated may well be resistant to your questions, so you need to have many alternatives at your call. Find facts that will make you seem all-knowing. Find out about their background, their interests, what others know, what they want and fear and so on. Build a list of core questions plus many other supplementary questions that will nudge them towards critical answers.

Promote a path of least effort
The best interrogators never have to raise their voice and the session seems to the other person to be less an interrogation and more a friendly conversation. Appear friendly and cooperative, even sympathetic to the respondent. Do not give them easy reasons to resist, at least at the beginning.


Where stronger methods are required, always leave an easy route in the direction you want them to move. Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese military strategy said 'Build your enemies a golden bridge'. If the other side feels cornered, they will fight hard. If, however, there is one easy way out, then they are more likely to take that than fight.

Be methodical
Interrogation can be a long and intricate affair in which answers can contradict one another and things be left undiscovered and unsaid. Particularly if you need to build a legally watertight case, no stone can be left unturned. Ask questions carefully. Record responses. Take time out to cross-check responses for consistency or otherwise. Repeat questions that have not been answered yet.

Be patient
When the other side does not want to answer your questions, then they may use all kinds of resistance tactics. Only when they know that these will not work will many people resign and give you what you want. Even when the other person is collaborative, they may not easily remember what you are seeking or even understand what you really want of them. Give plenty of time for answers. Show that you will never give up and will persist however long it takes.

See also
Resisting persuasion, Questioning techniques

Rules for respondents
Techniques > Interrogation > Rules for respondents Minimize harm | Minimum information | Conceal | Distract | Delay | Erect barrier | Negotiate | See also

Here are some basic rules for people being interrogated. Of course any professional interrogator will know and counteract these. Nevertheless, these may provide you with some help.

Minimize harm
The basic rule for respondents in interrogations is to reduce the amount of harm that you are likely to experience, particularly in the longer term. Always keep in mind what you really want.

Minimum information
Do not volunteer information without purpose. Decide on your talk strategy and stick to it. This can be to speak as little as possible or to give as much information as possible (except in those areas where you want to stay private, of course).


Know those things that you do not want to be discovered and work hard to ensure they are buried deep. Make no hints or admissions that may lead the questioner in that direction. If the discussions do become perilously close to the areas under concealment, hold your nerve and keep it hidden. Be careful about attempted distractions that actually give away what you are trying to hide. If you push in one direction, the interrogator may take this as a sign and go the opposite way.

Play games with them to distract them and keep them interested in safe areas. There are birds and other animals which, when predators approach their nest, will feign injury and hop slyly away from the nest. If you can capture their attention, you can lead them down false trails and away from the areas you want to conceal. A classic distraction is to pretend that you are collaborating, answering their questions, but in doing so causing delays and other distractions.

Find ways to slow down the proceedings, especially if you can benefit from such tactics. Play ill. Be sick or otherwise unable to collaborate. Get mentally ill. Go all twitchy. Scream and shout. Ask for time to think. Show that you are on the edge and just need a bit of time. Give them information that takes a while to check out. Promise to take them to a particular location - then make it far away.

Erect barrier
Erect a psychological barrier between you and them. The simplest barrier is silence. Imagine an invisible sound-proof wall between you. Other barriers that are used include distrust and hatred.

When you have to give out information, distort it, leaving out key items or adding in distractions and other modifications. Change names, places, times, and so on. Exaggerate some areas and play down others. Some people are so good at distortion that they even convince themselves. Work on making what you say so credible you have difficulty yourself in separating reality from fantasy.

When at last you have to give true information, negotiate with the interrogator. Get promises that you can be sure will be fulfilled. It is easy for interrogators to make empty promises in order to get information from you.


Give only that which you are prepared to give. Test their integrity with small exchanges before giving away anything big. They may well test anything you give them, so be careful. You can give them things that are hard to verify or things that seem useful but are not.

