This Is The Most Persuasive Word, According To Science

December 8, 2014 1:22 PM

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Getting people to carry out your bidding might be as simple as providing with them a reason, even if that reason is kind of dumb. That's according to the new book Magic Words: The Science and Secrets Behind Seven Words That Motivate, Engage, and Influence, in which writer Tim David draws from research in psychology to show the near-magical powers of some very ordinary words. (David, appropriately enough, is a former magician.)

Langer's famous study began when there was a line of people waiting to use a photocopier. Then she tried cutting in line. She wasn't rude about it, though. She asked politely, "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" Over and over she tried this and found that 60 percent of the p...

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