Putting my best food forward - subconsciously
April 21, 2013 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I know there's been all kinds of research about how people can be influenced in various ways. I'm sure some of this research is of dubious scientific quality, but there's been a lot of it, right? For example, you are more likely to get a cigarette if you ask in someone's right ear. And there are things about who is perceived as having authority or trustworthiness, based on appearance, or physical stance, or whatever. I would like a master list of these kinds of studies, for nefarious reasons outlined below:

Basically, I'm in a new, very high stress job where there are a lot of people evaluating me every day.

I completely understand and believe that the most important thing for me to do is just to do a good job at my job. That is 95% of my focus and will remain so. However, I know it can't hurt to incorporate a few techniques for helping convey the feeling that I'm doing well and am competent, to those who approach any new person as most likely incompetent (which is the reality in my field).

So, Please link any studies about the ways we can convey competence, and get folks on our side. Not to manipulate people, but to just help put my best foot forward and help counter the bias folks will automatically have against me for being new and learning.
posted by latkes to Human Relations (7 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Previous front page discussion.
posted by lilnublet at 5:51 PM on April 21, 2013

Best answer: i like 'the orange doorknob trick'...basically, whenever you have a project that's 'your baby' and you get it 'just right'...add a (metaphorical) orange doorknob...something incongruous, unnecessary, ugly, and easily removed. Every client (or boss/manager) likes to have some input, and when you show them the finished product they go 'oh that's great! ...except for that orange doorknob there' which you then remove and everyone's happy.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:52 PM on April 21, 2013 [18 favorites]

Best answer: Clothing makes a big difference. "Dress for success" is research based. Get whatever copy is most recent and for your gender. The author is John. T. Molloy.
posted by Michele in California at 7:07 PM on April 21, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Teachers get better evaluations based on looks. Also, I had a professor tell me about how something as simple as wearing earrings tended to get higher teaching ratings (the working hypothesis being that wearing something interest-catching near your face attracts students' attention and maybe they actually learn something from you in the process) but I can't find a source, so who knows.

Also, mimicking body language "increases liking between interaction partners."
posted by karyotypical at 8:54 PM on April 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: TED talk Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy in which she talks about power posing.
posted by hellochula at 9:02 PM on April 21, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: If someone doesn't like you you'd think doing THEM a favour is the way to get them to like you... but really the trick is getting them to do YOU a favour - otherwise known as the Ben Franklin effect.

The basic idea of it is: people don't do favours for people they don't like. So if you ask someone who doesn't like you to do you a minor favour ("hey, I left my wallet at home - can you lend me $2 for a coffee?") and they do it, a cognitive dissonance occurs: I don't do favours for people I don't like. But I just did a favour for latkes. Therefore I must like latkes.
posted by Cattaby at 9:03 PM on April 21, 2013 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Ask them to hold your coffee cup.
posted by RedEmma at 4:51 AM on April 22, 2013

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