See also
Rules of interrogation, Four rules for interrogators

Four stages of interrogation
Techniques > Interrogation > Four stages of interrogation Formation | Preparation | Interaction | Completion | See also

An interrogation can be broken into four stages, as below.

Before the interrogation comes the need for it to occur and the mandate to undertake it. Thus a crime may be committed, a suspect arrested and authorization for interrogation to go ahead. At this stage, the framework for how the interrogation may be determined, including the level of coercion that is permitted or not allowed.

Before the interrogator moves into action, a further preparation is often appropriate in which they learn the facts of the case, the desired outcome and the constraints of the permitted process. This then leads to appropriate research and preparation of methods and techniques which the interrogator will use. As the person being questioned may successfully resist some approaches, multiple strategies and tactics may be readied.

This is the main body of the interrogation when the interrogator interacts with the respondent. This generally appears as a series of questions and responses. All responses should be recorded and the sessions may be video-recorded for later analysis of body language. This interaction may take place over a number of days and sessions, which may be limited or open ended in the duration that it may take.

In this stage, the interrogation is completed and the body of information collected is analyzed. In legal situations this may include construction of a case for prosecution or defense. As appropriate and feasible, the interrogator may return to the previous stage to gather more information.

See also
Four rules for interrogators 417

Interrogation questions
Techniques > Interrogation > Interrogation questions Opening questions | Free narrative questions | Cross-questioning | Review questions | See also

Here are a set of question types that can be used through an interrogation of any kind.

Opening questions
Start off the interrogation with easy closed questions that the other person can answer. Stay off the main topic at least until they are talking freely. The purpose of these questions is to break the ice whilst creating a degree or rapport.
Are you warm? Would you like a cigarette? Have they treated you well?

Ensure you establish yourself as the person who asks questions. If they ask questions back and especially if it seems as if they are trying to take control, either ignore them or give short or non-committal answers, whilst retaining a friendly or neutral manner. If you do allow questioning, do so with a clear purpose, for example to deliberately let them think they are not in any trouble such that you can provide a shock to them at a designed point.

Free narrative questions
Name a subject, for example a time and place, and then ask the other person to tell you what they know about this. Then stay silent and do not interrupt or probe during the answer. Let them tell you about the situation in their own words.
I hear you were on the platform when the person near you fell onto the rails. Could you please describe what happened?

Show a steady mild interest (enough to keep them talking) and do not become excited when they get into relevant detail. Their answer will first tell you the degree to which the person is initially ready to collaborate. You can also listen for gaps and contradictions to probe at a later time, as well as indicators of preferences, needs and other motivators.

Direct questions
Follow up the free narrative with direct questions about specific items. Keep the questions free from value-laden words (thus talk about 'having sex' rather than 'rape') that might imply guilt. Ask one simple question at a time to which a clear answer can be given.
When you fought with the other person, did he hit you? [direct question] When you attacked the other person, did he try to defend himself? [value-laden question]

The answers to these questions will give you specific detail, filling in the holes of their initial story and exposing areas where they may be unwilling to talk. However, having told you the story beforehand, they are now much more willing to support their original narrative.


Ask multiple questions at different times about the same thing to see whether their answers support or contradict one another. You can appear unintelligent or confused as necessary to cloak your repetition.
When you went into the back of the shop, where was Jimmy standing? ... What did Jimmy do as you were going back there? ... Sorry, I don't quite understand -- what was Jimmy doing all this while?

If answers are contradictory, carefully probe further, asking more diagonal questions that allow them to expose themselves without necessarily realizing what is happening.

Review questions
Review questions are used to summarize and test your understanding of what you have heard so far. State what you understand and ask for agreement or otherwise.
So Jimmy came out after William, is that correct?

Review points can also be used to 'squeeze the lemon' for any more information.
Is there anything else that you can tell me about this? What else were you expecting me to ask?

Review points can be used at natural break points, such as in changes of scene. They are also useful at the end, to summarize. Reviews can also be used in a deceptive way, asking for agreement of things that you know are wrong. This tests the person's honesty and may also be used to trick them into thinking that you have missed key points. When doing this, watch their body language and signs of duper's delight.

