Dr. Robb Willer -- Moral Reframing

“Persuasion is rooted in empathy. If you want to begin to change someone’s mind, you should make your argument from an understanding of their values, not your own. This approach is called moral reframing. Willer found that conservatives are more likely to begin to accept liberal policies such as national health insurance or same-sex marriage if they’re framed in terms of conservative values like patriotism and moral purity. Liberals are more likely to begin to support conservative principles like military spending if they hear an argument about how the military helps reduce inequality--an argument rooted in fairness, a key liberal value.” -- Fast Company


Building Rapport

When you express with certainty a particular attitude, that attitude hardens. The opposite is true as well: Expressing uncertainty softens the attitude.



A common social norm, reciprocity involves our obligation to return favors done by others or to reveal something about ourselves as others will feel the need to reciprocate.


Urgency Principle

We only have a short time to act before something horrible happens like climate change, a recession, etc…Appeal to people’s sense of mortality and the fact that time is of the essence.


Social Pressure

We are influenced strongly by others based on how we perceive our relationship to the influencer. Friends, teachers, employers, mentors, celebrities all play a role and their views (our views) can be enhanced by their testimonials.


Speech is important

Generally, don’t speak longer than 30 secs at any given time bc others won’t remember long drawn out statements.

Use the five most persuasive words in the English language: You, Because, Free, Instantly, and New.

Ask “What if?” This phrase removes ego from the discussion and creates a safe environment for curiosity and brainstorming.


Common Ground

Find out what others’ political goals and principles are and align your arguments accordingly. People will find it easier to get on board with a cause if the frame of reference is similar.


Use the Barnstorm technique of telling a pertinent story from your life that illuminates why you’re involved in forming a people’s party (no more than 2-3 mins). This is especially effective when presenting before a large group.


Win people to your way of thinking--Dale Carnegie, whose tips on communicating are still considered the gold standard and are used in all areas of marketing and communication.


  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.


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