Influence & Personality Psychology
In this area you will find our compilation of articles on personality types, how we are affected by the traits of our personality, and how people influence each other, be it through 'brainwashing', roles or language...
Manipulation by Music
We are all accustomed to hearing ambient music in public spaces, everywhere from DIY shops to supermarkets. In any other situation, such as when driving in the car or listening to an album at home, music can set your mood. But in shopping malls and shops, ambient music is so common that we usually don't pay conscious attention to what we are...
What does your response to tasting bitter lemon juice suggest about your personality? Most of us will be accustomed to taking personality tests that take the form of questionnaires. In a series of questions, you might be asked how you would respond to a particular situation, or how you tend to feel when a type of event occurs in your life. A less...
Persuasion can be a difficult task. Convincing a person, or a group of people, to comply with a request, or to agree with you on a particular viewpoint, can be a formidable challenge. Yet, why are some people able to persuade better than others? Salespeople, for example, earn a living from confidence in their ability to convince people that they need to buy...
Are You Authoritarian?
How much do you agree with the following statements? People can be divided into two distinct classes - the weak and the strong. Some people are born with the urge to jump from high places. No weakness or difficulty can hold us back if we have enough willpower. Most of our social problems would be solved if we could...
Psychology of Influence
What causes us to obey to authority figures such as police, teachers and politicians and why do people conform to social norms? A number of psychologists have tries to explain obedience and social influence, and in this section of Psychologist World we look at studies, theories and explanations of the influences we succumb to in every day life. The...
Slave To Your Role?
Zimbardo's Stanford prison experiment revealed how social roles can influence our behavior. We look at how it was conducted and what we can learn from it.
Brainwashing, its origins and its use in cults and media.
Extraversion and Introversion
Do you thrive when you are the center of attention in a large group? Are you the first person to introduce yourself at a party? Or, do you turn shy at parties and situations in which you might have to speak to strangers? If you flourish in social situations, you may have an extroverted personality. For decades, psychologists have used this personality...
Predicting Your Status Updates
Your favorite subjects for Facebook status updates reveal more about your personality than may intend, according to psychologists. From posting a photo of yourself with your partner, to sharing your daily gym exercise routine, status topics have been found to be linked to key personality traits. A recent study has found that Facebook users with different...
A leading question is one which leads or persuades a person towards giving a particular response. The way in which a question is ‘framed’ - the use of particular wording and limiting the range of acceptable answers - can direct a person to giving an answer that lacks the accuracy of one provided in response to an open-ended question. For...
The foot-in-the-door technique (or FITD) is a strategy used to persuade people to agree to a particular action, based on the idea that if a respondent will comply with an small initial request then they will be more likely to agree to a later, more significant, request, which they would not have agreed to had they been asked it...
Persuasion with Ingratiation
Ingratiation is a persuasive technique which people used to appear more amiable to another person or group, so that they might accept them and comply with their requests. Ingratiation can be planned (e.g. inviting a boss to dinner in an effort to secure a pay rise) but is commonly used in the course of everyday social encounters as a means of gaining the...
How the Norm of Reprocity Influences Behavior
The norm of reciprocity is a social convention that compels people to return a favor when someone has helped them. It also sometimes results in people wanting to see antisocial behavior against them punished. As this social norm is universally-recognized, we feel obliged to reciprocate acts of goodwill. We also expect others to repay our own helpful...
Influenced by Stories?
Do you ever find yourself engrossed by tales of fantasy? Or do you find that science-fiction storylines are a little too far fetched to be believable? Whether you are easily engaged by narratives in films, TV shows and novels depends on your personality traits. If have difficulty believing some storylines, your 'Big Five' personality traits may...
The "Door-in-the-Face" Technique
The door-in-the-face technique is a type of sequential request strategy. It is often used to increase compliance rates of a particular request. In contrast to the foot-in-the-door technique, which prefaces a request with a smaller request that the respondent is more likely to agree with, door-in-the-face requests involve asking a more demanding question,...
Openness to Experience
Openness to experience is one of the ‘Big Five’ factors and is used to study and measure individual differences in personality. A person with a high level of openness to experience will often enjoy venturing beyond his or her comfort zone. They seek out new, unconventional and unfamiliar experiences, travelling to new destinations, embracing...
Five Factors Test
Test your personality across five factors.
How Agreeable Are You?
How agreeable are you? Take the online test.
How conscientious are you? Test yourself.
Asch: Social Influence, Conforming in Groups
The Asch conformity experiments were a series of studies that starkly demonstrated the power of conformity in groups.
Adorno Reviled In the conservative 1950s, The Authoritarian Personality was soundly debunked as poor science. Among the charges leveled against the book and its authors were that they had not taken into consideration racial, social and economic differences, which would have skewed the test results, and that the questions themselves were unfairly weighted...
Personality Type Test
Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud theorised that our personality development is based on childhood events and labelled personality types such as analy retentive and oral . Find out your personality type by answering these questions: When meeting your partner's parents for the first time, do you? 1. Feel apprehensive and wait to be...
How subliminal advertising has been used to influence the public, including examples.
Are You An Extrovert? Test
How extrovert are you? Find out with this online test.
Five Factor Test
The key five traits of human personality, similar to the "Big Five" that Goldberg researched in 1993, are: Openness to experience Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neoroticism Take the Five Factor Test and measure your...
Are You Neurotic? Test
Find out if you're neurotic with our free test.
Openness to Experience Test
Are you a daredevil or a hermit? Find out with this online test.
What makes us left handed? Evolution from war, brain hemispheres or something else.
Influence of Language
How the words we use and media language affect our thinking.
Famous Left Handers
Information on famous left handed people.
Personality Types (Friedman & Rosenman)
The personality types proposed by cardiologists Friedman & Rosenman distinguish between groups people based on the way in which they cope with stress: Personality Type Characteristics of This Type Type A Type A people are highly motivated, driven to achieve high, sometimes...