Did you get a middling score on my previous online persuasion quiz? Here’s your chance to prove how much you’ve increased your knowledge since then. That’s right, time for Part 2.

The answers are at the bottom, but no peeking!

Take the Online Persuasion Quiz (Part 2)

1.     Which of the following statements most accurately describes how people react to authority figures?

A )     As a form of psychological reactance, we are naturally inclined to resist doing as we’re told by authority figures.

B )     We’ll often obey, but only after we’re convinced the authority figure is authentic/qualified.

C )     We have remarkably low standards as to who constitutes an authority figure, and respond instinctively.

2.     How long can the feeling of obligation that results from the Principle of Reciprocation last?

A )     Only a short time, so you must call in your favors quickly.
B )     A very long time. It can even cross generations.
C )     Two hours and thirty-seven minutes.

3.     Generally speaking, whose advice are we most likely to trust?

A )     Experts
B )     Oprah’s
C )     White professional males in business suits
D )     People who are similar to us

4.     How do we tend to perceive big, unlikely events? (Like winning the lottery, or being struck by lightning.)

A )     We overestimate the chance they’ll happen to us

B )     We underestimate the chance they’ll happen to us

C )     We overestimate the probability of positive events, but underestimate the probability of negative events.

D )     We underestimate the probability of positive events, but overestimate the probability of negative events.

5.     How are rhyming statements perceived, compared to non-rhyming statements? (For example, “Birds of a feather flock together” vs “Birds of a feather flock conjointly”.)

A )     Rhyming statements are perceived as less truthful, because the attempted manipulation is too obvious and gimmicky.

B )   Rhyming statements are perceived as more truthful due to improved processing fluency.

C )     Are you kidding me? Whether or not a statement rhymes obviously has no bearing on its truthfulness!


1.     Alas, the correct answer is “C”. We tend to accept even flimsy evidence of authority, and respond without thinking.

2.     It’s “B”. The Principle of Reciprocation has been used to explain why nations tend to return favors granted by other nations, even after 50 years or more have passed.

3.     We like – and trust – people who are similar to us. The more they’re like us, the more we trust them. “D” is correct.

4.     The correct answer is “A”. Our tendency to overestimate the likelihood of big unlikely events – both positive and negative – is what keeps lotteries and insurance companies in business.

5.     Believe it or not, “B” is correct. See Persuasive Messaging: Time for a Rhyme.

So… How’d you do?

  • If you scored 5, Bravo!
  • If you scored 3 or 4, you’ve either been reading up on the subject or you have good instincts.
  • If you scored 0 to 2… well, get a copy of Influence quick!