See also
Open and Closed questions, Probing

Interrogation tactics
Techniques > Interrogation > Interrogation tactics

Interrogation in practice ranges from domestic questioning to legal investigation to military detail. These contexts and the legal and moral frameworks involved will constraint the methods and styles that are permissible. Professional interrogators have a potentially large number of techniques at their disposal and the more extreme methods are only very briefly described here.
• Already know: Say that you already know what is required. • Authority and power: Play on symbolic authority. • Dire consequences: Exaggerate the bad things that may happen. • Easiest way out: Exchange required information for release. • Informality: Being their friend and catching them in vulnerable moments. • Inquisition: Sustaining an ideology through confession.


• Lie detectors: Using the polygraph and other machines to detect lies. • Only way out: There is one choice: confession or some form of extinction. • Sympathy: Be sympathetic to their situation. • Extreme tactics: used in military and other areas.

See also
Negotiation, Appeal to Fear, Questioning techniques, Stress, Coping Mechanisms

Already know
Techniques > Interrogation > Already know Description | Example | Discussion | See also

Convince the person that you already know what you are asking of them. Show them how much you know of their background and activities. Indicate that there is much more that you know. Let them think you are all-knowing and all-seeing. Make a big show of how you discovered this. For example, tell them that you have already been told this by somebody else, perhaps an accomplice of the person being interrogated. Watch closely their response to this news. They will react slightly differently if you are telling the truth or otherwise.

Michael, I've got to tell you that Sidney has just confessed and told us all about how you pulled the trigger. It was you, wasn't it? Listen, Sarah, I know you bunked off school today. You were seen, so there's no point trying to hide it. I know about the raid. I know about all the planning. You know that. And I know who was there. Now I'm going to tell you what you did. Or do you want to tell me first?

When the person believes that you already know what they are trying to conceal, the act of confession goes from one of betrayal, perhaps of others or one's principles, to a simple release of pent-up tension. A reversal of this is to tell them something that you know did not happen and watch their reaction. This will at least help you calibrate their response to untruth. It may also goad them into telling you what actually did happen.

See also
The effects of betrayal

Authority and power
Techniques > Interrogation > Authority and power Description | Example | Discussion | See also


Play on the position of authority and power that you have. Let them know that you can do anything you want. Play on their childhood lessons of conforming to parents and those with official authority, such as police and teachers. Show the relevant symbols. If you are in the police or military, wear the uniform. If you are in business, wear an expensive suit. If you are a doctor, wear the white coat and stethoscope. Look smart, whatever the uniform. Talk with authority. Do not use floppy language. Be confident and assertive.

That was wrong! Do you think you can win? Well you cannot. Do as you are told now and tell me what happened! Right. I want to know where you were last night...Come on -- I don't have all day! Stand up. Now. Look me in the eye when I am talking to you. Tell me who else was there.

'Speak softly and carry a big stick' is a common quote. Speaking softly indicates that you do not need to shout, because you already have all the power you have. The stick can be indicated by the symbols of power. People are programmed in early childhood to recognize and accept parental control. This unquestioned compliance is later extended to teachers, priests and others in positions of vested authority. Particularly when other interrogative techniques have caused the person to regress to a child-like state, authoritarian methods are more likely to succeed.

See also
Authority principle, Power, Assertiveness, Regression

Dire consequences
Techniques > Interrogation > Dire consequences Description | Example | Discussion | See also

Point out the consequences of non-collaboration. Exaggerate these. Pump up the fear of what might happen. Show them that any route other than telling you what you want will lead to dire consequences for the person. Play on their imagination. Sow seeds and water them.

If you don't tell me now it will look very bad in court. The judge will throw the book at you for concealment, which carries at least an extra two years in prison.


