25 Psychological Tricks That Really Do Work

Posted by , Updated on March 23, 2024

Today, we’re going to share with you some pretty cool and useful psychological tricks that really do work. But before we go there, know that we at List25 don’t condone manipulating people to get your way. With that said, there are some psychological tricks you should be aware of because they might help you get what you want. Also, other people might try using these psychology tricks to get what THEY want so you should try to recognize these tricks. (This is pretty much the definition of advertisement/marketing.) These are 25 psychological tricks that really do work.




giftsSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

Our first psychology trick is all about gifts. Numerous studies have shown that offering someone even the smallest gift can radically change their disposition towards you. It’s one of the easiest psychology tricks to get someone to like you.


Passive voice

confrontationSource: quora

When you don’t want to be confrontational but want to get your message across, passive voice is your friend. Instead of, “You didn’t send me the spreadsheet,” try “The spreadsheet wasn’t sent.”


The 10 minute psychology trick

clockSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

If you don’t feel motivation to do something, just do it for 10 minutes. Even if you don’t keep doing it for longer, 10 minutes is better than 0.



confidence levelSource: quora

If you act like you know what you’re doing, people tend to believe you. While we wouldn’t ever suggest doing something illegal, this can certainly get you out of some tough spots.


Fear of loss

heartbreakSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

People are afraid of losing things. This is why “Only 2 seats left!” works when buying bus tickets. Or why sales don’t just go on forever. While this trick can be useful for motivating people, it can also be useful to prevent people from motivating you.


The illusion of choice

crossroadsSource: quora

If you want someone (lazy coworker, child, etc) to do something, just give them a faux-choice. What we mean by this is if you have to sweep the floor and fold the laundry, just ask them, “So do you want to fold or sweep?” Since they feel like they have some control, they’ll be more likely to do whatever they choose.


Door in face

horseSource: wikipedia, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

This is a marketing technique that basically says to ask for something huge before you ask for what you really want. In other words, if you want a puppy, ask for a pony first.


Foot in door

smallSource: wikipedia

Interestingly enough, this psychology trick is the exact opposite of “door in face.” The theory is that if you ask for a small favor, people are more likely to comply with a larger one later on.



silenceSource: quora

If you want more information out of someone, or you want a better deal, etc…silence can work magic. In conversation, silence is awkward, and people will talk themselves into a hole just to avoid it.


Open body language

body languageSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

You can almost force yourself to be confident by assuming open body language in any given situation. This means not crossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, etc.



mirrorSource: quora

By lightly assuming a bit of a person’s persona, you are more likely to establish a repertoire with them. Just don’t go too strong. That could seem artificial and strange.



helpSource: quora, Image: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net (public domain)

Whether you ask for one, or someone offers to do something for you, these are a great way to make somebody feel useful and also establish a connection with them. Of course, don’t go overboard; we’re talking about small favors only.



i agreeSource: quora

This psychology trick can be powerful, especially when you disagree. Try your best to find some common ground and start with that. For example, “I agree with you here, but…” or “I understand this, but…”


Tom Sawyering

tom sawyerSource: quora, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org (public domain: author's life + 100 years or less)

This is when you pretend that something you don’t want to do is actually really interesting or fun in order to get somebody else to do it.


Admit the little things

admit oneSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

One good way to build trust is if you admit when you’re wrong, especially on little things. You can even strategically take the blame for something you didn’t actually do (not recommended from an ethical standpoint). This way, you’re more likely to be trusted later on.



swiss flagSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

This is one of the best kept persuasion secrets in the world. If you show somebody that you are open to both sides of an argument, that person is far more likely to trust you.


The size-up

eyeSource: quora, Image: https://www.pexels.com (public domain)

If you walk in the city a lot, this psychology trick can help you. Whenever you see someone shady, make eye-contact. (But don’t glare!) Now quickly run your eyes down to their feet and then back up again. Finally, immediately look away and continue with what you are doing. This “size-up” sends the message that you have assessed that person and do not see them as a threat. Note: this works best if you are walking purposefully and have a strong posture. Even if you feel small, pretending to be the big dog can completely change the situation.


Don’t argue your main point

argumentSource: quora

When negotiating something, argue a secondary point. For example, if you want to build a wall, don’t argue about whether or not the wall will be built; immediately skip to who will be paying for the wall. Now people will take the existence of the wall as a given.


The baby smile

babySource: quora

If you are not a parent, here’s a life-altering psychology trick…smiling at a baby can work wonders when they are crying or upset. You would be surprised how fast their mood changes.


Bite a pen

penSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

Here’s a quick psychology trick to get you into a better mood: bite a pen. This forces you to smile. Why would you want to do that? Because forcing a smile (even a fake one) can actually make you feel happier.


Avoid “but”

yes, butSource: quora

You may have noticed that even in this list we use the “but” (agreement). The truth is, however, that people are much more receptive to a “yes, and” than they are to a “yes, but.”


Using names

wilburSource: quora, Image: https://www.pexels.com (public domain)

Using somebody’s name can instantly make them like you more. Keep in mind, however, that you shouldn’t overuse it. That could make them like you less.


Let people talk

listenSource: quora

Even if you already know something, let them teach you or show you. People love doing this. And if you really want somebody to enjoy their conversation with you, just get them to talk about themselves.


Phone interviews

suitSource: quora, Image: http://www.freestockphotos.biz (public domain)

Here’s a psychology trick for your next phone interview: dress up in your professional clothes. We’re serious. Even though its a phone interview, the attire will help you get into a more confident frame of mind.


“Oh yea, I remember you telling me that.”

rememberSource: quora, Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

When you find someone is repeating themselves, don’t break them off with an abrupt “you already told me that.” By letting them know that you remember what they said, they will realize that they don’t need to tell you again, but they will also know that you appreciate the things they say.