Week 7 — Motivation, Proof and Social Biases Course Review

Leanne de Araujo
5 min readJan 17, 2021

Lots has been happening at home and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get my blog in on time but here it is. It helps that the videos are easy to follow and some are pretty short at 2–5 minutes. Most of this part of the CXL Psychology of Persuasion course is presented by Roger Dooley who I really like as a presenter. It is about Nonconscious Motivation and goes through the different aspects that can encourage someone to buy from us.

Social Proof

I’m also reading Robert Cialdini’s, “Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion” book, which also talks about social proof. This is when the marketeer shows that a lot of people are using a product of service. In an earlier blog I mentioned Lululemon because if you go to many yoga classes you will see people wearing their clothes, the same applies to Sweaty Betty in the UK and Fabletics.

Another way of providing social proof is through reviews where a service has numerous good reviews. However, this does not work for luxury items where buyers want to feel as though they are the only person buying that item.

Image by David Zydd from Pixabay

Event Videos Social Proof Power Plays

Much of this section is a presentation held by Angie Schottmaller’s talk at Conversion XL Life 2016. She has an amazing presence from the big hair, don’t care look that I also used to sport to the way she presented the information in a down to earth manner.

She expanded on Dooley’s and Cialdini’s information about Social Proof with the 6x Format as follows:

1. Sum it Sum it, is how much the analytics for any service or product show how popular it is

2. Score it Score it — This is the percentage of response and is a little more qualitative

3. Say it Say it includes testimonials for a product or service

4. Sign it Sign it includes logos and visual information

5. Share it Share it is how much the item is shown to other people and

6. Shine it is sharing on a larger scale as on Social Media shown below.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Quality will always supersede quantity and a great testimonial will always be better. If something isn’t qualitative, it isn’t effective.

Cognitive Biases

Another way of describing this part of the course is that it is about whether the head rules the heart or the other way around. It has been shown that statistics are not more powerful than qualitative information and can even justify belief and actions which is known as confirmation bias. A way of working around this bias is to use stories and case studies.

The availability heuristic is that what is easier to remember is what is held. For example, riding on a plane to travel to a gorgeous destination is usually an enjoyable activity but not for those who have been involved in a crash.

Loss Aversion

This is an interesting aspect of marketing and one of the best examples are free trials and even the scholarship for this course. I didn’t want to miss out on doing what looked like a brilliant course and was highly recommended to me by a copywriting buddy, who opinion I respect so I put in my application for the scholarship and I’m doing my best to keep up with the course. I find that if I allocate a particular amount of time to the course I can work my way through it. Generally, loss aversion is when you make the customer feel like they are losing out if they cancel.

The Framing effect is the manner in which something is communicated. It can be positive or negative or about benefits and side effect or losses. Where possible when I write or promote a product I want to be positive. Yet, Dooley suggests that the opposite, negative reinforcement is a more powerful way of promoting a product. Another type of bias that is also power is authority bias though this can be hit and miss. This is an example that was also covered in Robert Cialdini’s book, Persuasion.

Fluency bias is important and reminds me of the KISS, which can stand for Keep It Simple Stupid though I prefer Keep It Sweetly Simple. It is about making things easier to read and process. This is in terms of using easy language, fonts, and experience.

Priming is the idea that things that can be suggested that will change people’s behaviours so in terms of copywriting we can make subtle suggestions that might encourage someone to buy their offer. I love that for this part of the course, Ross Perot was mentioned. I was able to work for his company a while back and really enjoyed working there so this case study is in line with how I felt. I haven’t seen the movie that the presenter refers to, “On Wings of Eagles” though it’s one that I may put on my list to watch.

An AB test was carried out and shows that it’s important to build credibility and liking and for the Ross Perot study it was shown that if a speech is shown first it on a list of items including a bio and a testimonial would have a better effect.

It has also been shown that men and women react differently to advertising thought this may be obvious to you as the reader though this is right down to the colours where things in red will be shown as being more significant.

As someone who is interested in uncertainty it is also shown that people are more likely to buy when there are clear URLs, fonts and colours on the website, and this is particularly important for check out pages.

Chart and Science Bias

I love a great chart, and this is encouraged in copywriting. Adding a chart can increase credibility by as much as almost 30%. Similar to chart bias, images can make things more believable. People believe that by using an image it’s easier to call things to mind.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Perhaps I’ve been doing this subconsciously when writing these blogs as I wanted the information to look more presentable though I’m not sure if it appears to be more believable because of this. They are merely the facts of the Course, mixed in with my opinion.

It was mentioned before that one way of remembering something different, which can also apply to images is the Von restaff effect and similarly is the contrast in colours on images. Similarly, distinctive bias is useful for business where we can show differences side by side. I think that the example I’m most likely to come across is before and after photos on a weight loss site.

Next week, among the subjects I’ll be covering for the CXL Psychology of Persuasion course will be building trust, habits, and loyalty.



Leanne de Araujo

Helping service based businesses grow their audience through research and content writing.gh research and content writing.