Threat principle Principles > Threat principle Principle | How it works | So what? Principle If my deep needs are threatened. their anger and hate can be very significant. we forget our higher aspirations and quickly act to protect ourselves. then you will go to great lengths to protect them. this approach uses amplification to make relatively small things seem much worse. as the person doing the threatening is effectively taking control of our lives and preventing us from controlling our own destiny. And so it goes on. Steven over there is an expert in the management of pain. such as when a confidence is used against a person. The backlash The problems with threats is that is can cause a tremendous backlash in terms of the anger and other negative emotions that are aroused. but more usually they are cognitive and social in nature. when they are threatened. This may even include telling lies and making threats that cannot be carried out. How it works A threat works by attacking a deep needs. Parents who are tired or stressed and want children to 'behave' will use many variants on the threat. Behavioral change Threats do not change minds. We can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way. Children of course learn this behavior and use it back with parents and also with peers and other people. Threats are used at least by the criminal classes and those who lack the finer subtleties. So what? 422 . they cannot take it back.Tell me now or I'll have to tell your father about this when he comes home. which affects our belonging needs. Where a trust is betrayed. I will act to protect them. Threats may include that of physical punishment. Discussion Beyond being a simple threat. In particular. at least in the short term. but they are often very effective at changing how people act. threats act on our sense of control. Needs are so fundamental that. One of the biggest such threats is that of social exclusion. If your or your family may be harmed. Threats are also surprisingly common in such as family situations. Once the person has told you what you want. as an effective method of coercion.

org/explanations/theories/theories. perhaps one of the strongest emotions you can have towards another person because its very likely to last longer than any other emotion you might have towards someone.Click to Enlarge Disgust Disgust is perhaps the easiest micro-expression to see because it involves a large portion of the face.You can use threats to cause short-term behavioral change. Surprised Expression . is Disgust because it involves the central line of the face. their upper lip will be raised and you’ll see wrinkling around the nose area. Disgust Expression . then chances are they’re simply pretending. and they know exactly what you’re talking about but they want to appear for some unknown reason. if they’re talking in a nice way about them but keep showing a disgust expression. the easiest one to spot for me. including a long-term need for vengeance and subtle acts of revenge. When someone shows a disgust expression. http://changingminds. However surprise is very easy to fake. which is where most of us look anyway. the eyes will seem to stare at you and this is what we call a concealed scorn.Click to Enlarge Surprise Surprise isn’t something that we need to focus on too much when it comes to knowing how someone feels. If someone shows a disgust expression whenever they talk about a certain thing. that they’ve only just found out. They are quite hard to spot because they happen so quickly. but be very aware that it can have a significant negative effect. or person then chances are they do not like to be around them and do not like them. If you’re with a girlfriend/boyfriend and you see them showing disgust towards you then chances are that relationship is coming to an end. such as anger. so if you confront someone about something and you see this expression for longer than one second then its fake. 423 . Disgust is a very strong emotion.htm I mentioned on a previous article about Micro-expressions that I’d write an article explaining exactly what they look like in more in depth detail about what they look like and how you can spot them. place.

the eyebrows are pulled down and together. Anger is an emotion that many people will try to hide until it gets to much and this is when anger may appear on the face as a micro-expression. Fear will show across someones face if they become scared of getting found out. or perhaps they’re just going to an interview and they’re scared of how things will go. they’re scared. then chances are that anger is fake. When anger appears on the face. It may also appear when someone is talking about someone. So if someone is sitting there nice and calmly and then suddenly reacts in anger with fists raging. the eyebrows and eyelids go upwards causing wrinkling on the forehead. 424 . When fear comes onto the face its fairly similar to surprise. When the surprise expression is shown on the face. the lower eyelids become tensed and the corners of the lips stretch horizontally. Fear Expression . but their are some very distinct differences.Click to Enlarge Anger Anger has a fairly jagged onset and never comes on suddenly. and they’re trying to hide their anger for them. Anger Expression . but a quick fear expression would tell us that inside. the eyes begin to glare and and red part of the lips begins to narrow because the lips are pressed together. the eyebrows go up and they’re pulled together which creates wrinkling between them. they might try to appear calm and confident.Click to Enlarge Fear Fear is often confused with surprise because there are some similarities. and the jaw drops causing an oval shape around the mouth.Surprise is often confused with fear.

