How Not to Be Persuasive on Twitter, Part 1: What Message Are You Really Sending?

Recently, Kanye West created a stir when he retweeted several clips of one of Scott Adams’ periscope videos. This caused a huge amount of cognitive dissonance (i.e. “heads exploding”) in some circles and the anti-right twitter trolls went into overdrive attacking Adams and West.

Some of them screwed it up because they don’t understand persuasion.

For example, take this tweet by Jules Suzdaltsev:

Clearly this is an attempt to ridicule and discredit Adams. But look at the tweet and think about what you experience.

You see a 60+ man with a better physique than 90% of young men these days. Humans, like all social primates, respond unconsciously to displays of dominance because position in the social hierarchy determines mating opportunities. Alphas are particularly considered more credible and worth paying attention to than those lower in status. In the retweeted pictures Adams comes off as physically superior, one type of dominance display (others include displays of talent, wealth, wit, and authority). So by Suzdaltsev retweeting the pictures, Adams’ message of dominance and credibility has now been spread to Suzdaltsev’s 58,000+ followers.

Think about that again: Suzdaltsev got persuaded into spreading Adams’ message, while all the time, thinking that he was making Adams seem weaker.

Who was more persuasive here?


If you came here from Twitter, feel free to go back and like the Twitter post because that lets others know what value you found here.

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