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The Mafia and Reciprocation

I don’t know if you have read The Happiness Hypothesis but if you haven’t, then I recommend it. It is an extraordinary book on the human condition and writing about such you cannot miss out on the work of Robert Cialdini, PhD. Dr. Cialdini is the most cited living social psychologist in the world today and famous for his book Influence Science and Practice, where he enlightens readers on the six principles of influence.

In The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt dedicates the whole of chapter three to one of the principles; the principle of reciprocity. He opens up the chapter and our understanding of reciprocity with a scene from The Godfather that I thought would give us a vivid understanding of reciprocity. Even though the scene is about “reciprocity with a vengeance” it is extraordinary how easy it is for us to understand this complex interaction in an alien subculture.

We all know how this ended. (If you don’t you really need to catch up on your Godfather).

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Check out The Happiness Hypothesis

Robert Cialdini is author of Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive and Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion