Robert B. Cialdini


Chapter 2 – Reciprocation




I.                    Intro Story

a.      Christmas Cards

                                                               i.      Professor sent out hundreds of greeting cards to random people

                                                             ii.      Hundreds came back, people never met

                                                            iii.      Why?

b.      Mexico City Earthquake

                                                               i.      Ethiopia gives $5000 in relief

                                                             ii.      1935 Mexico sent Ethiopia money when invaded by Italy


II.                 Law of Reciprocation – Reciprocity Rule

a.      Evolution – bound societies together

b.      If given something, obligated to return a favor

c.      If not, social outcast

                                                               i.      “moocher”, “ingrate”, “freeloader”

                                                             ii.      Have feeling of obligation until favor returned

                                                            iii.      Think “Thank you” notes

d.      Regardless of whether or not you like the person giving you the object


III.               Examples

a.      Hare Krishna Society – 1970s

                                                               i.      Chant, bob in unison and beg for money – didn’t work

                                                             ii.      Given gift – book, magazine, or flower

1.      Refuse to take gift back

                                                            iii.      Today people know not to accept gift in first place, avoid person

b.      Politics

                                                               i.      Logrolling – exchange of favors for votes

1.      LBJ getting Congress to vote/Why?/Favors while a Congressmen

                                                             ii.      Lobbying – companies gift officials in hopes of favorable vote

                                                            iii.      Is this buying a vote?

c.      Pharmaceuticals

                                                               i.      Heart Disease Medication

1.      100% of doctors who supported drug given gift before

2.      37% of doctors who criticized didn’t receive gift

d.      Merchandising – The Free Sample

                                                               i.      Small sample at supermarket – once taken, hard to return toothpick without buying, regardless of interest/like

                                                             ii.      Amway – give away sample of products free to consumers

1.      Feel obligated to order/buy products used

e.      Prisoner of War – gave enemy bread/saved life

IV.              Unequal Exchange to Avoid Feeling Obligated

a.      Boy Scout sells ticket to circus

b.      Turns down, but then asked to buy chocolate

c.      Why?

d.      Reciprocal Concessions – if someone else gives in on deal, you feel need to give in


V.                 Rejection then Retreat

a.      Wanted them to be chaperon to juvenile delinquents to zoo

b.      Ask them to volunteer as counselor two hours weekly for two years

c.      Three times as much success

d.      Door to Door Sales

                                                               i.      Don’t buy my product, fine, but do you have any friends that will benefit – Cutco Knives

                                                             ii.      Get referral

e.      Watergate

                                                               i.      Initial Plan – G. Gordon Liddy – chase plane, break-ins, kidnappings, mug squads, blackmail Democrats - $1 million

                                                             ii.      Agreed to Watergate break-in – “We were reluctant to send him away with nothing.”

f.        Borrowing money from family

                                                               i.      Ask for higher, then concede lower amount

                                                             ii.      Heads I win, tails you lose

g.      Sales

                                                               i.      Billiard table – 43

                                                             ii.      Television Sales 2.2 p. 49

                                                            iii.      My car experience

h.      Labor negotiations

                                                               i.      Obscene first demand – look like you’re never going to give in

                                                             ii.      Keep fighting and justifying

                                                            iii.      Slowly give way

                                                           iv.      Person B then allowed to bring down demand

1.      Feels they are the winner