and usually appears around the corners of the lips. Eyelids will droop and it’ll look like their eyes are losing focus. as shown in the picture of George Bush on the right.Click to Enlarge Sadness Sadness will appear on someones face while. is one of the hardest Microexpressions to spot because it’s very subtle and fairly hard to spot. When someone shows contempt one lip corner will tighten and stretch out towards the ears. The inner eyebrows will also be pulled upwards and together. they may pretend to be sad but in reality. well. Sadness for me. or someone of a higher authority of you may show contempt when having a go at you. feeling sad inside. so they happen very very fast. causing wrinkling between them as seen on the picture to the left. Happiness Expression . When sadness appears on the face. Happiness can appear inconsistent with what someone is saying after a family member has been killed. When contempt appears on the face it’ll appear on either the left or right side of the face and around the lip corners.Click to Enlarge Contempt Contempt is the only Micro-expression that appears on one side of the face.Click to Enlarge Happiness Happiness is perhaps one of the easiest to spot because everyone can easily recognise happiness. but with a little practice fairly easy to spot.Contempt Expression . or simply giving you orders. This expression is probably one of the more subtle expressions. They may try to hide the sadness with a masking smile (we’ll talk more about masking smiles in future articles) so that people cannot see how they’re truly feeling. Remember Microexpressions happen in 1/5th of a second. But the feeling of sadness will leak through in a micro-expression. keep showing subtle 425 . Contempt may occur just after someone has told a lie. His contempt is showing on the right hand side of his face. the corners of the lips are pulled down slightly to make the lips appear a little pouted. Sadness Expression .

smilies which would be inconsistent with the situation. When happiness appears on the face their will be wrinkling around the eyes. Paul Ekman set out on a task to find out whether these facial expressions were universal around the world and to do this. He found that despite them having no contact with other humans they showed emotion in exactly the same way that we civilization folk do. Micro-expressions were first discovered by Haggard and Isaacs during a study back in Micro-Expressions – What are they? Posted: March 10. • • • • • • • Happiness Sadness Contempt Anger Fear Surprise Disgust 426 . had no other human contact in their entire life. These are. the cheeks will be pushed up and and their face will simply light up. Paul Ekman then decided to look into expressions through different cultures. what they can mean. he found a very rural African Tribe. At the end of his research he had discovered that there are 7 universal expressions. and what he found was astonishing. and how you can begin to spot them whilst out and about. http://danielakawmd. when someone smiles the corner of their eyes will wrinkle. Psychologist Dr. what they look like. 2010 by Daniel Smith in Mentalism 1 Simon showing a contempt expression I have touched upon Micro-Expressions in a previous article but I think its time for me to take a more in depth look at them by explaining exactly what they are. they discovered these “micromomentary” expressions whilst looking through hours of psychotherapy videos. one that had. Micro-expressions are very brief lasting only a fraction of a second and they often show the emotion that someone is trying to suppress.wordpress. You can also tell when someone is “pretending” to be happy.

