This book is based on participant observation where the author experienced different jobs/conversations to figure out a key question in our lives – What is it that makes us comply to certain requests/people than others? Answer to this question lies in the fact that our brains are also wired to an algorithm that we develop during our early life basis experiences/societal teachings. So everything that we do is a ‘Click’ (Stimuli/Trigger) & ‘Whirr’ (Action/Reaction) basis the algo.

Eg. A mother turkey is very loving and caring. However, this mothering only happens when chick makes cheep cheep sound and might kill the one which does not. Similarly, trigger word for us is ‘because’. Whenever someone gives a reason (however illogical it may be) the probability of compliance increases.


The following principles help us explain the brain wiring. Below is my interpretation of the book –

  • The contrast principle
  1. we tend to compare two things/events that occur in series and enhance/demean the second event basis first
  2. Imagine buying a suit before a shirt. The shirt, even if it is a costly one for a shirt, seems cheap compared to a suit. That is exactly why car dealers upsell the accessories individually (for price contrast with car) after the car sale is closed
  • Rule of reciprocation
  1. Much obliged has become a replacement of Thank You
  2. An ancient rule designed for equal exchanges generally leads to unequal gains
  3. Reciprocal arrangements are so vital in our social system that we feel uncomfortable when beholden
  • Reciprocal concession
    1. If a requestor gives a concession on the request, we tend to comply to his concession
    2. Rejection – then – retreat technique acts on the Contrast Technique as we feel the second offer is much easier/cheaper and we must do at least this much for a person if we are unable to comply to his/her initial request
  • Commitment and consistency
    1. Once we commit to something (put money on it) we tend to be more optimistic and confident about the outcome as we feel we have to be consistent to the commitment.
    2. Chinese used this beautifully on American POW during Korean War.
    3. Same is the case with organisations running contests where they ask customers why they like ABC (their product) in 50 words or less. Public commitment is quite a strong click
    4. The tougher the initiation ceremony, the more lucrative and meaningful we find the groups. Consider the case of Roadies, the stupid initiation ceremony of verbal/physical abuse leads people to believe that being a Roadie brings a sense of “Respect”
  • Social proof
    1. we tend to deem behaviour as correct depending on social setting. E.g. Bartender salt their tip jars with a few dollars stimulating us to think tipping is appropriate behaviour
    2. Waiting period in cars so that we think of a lot of people think it, it must be correct
    3. And thus the product life cycle adoption chart depicting major population lies in “Early Majority” & “Late Majority” phases
    4. If there is no change in physical evidence, social evidence has to be changed for compliance. True for rebranding strategies
  • Liking – 
  1. We generally tend to comply with a request of someone we know and like. E.g. Tupperware party as the request comes from a friend/neighbour. They’ve mostly shut all retail outlets and have a Tupperware party start every 2.7 seconds in the US
    1. Factors to likeness are – physical attractiveness (that is why sales rep are seen well dressed), similarity (we resonate with similar ethnic groups etc), compliments (we are phenomenal suckers for flattery), contact and cooperation, conditioning and association (the messenger got killed if the news was bad, brand endorsements say association doesn’t have to be a logical one but a positive one)
  • Authority
  1. We rarely agonise over the pros and cons of authority’s demands. This happens mostly because sometimes it is beneficial for us and other times, they just control our rewards and punishments. E.g. Healthcare. Even if a doctor makes an error, no one in lower ranks will question the judgement coz when we don’t have to think, we don’t
  2. The 3 authority symbols that produce max compliance are titles( we also tend to see size and status as related), clothes (yet again for sales reps) and trappings of authority (someone who has not earned a title formally but is perceived as an authority figure)
  • Scarcity
    1. We are more motivated by the thought of losing something than by thought of gaining something of the same value. E.g. Limited edition comics, coins
    2. As opportunities become less available we lose our freedom and we hate to lose our freedom
    3. Competition coupled with scarcity enhances the impact

Very often in making a decision, we don’t use all the relevant information available. We use, instead, only a single, highly representative piece of the total.

To use this to your advantage or prevent conceding any unwanted advantage, the only way is to be cognizant of these unconscious biases & rewire your brain with constant feedback!

Do share your views/feedback in the comments section

You might also enjoy:


  1. [url=]where to buy albendazole in canada[/url] [url=]malegra canada[/url] [url=]atomoxetine price[/url] [url=]hydroxy-chloroquine[/url] [url=]tetracycline price[/url] [url=]dapoxetine tablets price[/url] [url=]ampicillin costs[/url] [url=]cipro flagyl[/url] [url=]lopressor tabs[/url] [url=]generic advair diskus canada[/url] [url=]ivermectin 0.5 lotion[/url] [url=]medicine medrol 8mg[/url] [url=]buy levitra cheap[/url] [url=]avana 100 in india[/url] [url=]hydroxychloroquine 400[/url] [url=]propecia otc canada[/url] [url=]sildenafil 2.5[/url] [url=]how much is propranolol[/url] [url=]buy furosemide 40 mg tablets uk[/url] [url=]2.5 mg daily tadalafil[/url]

Comments are closed.