Did You Know? One Psychological Trick Might Help You Win Over Anyone

2 min readSep 17, 2020
Artwork by Incrediville

Don’t do it yourself. 👻

There’s always that one buddy we can’t say no to. We’re always picking up the slack for them, but still being nice about it. It’s that one friend who always gets away with asking for help. Chances are, he’s taking advantage of a psychological trick — asking a favor.

This can be explained by the ‘Ben Franklin effect’. Yup, it’s Benny. 💵 Pulling out one of his quotes: “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” 🧐 Basically, people will probably end up liking you for doing you a favor.

CC: https://kenburns.com/films/benjamin-franklin/

We all have a soft spot for being “liked.” Asking someone a favor is the most straightforward act to make people feel recognized and appreciated. This, in turn, makes you likable. Ben once borrowed a book from one of his haters and turned him into a best friend.

Frankly speaking, the Ben Franklin effect is a cognitive bias. We just find it hard to reconcile the fact that we’d help someone we don’t like. So we just assume we like them.

What does this mean to the “good guys”? Maybe it’s time for them to take a break. The same idea applies to those who never finish. If you want her to like you back, next time probably try to ask her some favors instead. Let her know she can help, too.

“Would you do me a favor and swipe right?” ← 🔥 My new Tinder bio.

For psychology nerds, keep the term cognitive dissonance in mind. You probably already know, but it stands for that weird feeling when our actions don’t match with our words. What our mind tells us to do next is to make up an excuse to feel better. It doesn’t even matter what excuse it is, most of the time.

Usually, cognitive dissonance comes to play when we know we did something we shouldn’t. (Like parking at the curb for a second when we know it might block somebody)

The merit of the Ben Franklin Effect is to make this bias constructive. If we can provide a little kindness for even the people we don’t like, things might turn around for everyone.




Illustrating science since 2017 from Taipei. We serve fast food for the thought in this town. (っ◔◡◔)っ This is where we keep our fact sources and art.