Persuasion is the act of influencing or convincing a person to undertake a particular action or subscribe to a certain belief through the transmission of a message. There are six main principles of persuasion (Caldini, 1984). These principles are principle of reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking and scarcity. Despite using the above principles during persuasion, there are common fallacies in reasoning that can undermine the effectiveness of that process (Brizee & Weber, 2011). One major fallacy that affects my behavior as a consumer is that of begging the claim where a claim cannot be proved since I have a certain perceived mindset. This means that it is possible for me to make ill informed decisions due to my preconceived opinions. To counter that, the best thing to do is to educate myself about that particular subject before forming opinions. Carrying out a research to prove my claims is also a viable option to avoid pitfalls brought about by this fallacy.
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Another contentious fallacy is that of Red Herring. This is a diversionary strategy whereby the main issue is not addressed or tackled due to creation of an irrelevant issue. This is done by coming up with an equally critical issue hence all attention is diverted to the other issue. This fallacy can be countered by sticking to the issue despite how many times other divergent issues can be brought up. Therefore, remaining focused on the key issue is the best way to avoid this fallacy.
Straw man fallacy is a strong argument that puts false claims on an opponent’s opinion. Consumers are prone to this fallacy due to arguments brought about by two or more competitors. A competitor can bring about an argument that is out to destroy their opponent’s market. This fallacy can be countered by the consumer sticking to the facts and asking for evidence for the claims put forward. If the opponent cannot bring out any evidence then the claims are ignored.
As a manager there are a couple of fallacies that cause negative impact during the persuasion process. One major fallacy is the moral equivalence fallacy. This fallacy compares small mishaps to enormous barbarity. A client that has encountered a small mishap or misunderstanding with the organization can make a big issue out of it hence cause a lot of negative publicity to the organization. This can scare away potential clients hence have a negative impact on the organization’s business. In order to counter that claim as a manager, one should introduce these contentious arguments to potential clients and explain the real reason for those happenings. This familiarizes the clients with happenings of the organization hence when counter accusations are brought about; the clients remain firm with their decisions.
From the above arguments we can therefore say that decision making is the process of making a conclusion about a particular situation by weighing the facts then making a rational and thoughtful judgment (Bazerman & Moore, 2009). Decisions are commonly influenced by motivational and emotional bias. Emotions are feelings or temporary states of the mind that can either produce positive or negative energy (Gray, 2007). Changes in the environment bring about emotional reactions hence influence decision making. If a change in the environment leads to a threatening situation for a person or an organization then the decisions made will be biased on safety. In order to avoid the negative impacts caused by decisions based on emotional bias, the managerial team should be trained on how to develop soft skills for managing emotions.
Bazerman, M.H. & Moore, D.A. (2009). Judgment in managerial decision making (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publications.
Brizee,A. & Weber, R. (2011).Logical fallacies. Web.
Caldini B. Robert. (1984). Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
Gray ,W. D. (2007). Integrated models of cognitive systems. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.