eyes look like they’re staring. and indeed how little information people really know about them. Spotting Micro-expressions is hard because of how quickly they flash on and off the face. it will be real. so they are not easy to spot. despite their culture and origin.Each of these expressions appeared to be the same on everyone’s faces. Contempt – only appears on one side of the face. widened eyes and slightly raised eyelids and eyebrows. and then in the next article i’ll go into deeper detail about them. usually around the lips. If you’ve ever watched the hit US show Lie To Me you’ll know that Ria Torres is one of these naturals. these people are called “naturals” or “wizards”. Happiness – Probably one of the most obvious ones. Anger – Anger involves lowered eyebrows. a happiness Micro-Expression is a very brief smile. for example if someone is trying to be happy about something. Posted: July 26. inner corners of the eye brows raise causing light wrinkles to appear on the forehead. eyebrows are raised and the lip corners stretch directly sideways towards the ears. Fear – In fear. During the next article I’ll go into much more information about each expression. Disgust – Raised upper lip. Micro-expressions can be used to tell how a person is really feeling inside and it can also be used to see when someone is lying. tensed eyelids and the red of the lips disappearing because the lips are being pressed together. the mouth and eyes are open. and how they may appear inconsistent with what’s being said. relaxed lips and mouth. upper eyelids may droop. wrinkling around the nose and central line of the face. but keeps showing a micro-expression of disgust or anger. Surprise – Surprise appears with a dropped jaw. a wrinkled forehead. 2010 by Daniel Smith in Uncategorized 0 427 . One lip corner stretches outwards towards the ears. the eyes may light up and both corners of the lips will rise upwards. Micro-expressions cannot be faked so when you see one. Please remember though. roughly 1% of people can spot micro-expressions without any training at all. Paul Ekman discovered that out of the entire population. I’m just going to give a brief overview of each expression and what it looks like. Sadness – Slight pulling down of the lip corners. micro-expressions last a fraction of a second.

men are hardwired to go for the most attractive women. The only thing you have to remember is to be yourself and expel confidence. even if you just fake that confidence chances are. women will go off you fairly quickly. it shows through posture. your smile. Which one of these will appear more confident? If you wish to gain confidence then you should look through some of the previous articles on this blog. one of them has their hands in their pockets. after a while of faking it. making eye contact with everyone and smiling to people. although good looks will give you the initial attraction.. you’ll be full of 428 . or PUA for short. Picture the scene. You could try all the techniques in the world but if you’re lacking that confidence then your techniques are likely to fail. how are you doing it?” The truth is. you’ll genuinely start to feel more confident within yourself. etc. if you have confidence. and explained in detail below. Women find confidence hot. There are Four steps to picking up a woman.It’s been a while since my last blog entry. whilst women are hardwired to go for the most confident man. two guys are walking down the high street. the way you walk. the way you talk to people. Confidence is shown through the way you hold yourself. even if you’re not the best looking person. they’re looking down and avoiding eye contact with everyone. if you haven’t got the personality to suit it. but without the confidence they’re likely to fail There are a number of ways to show confidence. the other guy on the other hand is walking with his head up. these are listed. if you lack self confidence then chances are when you’re talking up to a girl you don’t know. The truth is. The reason behind this article is to give you the basic techniques that will help you attract women. he is standing up right. and recently I’ve been reading up and studying Pick Up Artists. then you’re well on your way to becoming a pickup artist. Approaching/Opening The opening/approaching someone is perhaps the hardest part. or do a search on google for tips and techniques on improving your own self confidence. Confidence Confidence is key to being a good Pick Up Artist. attracting a woman isn’t all that hard if you know how to do it. if you’re able to show that you’re confident then you’re well on your way. Have you ever wondered how some guys seem to get all the girls effortlessly? You’re probably looking at them and thinking “you’re not even that good looking.

