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Criticize

 

Techniques General persuasionKellerman and Cole's 64 Strategies > Criticize

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Win the argument by criticising the other person, indicating that they are bad and wrong.

When they pause or retreat, press home your attack and demand they do as you say. If they attack back, turn this against them.

Example

Are you stupid. What kind of argument is that??

You're just taking the lazy person's way out. I should have expected that.

You haven't been listening, have you? Why don't you just agree so we can move on.  

Discussion

While Ad Hominem, a personal attack, often lacks any reasonable logic, it can cause a fight or flight emotional response that destabilizes the other person. With this mental disruption and a continued attack, the person will typically turn towards satisficing, doing anything to stop your attack, including conceding to you.

This may seem cruel and unkind, yet it is surprisingly common. Criticism is often used as a display of power that implies superiority and suggests backing down before further, more destructive power is used.

Criticize is the 17th of the 64 compliance-gaining strategies described by Kellerman and Cole.

See also

Attack the Person, Satisficing, Power

 

Kellermann, K. & Cole, T. (1994). Classifying compliance gaining messages: Taxonomic disorder and strategic confusion. Communication Theory, 1, 3-60

 

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