How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days

Don’t you just hate it when your significant other tells you no? This step by step how to will teach you how to get your live-in lover to do anything you want them to using a cognitive psychology.  We learned four ways in class to manipulate the simple minds of our significant others (SO) to get them to do anything and everything we want.  We do this using availability, anchoring and adjustment, representativeness, and competence.  The culmination of these cognitive mind games are called heuristics of judgement and decision making. Using these cognitive mind games will spoil you in that, you will always have your way.

Availability can be used by substituting an old memory for a new event.  Let’s say you wanna go to that pirate themed circus ballet coming into town and you need to convince your SO.  You can tell them that it was kinda like that super cool break dance competition you went to last spring or another event that will help them retrieve those previous events.  It’s hard to imagine an abstract event, so giving them a familiar event would increase your chances of getting them to do whatever you want to do!

Anchoring and adjustment can be used by creating an initial judgement (anchoring) but keeping in mind that the individual making the judgement will change that value to how they see fit (adjustment).  While buying tickets for that pirate themed circus ballet coming into town, of course you want good seats.  You could ask your SO, ‘how willing are you to pay $1,000 a seat?’ And according to anchoring and adjustment, aiming for a higher price range will allow for them to make adjustments and say, ‘……maybe $150’ when in reality, the seat you wanted only costed $100, win.  This heuristic works for both anteing up and down.

Representativeness can be used by betting on the fact that your SO isn’t very smart and has poor intuition and judgement.  It’s ok it happens to the best of us, but this time, it works in your favor!  Representativeness is when we judge based upon how much an example resembles (physically) to the category but the possibilities of it being an incorrect representation are under weighed.  For example, getting your SO to get to that pirate themed circus ballet coming into town, you could show them pictures of the performers doing breakdance tricks.  It seems as if those pictures would be a good representation of the show so your SO underweights the possibility that it could be a crazy pirate themed circus ballet while still having the slight possibility that you could possibly be going to a breakdance show.  

Last but not least of these cognitive manipulation heuristics is competency.  Competency is when you allow the individual to feel as if they have control of the situation, when it’s just an illusion because the events are actually random.  Similar to gamblers fallacy.  Get your SO to go to that pirate themed circus ballet coming into town by letting them win a couple fake fights nearing the show date.  Your SO just overestimated their chance of winning by going to this show (in your eyes they would be, duh, pirate themed circus ballet). This heuristic works for losing as well, that the individual thinks they have a higher chance of winning if they have lost so many times.

*These heuristics of judgement and decision making aren’t proven to be 100% effective.

4 thoughts on “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days

  1. amichaud

    What a great post! Its so great that you were able to put these heuristics into perspective of everyday life. It definitely proves that people can be easily manipulated because w all have such different heuristics of certain events. Although they are not proven to be 100% effective they seem to to be very manipulative and potentially more effective than I thought were possible. Super cleaver!

  2. Maryfay Jackson

    It seems a little scary how you can influence people just by doing simple things little things, like exposing them to posters of a show you want to see and they will want to see it. People have different heuristics but generally doing these things can help in decision making. It kind of makes you wonder if the people around you are trying to persuade you to do things by using these kinds of techniques.

  3. mdeasis

    This is lovely article that brings some comedic light into judgement of people and influencing them to do certain things and relating it to significant others. The mind is truly a wonderful thing and you did a really good job incorporating all these heuristics. Although you mentioned that they are not 100% effective, I know you convinced me that they are! Good job!

    1. Erica

      This is the best post I have read all semester. When reading this it seems silly that people will fall for some of these tactics, but oh so often people do. We probably do some of these things without even knowing it on a daily basis to get our way. Now since reading it I plan on making sure I plan out my manipulative task so that they have a better chance of working in my favor. I just hope everyone doesn’t catch on to these steps of manipulative success.

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