How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Gullibility is the tendency some people have to trust people too easily and hence be open to deception.
'Guile', the use of tricks to deceive someone, is the opposite of gullibility. A person who is gullible is open to guile.
Gullibility can come from several sources:
Lack of experience
Young people and those who have lived a relatively sheltered life may well be more gullible. If all you have known is trustworthiness then you will give trust without question or suspicion. If people have been largely trustworthy, you will be largely trusting.
Lack of education
You do not have to experience bad people to limit your trust. There is plenty of information on the TV and in other media to indicate the need for caution. Yet somehow some people do not seem to take this in and cling to a more trusting position that is wise.
Need to be liked
Many people want to fit in with others, to be accepted and admired. If they have a higher need for this then they may well be less judging of others and more ready to accept whatever they are told.
Need to obey
There are many rules, values, norms and so on within our lives that we are supposed to obey. Some people will blindly follow all such rules whilst others may be more cautious.
Those who follow rules are more easily deceived by others who utilize existing rules or explain that rules they propose must be followed.
In addition to the points above, there are other personality factors which may lead people to be more gullible. These may include: