Sparring Mind

Behavioral Psychology Blog

Suicide Cults and Social Proof

Social proof is powerful stuff.

So powerful, in fact, that is was largely responsible for the biggest cult suicide in history.

As scary as that sounds, social proof can also be used for good, convincing people to take positive actions for themselves by dissuading their doubts.

For instance, when Chase Clemons posted his Help Scout review (the company I work for), you should have seen the emails I got — people closely observe what other people do. It’s probably the #1 thing that results in people taking action.

That said, let’s explore the psychology of social proof!

Social proof in action (podcast)


Download the podcast here.

Want to embed this audio on your own site? Click here.

So, what are we talking about today? Well, a whole lot of stuff.

  1. How a hotel got more people to recycle towels (saving a ton of money) with social proof
  2. How your church is tricking you into giving bigger donations
  3. Why a suicide cult is the ultimate example of the power of social proof

After those crazy stories, we’re going to get into how to apply social proof to your blog or website.

Specifically, we’ll talk about using social proof in the form of:

  1. Numbers, and the power of large groups
  2. Features, or the effect that guest posting has outside of traffic & links
  3. Quotes, or how kind words can sway people at the last second

I really hope you all enjoy this one, please excuse my sickly voice, I had to record while sick (had the flu last week, yuuuuuuuuuuck :()


Thanks for stopping by, please share this post if you enjoyed it.

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