changingminds.org

How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

The need for: Rationality

 

Explanations > Needs > Rationality

Logic | Predicting | Appearing rational | See also

 

Logic

Being rational is being able to use logic and to argue without fallacy. This provides a form of power, both in the accuracy of decisions it confers and also the ability to persuade.

Appearing rational

When we appear rational to others it is easy for them to predict how we will behave and hence allows them to feel safe when in our company.

Rationality is thus desirable within a social group as it is an enabler of trust.

The photocopier experiment

Ellen Langer and colleagues performed a famous experiment in which researchers butted into a queue for a photocopier. They found that they could get people to let them jump to the front of the queue if they gave a logical reason, such as 'I need to copy this because the boss wants it now.'

Interestingly, they also found that they could say 'I need to do this now because I want to make a copy'. The key word was 'because', which effectively said 'I have a rational argument'.

The implication of this is that you do not have to be rational -- you just need to appear or act rational.

It must also be said that, whilst this may work on a relatively trivial situation such as jumping the photocopier queue, it may be a different where more is at stake, such as buying a car (although even then, consider how often the bold statements by sales people are effective at persuading customers).

See also

Argument, Need to explain

Langer, E., Blank, A., & Chanowitz, B. (1978). The mindless of ostensibly thoughtful action: The role of “placebic” information in interpersonal interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36(6), 635-642

 

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |

 

 

Please help and share:

 

Quick links

Disciplines

* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design

Techniques

* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower

Principles

+ Principles

Explanations

* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values

Theories

* Alphabetic list
* Theory types

And

About
Guest Articles
Blog!
Books
Changes
Contact
Guestbook
Quotes
Students
Webmasters

 

| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-2016
Massive Content — Maximum Speed