Social influence can be defined as a process through which changes occur (in an individual) in behaviors, attitudes, experienced emotions, or motivational states, under the influence of real or imagined actions of another person or group of people (cf. Latane, 1981; cited in: Dolinski, 2000). It is worth noting that these changes can be both positive (beneficial) and negative (unfavorable) for the person under the influence. Techniques of social influence are nothing more than developed patterns of behavior aimed at bringing about these changes.

Social influence can be broadly divided into persuasion and manipulation. Dolinski defines manipulation as an interaction in which the influencing person disregards the interests of the person being influenced (2000). Consequently, persuasion can be perceived conversely as an interaction in which the influencing person takes into account both their own interests and the interests of the person they want to influence. Persuasion is, in this sense, a more ethical form of exerting influence. Of course, this division is fluid and depends on the observer’s attitude or the participant in the interaction.

The best classification of influence techniques has been developed by Robert Cialdini. It is advisable to familiarize oneself with the rules authored by him at the very beginning of acquiring knowledge about influence.

Six Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Other techniques of social influence include, among others:

Even a penny will help


  1. Cialdini, R. (2000). Influence: Science and Practice. (B. Wojciszke, Trans.). Gdańsk: GWP. (Original publication year: 1993)
  2. Dolinski, D. (2008). Techniques of Social Influence. Warsaw: SCHOLAR
  3. Doliński, D. (2000). Psychology of Social Influence. Wrocław: Towarzystwo przyjaciół Ossolineum
  4. Jolles, R. L. (2010). The Path of Persuasion. Warsaw: MT Biznes
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