I’ve been here for 10 minutes and you still haven’t spoken to me. The next two steps will be available in Article 2 which will be published in the next couple of days. The only real way to build up self confidence is to practice. Do you brush before floss or floss before brush? No one knows. maybe you’re waiting for a bus/train or something.. you cant smile at me like that and just walk past” Smile and make eye contact You look like someone I’d like to meet. It’s a matter of life and death. Below I’ve listed a few openers that you could use to get into a conversation. practice makes perfect. I need to get your opinion on something.anxiety. eHow Member Detect Micro Expressions User-Submitted Article Do you ever wonder what someone is really feeling or thinking when they tell you one thing? Do you sometimes wonder if your being told the truth? The human face of capable of making over 50. whats that all about? (If she smiles while walking past you. If you’re going up to a complete stranger. • • When a girl bumps into you in a crowded club tap her on the shoulder and say “don’t touch me” . How to Detect Micro Expressions By rosburk. My friend and I were having a debate and your answer could completely change my entire life…. the more self confident you’ll become in doing it. and be sure to make lots of eye contact and smile. (Be sure to smile and say it in a playful way. interesting questions will usually grab a girls attention. or she might take it seriously) Did you know that Elvis dyed his hair black? What was his natural hair color Asking weird. and we need a woman’s perspective.000 different 429 . It’s very important. it’ll appear slightly cocky and should make her smile. have something to immediately follow up with. a good way to break the ice is to walk up to someone and say “Isn’t it annoying when a complete stranger starts talking to you” be sure to smile when you say it. make the conversation about her. Where are you going? (If at a bus stop) “What’s a girl like you doing at a bus stop?” Hey guys. try keeping the conversation fun and light. • • • • • • • You know. The more girls/women you approach and start a conversation with. stop her and say) “Wait a minute. if you start talking about yourself she’ll get bored. once you’ve done this and you’ve engaged in conversation.

but I never knew what micro-expressions were until recently. if your not a natural. In the next 7 steps. Sadness. Most microexpressions last an average of 1/25th of a second to 1 full second. You may be one of these people if you 1) Can always spot a lie. Difficulty: Moderately Challenging Instructions Things You'll Need: • Nothing 1. when looking for microexpressions. they don't even know they can. Disgust. Learn to spot micro-expressions and gain the key to understanding the real feelings behind the face. We all know that when someone smiles they are happy. There is small percentage of people in the world who can naturally pick up on microexpressions. Surprise and Contempt. But it isn't to difficult to "fake" being happy. Most muscle activity during a microexpression will occur around the eyes and mouth. This can occur when someone is saying something you don't agree with or don't like and you pretend to think its funny 430 . I will walk you through each of the seven microexpressions. 3) Can accurately predict motive. Fear. 2 Crows Feet Happiness. These are called microexpressions and last less than a second. Anywho. Don't worry though. sometimes. This how-to will cover the basics of spotting the seven micro-expressions. 4) Don't trust people and don't have a very good reason for why. focus on the subject's face. you can learn. And then I will give advice on learning and practicing microexpression detection. the thing that makes a microexpression micro is the duration.individual expressions. Stay sharp though. 2. but it all boils down to only 7 different combination that form the expressions we all know: Happiness. I seem to have been a natural for most of my life. Anger. 2) Know who someone is with out really getting to know them. then things all started to make sense. 1 Know what to look for! Spotting microexpressions can be difficult.

the smile is a fake. the smile. they will flash a quick microexpression for happiness because they are proud of what they've done. If you don't see movement from the muscles around the eyes or crows-feet. In true happiness you will see the corners of the lips turn up and the cheeks will raise slightly. someone may flash a sign of being happy when they shouldn't be. 4. There are numerous other cases when someone will pretend to be happy. This will often be the case when someone is proud of something they are being scolded or reprimanded for. 4 Anger 431 . But you can always catch that hint of sorrow behind their front. But is isn't just any smile. Many people who really want to end their lives will appear very happy just before letting go. 3. Often times when a serial killer is asked about their crimes in jail. Other times. the corners of the lips will be pulled slightly down.or good. Most of us can tell when someone is feeling a bit blue. The subject will appear to have very little focus in their eyes. even if they swear up and down they are fine. They really want to talk to someone about it. But there are times when it's very important to know someone is truly sad. On a happier note. But the tell tale sign of true happiness are the crow's-feet that appear at the corners of the eyes. being able to spot their sadness can be a helpful hint that they could use a good conversation. but will never admit it. The key attribute of happiness is. yes. Also. many people will pretend to be happy when they are not because they don't want to bring others down. In sadness the upper eyelids and outer edges of eyebrows will droop. 3 Sadness Sadness.

