Assignment 1: Discussion—Persuasion and Influence

Cialdini (2001) provides many compelling insights into how choices are influenced. Even though marketers are barred from outright deception, you can still find examples of information or promotions designed to lead customers in a direction that may not be in their rational best interest.

Some theorists suggest that rationality only plays a part in one’s decision toolkit. Outside influences (one such example is authority figures hawking goods or services) bear upon the choices you make. It is a susceptibility to these outside pressures and social constructs that may lead you, as a decision maker, away from well-reasoned optimization. The ability to manipulate an individual along these lines leads to the use of nonrational techniques, which are recognizable in the marketing efforts that can inundate your life.

Review the article “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” by R. B. Cialdini (2001) from this module’s assigned readings. Consider Cialdini’s insights on nonrational techniques.

To access the following article follow the steps listed below:

Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Harnessing the science of persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 79(9), 72–79.

  • Launch the Online Library
  • Click on the Find Articles and More button on the library homepage
  • Next, click on the link for Business Source Complete
  • Enter in the complete title of the article with quotation marks into the search box and then click search (i.e. “Harnessing the science of persuasion”)
  • Click on PDF Full Text to read the article

Respond to the following:

  • Consider the last two major purchases you made, and list the techniques that may have swayed your choices. Why do you think these techniques impacted your decision?
  • What would you do in the future to avoid these psychological pitfalls?
  • Write your initial response in 300–500 words. Your response should be thorough and address all components of the discussion question in detail, include citations of all sources, where needed, according to the APA Style, and demonstrate accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • __________________________________________________________________________-

Assignment 2: Decision Making Gone Awry

Sometimes social influences and societal pressures can influence decision making for the better and sometimes for the worse. In addition to these pressures, there are risks that need to be evaluated and measured when making decisions. In this assignment, you will reflect on decisions you made using social influence, persuasion, and risk taking that went awry.

Examine a time when you were involved in decision making that went awry as a result of protocols, social norms, or persuasive techniques. If you do not want to use an example from your business or personal experience, you can select a journal article on which you can base your assignment. Here are some key words to help you find an article for this assignment:

  • Decision making
  • Risk taking
  • Persuasion
  • Social heuristics

Write a 3–5-page paper in Word format that addresses the following:

  • Describe a decision-making scenario using your business experience, personal decision making or cited journal article; include an example of the decision-making process, describe the risk, and whether persuasion was used. What were the social heuristics?
  • Explain the incentives in this scenario. Were they effective?
  • Identify the risks and the potential decision biases in your scenario. Propose the corrective steps that should have been taken to overcome these biases. If a risk assessment was conducted how did this affect the decision-making process?
  • Analyze your scenario for what happened in terms of social heuristics. Explain how decisions were made and the social factors that shaped the decision-making environment.
  • Discuss the greatest challenges to sound decision-making in your scenario.
  • Critique the decision-making process used by the sponsor(s) and leader(s) of the decision. Identify the mistakes made by the sponsor(s), leader(s), and team members or others impacted by the decision during the implementation of the decision. 

Support your statements with scholarly references and appropriate examples. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M2_A2.doc.

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