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Heart, Head, Hands


Techniques General persuasion > Sequential requests > Heart, Head, Hands

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



First make an emotionally-based statement with which the other person will instinctively agree. A good way of getting emotional agreement is to appeal to the person's values, talking about good or bad, right or wrong.

Then add supportive arguments that seem logical and rational. In this, be selective about what you say, using things that support your initial statement. Indicate evidence. Talk about cause and effect. Ignore any opposing rationale.

Finally issue the call to action, asking them to do something.


Would you believe it! They are going to close the library! Isn't that terrible? How will our children learn? What about the old people? We are going to protest next week. Can you help?

Isn't that great sounding music? It's created through the unique linear acceleration circuitry. Nobody else has it and it makes sense as the best buy. Now are you ready to buy it today?

You did what? That's shameful. I know you didn't really mean it and that you were in a hurry. You can recover the situation, but you do need to go and apologize today.


A common way we make decisions is to start with a gut-based, instinctive decision, and then we seek confirmation in evidence and rationale. This method plays directly to this sequence of thinking.

This is a affective-cognitive-behavioral approach, starting with emotions to get the person aroused, then providing rational support so the person agrees at both levels before you ask them do something for you. Other sequences may be used, but this is a good way of getting immediate compliance.

The final action requested need not be a direct response or even that obvious, although of course linking action to the issue increases the chance of compliance. If the person is sufficiently aroused, then they will easily accept a fallacious argument and so be ready to follow your clear lead, even if the action is not that logical or appropriate.

See also

Confirmation Bias, Making the argument


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