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Deceit

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Deceit

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Use deception and other forms trickery to get them to do what you want them to do. Use what works and do not worry too much about what is moral or not. If they challenge you, just bluff it out.

For example you can:

  • Mislead them. Get them to think things that are not true, for example that other people support your ideas when they do not.
  • Exaggerate. Make small things seem larger or large things seem insignificant.
  • Lie. Tell outright and brazen untruths that support your case.
  • Assume things are true, even though they may not be.
  • Distract them away from areas that would cause you trouble.
  • Confuse them so they are more likely to accept what you say without question.

Example

A child tells his mother he wants a bicycle, saying 'everybody else has got one'.

Don't worry sir, it will be delivered to your door on Monday. 

Discussion

We have been called the 'mendacious ape' in reflection of the extent of the deceit we use. In fact one possibility for our large brain is so we can dream up ever-cleverer deceptions. When the only rule is to win, the ability to deceive gives the clever person a huge advantage over someone who is stronger than them.

The danger, of course, with deception is that if you are found out, all trust that has been placed in you will be lost and you may be subjected to social punishment such as being ostracized from groups to which you and the other person belong (in particular their circle of friends).

While it is not necessarily recommended, this website includes many deceptive methods. This is because deceit is a very common element in negotiation and other persuasive settings, and what we do here is describe how the world works as much as show you how you can change minds.

Deceit is the 20th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Lying

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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