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Psychology | Persuasion, Suggestion and Repetition



Hypnotherapists use suggestion to influence behaviour and beliefs. The suggestions are subtle and not always direct. They don’t say ‘stop  smoking’, they are more likely to say, ‘You will be better off when you stop smoking.’ The exacting wording is very important. They often infer something rather than being direct. They also realise that we tend to believe what we want to believe and refuse to compromise our morality. People can’t  normally be hypnotised into doing something that they are totally opposed to. They can be easily hypnotised into doing something they want to do but perhaps lack the confidence to do.

Advertising and repetition.

Advertisers know the value of repetition and will show the same television advertisement over and over again. The message in the advertisement is often quite subtle and we are often left to infer a message from the advertisement. The advertising often uses phrases like ‘better value’ (better than what?). The advertising often uses images of ‘happy people’ and accompanying music to give an image that we might aspire to. They will often ask rhetorical questions like ‘Wouldn’t you like the security  of knowing your loved ones will be looked after if the worst happens?’ It sounds so cosy, so nice and far better than we will pay your relatives if you get horribly killed in a awful accident.

Suggestion and repetition

If we combine both suggestion and repetition into a subtle (or even less than subtle) message this can be very persuasive. ‘Are you going to put the garbage bins out’ is a suggestive, rhetorical question and is often repeated! This can be followed up with a humorous statement like, ‘those bins don’t have legs, they won’t put themselves out.’ In a political or business sense, repetitive suggestions can be very powerful. Politicians trot out the same messages year in an year out but change them very slightly and make full use of the rhetorical question. They even have favoured words, one that is currently in fashion is ‘robust’. It is a suitably vague word with a fairly vague meaning and can be used in so many contexts, robust policing, robust policies, a robust approach to health care.

In a business sense you have to ask what people want. People want money and so anything that promises money or even social acceptance is likely to be successful. The various social networking sites are successful for this reason, social acceptance appears to becoming more important than money. Status is also vey desirable and important to people. Relationships are also important and social networking sites offer a means to keep in touch with family and friends and make new friends. People also use social networking to try to improve their status in society. To a certain extent these sites remove some class barriers and socioeconomic barriers. The smart phone is fast becoming an essential tool as young people feel that it is essential to belong to these social networks and have a presence within them. Suggestion and repetition can enhance the image you project on social networking sites. The new Timeline on Facebook is an array of words and images; this can be random or it can paint a picture; an image that is desirable. Your Facebook timeline can now make you popular! Similarly personal branding can be done on LinkedIn for professional purposes and again suggestion and repetition should be subtle not full on.

I hope you have found today’s blog interesting and you will think about whether you can use suggestion and repetition to influence people in your life. Be subtle! ‘When I get my pay rise,  I want a better car so I can take my family out.’ A remark in passing at the right time within earshot of your boss can get a powerful message across.

There are more amazing blogs on my Home Page. Please share and comment.

What message did I try to suggest with the picture at the beginning of today’s blog and how is it repetitive?



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