Anger's microexpression consists of the lips being narrowed and pressed together tightly. 6. Also. It can be very subtle and even look like just a twitch. Interestingly. glaring. 6 Disgust Disgust. that is. it is the only microexpression that is unilateral. if you have secretly passed a bit of gas. Occasionally the lip raise is paired with the head tilting back slightly so that the subject can look down slightly at the focus of their contempt. This is another one of those indicators that someone does not like what you are talking about. it is a good indicator that someone knows you have as it seems to be a instinctual response that Darwin suggested closes off the nasal passages.Anger. But sometimes there lies anger hidden beneath the surface and it good to be able to spot this incase someone is about ready to snap. 432 . And perhaps the most revealing characteristic of anger. the only one that is biased to one side of the face. 5. or very much disagrees with something you have done or believe. You will also see the eyebrows slanted down and towards the nose. The subjects eyes will glare intensely. The dead giveaway to contempt is the raising of one side of the lips. Contempt is my favorite microexpression. and coincidentally it's the easiest to spot. Anger is usually pretty easy to spot. All other microexpressions are equally distributed across the face about a vertical center-line. 5 Contempt Contempt.

or we are watching a scary movie. The lower eyelids will be tensed and the upper eyelids will be raised. 8 Surprise Surprise. no questions asked. Surprise can be spotted by widened eyes and raised eyebrows. Wether someone makes us uneasy. 7. but what people don't know is that faked surprise is easily recognizable. It can be used to help in the lie detection process. This will be coupled with a wrinkling of the nose. If you accuse someone of something. Note that in a true expression of surprise the eyebrows will be raised for less than a second. Also the mouth will open a little bit. You will also notice the eyebrows being raised and pushed together. it is easy to fake surprise. In fear you will see the lips stretched horizontally towards the ears. 8. they are lying. we show the expression for fear. So if someone is acting surprised.Disgust is characterized by the upper lip being raised generally exposing the teeth. 9. This is a very important micro-expression. but leaves their eyebrows lifted for more than a second. Fear is feeling we all know. 9 433 . it could be the that your accusation is incorrect. we are in a situation we don't like. 7 Fear Fear. However. and they seem surprised.

But. The last training tip I can offer is to not be afraid to practice. but I did a bit of research and the show is based of a real person named Dr.html#ixzz1cV2e3mdQ 434 . one of the best ways to learn them is to just read and read. Read more: How to Detect Micro Expressions | eHow. Eckman who was the pioneer researcher in microexpressions. You can find a practice test created by Dr. Also. instead inform them you plan to use them as a test subject at random. Don't sit down and have a "practice session". the tests can be used as a training tool by learning from your mistakes. it's not always a blessing. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Pictures and videos are also a great tool. and then sometime later. The muscle memory of the expressions will your brain recognize them. I've noticed that watching it has greatly improved my ability to spot microexpressions. Fox has a TV show called Lie To Me. when you spot a micro expression ask them if you are make sure its with someone you know well and who won't get mad at you.Learning micro-expressions. One of the things you will hear over and over again from people who train in microexpression detection is to learn to make the faces yourself. it might be a good idea to ask them if you can use them as practice. its just a quiz about lying statistics. I will post this link as a related link as well. you may learn things you didn't want to know. I will post this in the related links section. When you are practicing. Also. Until you are very comfortable with your abilities you should probably not use the micro expression detection in any arguments or accusations. please note that Test 1 of the Lightman tests is pretty much useless. Test 2 is the Find pictures of the http://www. Another one that is a little more fun and focuses more on lying are the Lightman Tests on Fox's Lie to Me website. Eckman himself at www. and then get in front of your mirror and mimmic them.mettonline. Once you learn it.ehow. Also. Use this information responsibly. its not something you can make go away so be careful. There are a few tests that I've found helpful in testing the effectiveness of my training. The information in the show is true and they have a scientific adviser that helps them stay true to the facts. Learning micro-expressions can take time. most people think it is just TV.

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