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Published August 5, 2012

There are as many books about persuasion as there are about getting rich; most are barely tolerable anecdotal screeds focused on business negotiation or thinly-disguised self-help tracts. Yet there are certain techniques that reliably persuade others, convincing people to do something they wouldn't otherwise do; these techniques have been proven with academic rigor and are being used against you every time you see an advertisement or walk into a shopping mall. You either know of these techniques and how to counteract them, or you are a victim - both in life and in EVE.

Cialdini's book has been rehashed repeatedly since its first printing in 1984; it is compact and tightly written, compiling the six tested principles of influence and illustrating both the scientific experiments which demonstrated these principles and real-world applications. The methods are alarming in their simplicity, and once explained you’ll be frightened by how endemic they have become at every level in our modern corporatist states. 

These techniques are particularly useful in a context of EVE, where trust is the rarest commodity. If you can establish trust and rapport, you can induce defections, set up a major scam, or - more mundanely - create a solid team of people who get along and work towards a common goal. A savvy practitioner of influence will also be able to recognize these methods being used against him, critical in a game with none of the legal protections we enjoy in the real world.

Humans are social creatures, and our hierarchies and behaviors are hard-wired. Rather than rely on some kind of a fishy exhortation to “win friends and influence people” in real life or in competitive gaming, use science. Reciprocity, consistency, social proof, authority, scarcity, and affinity: use them, or be used. 

The Mittani
Goonswarm Federation CEO, Space Tyrant. Likes yoga, Alaskan Malamutes, bacon, and delegation.
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