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Experiences

The Reciprocity Rule in Action

I just started reading Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The first couple of chapters are an interesting and useful read. Chapter 2 is dedicated to the rule for reciprocation as a tool of influence and the author points out the strength of reciprocity as “a device for gaining another’s compliance”. The fair trade exhibition in Stuttgart which I attended today was a good playground to observe the reciprocity rule in action, particularly its power to influence consumer buying behavior.

All booths that offered a fair trade product to try for free were more popular and more successful. One of them was Kallari‘s booth.

Kallari booth at fair trade exhibition 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany

Almost everyone who tried a piece of the delicious fair trade chocolates at their booth also purchased one. Some (like myself) even went back several times to try and buy(!) different flavors of their gourmet chocolate bars. A simple example of how a gift or favor obliges us to repay it (in this case buy it). I am sure we can come up with myriad of other examples which even go far beyond self-interest, and commerce. I wonder what our world would look like without the sense of obligation reciprocity evokes…

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About irinapashina

Marketing professional, blogger, group fitness instructor, reader, theater-goer

Discussion

One thought on “The Reciprocity Rule in Action

  1. Reblogged this on Tresno Artisanry and commented:
    Irin Pashina on the reciprocity rule in action:

    “Robert B. Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The first couple of chapters are an interesting and useful read. Chapter 2 is dedicated to the rule for reciprocation as a tool of influence and the author points out the strength of reciprocity as “a device for gaining another’s compliance”. The fair trade exhibition in Stuttgart which I attended today was a good playground to observe the reciprocity rule in action, particularly its power to influence consumer buying behaviour”

    Posted by Tresno Artisanry | April 14, 2014, 8:45 am

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