SPICE: The Con Man Approach to Changing Minds

In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Susan K. Perry shares a mildly manipulative approach used to change people’s minds. It is up to you to use this knowledge either to protect yourself or to make wicked gains. It is the “SPICE” method:

  • Simplicity: The more concise you can make your argument, the more effective it will be.
  • Perceived self-interest: Talk about why changing one’s mind will create a positive life benefit for that person.
  • Incongruity: Aim to surprise people with the way you deliver information. Perry says to “tell them your cupcake is 400 cents rather than four dollars and they’re far more likely to buy it.”
  • Confidence: Speak with confidence and you will seem more right, even if you are totally not right.
  • Empathy: Do whatever you can to convince the other person that you come from a similar background, in whatever context you can contrive. “We prefer to work with those who happen to come from a similar tribe.”

This strategy is not actually inherently wicked at all; it merely leaves itself open for radical abuse by the unscrupulous. Keep to the light side of the Force if you can help it. You can view the original article here:

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