Why is the glass half full or half empty?

There is an old joke about H-A-B-I-T that if you take away H , you get A-BIT. If you remove A, you still have BIT and if you further remove B, you still have IT! Old habits die hard!

The same must be true for many other things. For example, there is a certain pattern as to how we process information and represent them. In NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming i.e. a milder version of hypnosis if you like ) this is called metaprogramme. I will discuss 5 major ones in this post.

(1) Outcome preferencemoving towards something or moving away

When we describe something, do we state ‘what we want’ or do we describe ‘what we don’t want’? Can you differentiate the following?

  • I like blue cars
  • I don’t like anything red

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What’s the big fuss about representational systems?

By now you have probably heard of representational systems in NLP

If you are not familiar, have a look at the picture below ( the arrow points at the direction of the eye movement, i.e. up, middle, down)

V – Visual – driven by what I see

A – Auditory – driven by what I hear

K – Kinesthetic – driven by what I feel

(image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Ignoring Ai (which I’ll talk about shortly) the image above is a typical right handed person facing you

(1) What is it like being a visual, auditory or kinesthetic person?

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Psychology of Influence

Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is one of the best books I ever read on the subject, describing  in detail the factors behind influence

The 6 weapons of influence:

(1) reciprocity – if you offer help to someone, chances are he/she will feel obliged to reciprocate

  • Attack: how do you get someone’s help? In reality, I believe that’s why we tend to help others ( usually in the first instance)
  • Defend: when are the moments where you are manipulated to feel obliged to help others?

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What is 90% tit-for-tat?

We talked about game theory and the prisoner’s dilemma in the previous post (Click here for Part 1: Game theory in 5 minutes). The implication is real and thus it is vital that we understand the best approach to adopt in such situations

Recall that the problem with the prisoner’s dilemma is that one’s action is dependent on the other party’s action. Obviously the problem is we don’t know what’s the other person’s action is going to be! If only!

There are 2 distinctive scenarios here:

  1. one off circumstances
  2. repeated circumstances

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Game theory in 5 minutes

The prisoner’s dilemma is a fundamental problem in game theory that demonstrates why two people might not cooperate even if it is in both their best interests to do so

Why? Refer to the following payoff table (scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest)

  1. Both cooperate – 3 points each
  2. One party cooperates and the other party defects
  • the one who defects = 5 points (reason: taking advantage of the one who cooperates)
  • the one who cooperates = 0 point (reason: being taken advantage of)

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