Wednesday, 25 January 2017 – What’s Focal is Causal

At night, I read Cialdini again, going from page 52 to 96. The book got a lot better. Cialdini’s thesis is that what we do before we try to persuade people is critical to the success or failure of the persuasion attempt. He has a great discussion of the use of sex appeals in advertising. The gist is that sex appeals work, but only for products that are related to how we look or interact (cosmetics, clothes, etc.).



Cialdini also makes much of the idea that “what’s focal is causal.” What this means is that we attribute causality to what we can see. In videotaped police interrogations, people will almost always judge the suspect guilty if the video shows the suspect’s face (but not the face of the police officer). If the video focuses on the face of the officer, people almost never judge the suspect to be guilty.

I really enjoyed my reading last night.


C had a mega tantrum in the evening. We’re not sure what it was over, but it probably had something to do with the fact that C got up early and had stayed up late. C lost all stories for Wednesday and Thursday.


So, the lone story was E’s and she chose The Talking Turnip by Anne Rose. It’s a cute story in which inanimate objects start to talk. Understandably, the people in the story freak when they hear their “stuff” start to talk. They all go to see the king.


About mobilemojoman

I have been a Mobile resident for about a decade. Working as a college professor keeps me off the streets and pays the bills. I am married to a woman (the MojoWoman) who is a much better person than I am and we have two beautiful girls who keep us both jumping. My interests are varied - food & drink, sports, politics, exercise, books, travel, Mardi Gras, and all of life's rich pageant. In the future, I'd like to learn more about sailing, photography, Cajun/Creole cooking, making beer and wine, and writing.
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