As I wrote in a previous post, undermining truth begins with finding a good face and creating a great story. Pulling emotional triggers in people is the next step. It’s tapping what they want to believe.
Three Basic Emotional Triggers
These triggers are not personality traits. Rather, they set off flight or fight responses. In this sense, they are instinctive. Advertisers use them to sell their wares. Politicians do too. They come in three basic forms.
Each triggers powerful fears such as:
- Loss of control, insecurity
- Oldness, obsolescence
- Humiliation, disrespect
Therefore, creating the story to undermine truth will work best by pulling these triggers. The story should focus on the potential loss of these things and how the person, plan or idea will protect or restore them.
Identifying Emotional Triggers
All people have these triggers to some degree. One though will be more dominant than the other two. Entire groups can have a common trigger too.
Power, control, size and quantity are characteristics here. Big cars, houses, buildings are signs. Emphasizing quantities of money, data or knowledge are too. Other signs include guns, trucks and power-oriented thoughts and ideas.
Novelty of Experience
Newness and freshness are characteristics here. That means having the most current technology, fashion or architecture. Adventure in terms of travel or experiences are signs too. Travel firms are notorious for triggering this emotion. Youth and newness prevail.
Standing out and ostentatious displays are characteristics here. Luxury vendors target this trigger. Emphasizing awards and credentials are signs too. Name dropping and mentions of contacts with famous people tap this trigger too.
Pulling Emotional Triggers
After identifying which emotional triggers, it’s about pulling them. Here are short examples of doing that for each:
- If we don’t invest now, we’ll lose business. This threatens our survival as an enterprise.
- These products are obsolete. If we don’t update, we’ll fall behind the competition.
- They are invading our niche. Failure to do something will mean we won’t be able to differentiate ourselves.
Of course, the story to undermine truth will have one or all of these triggers woven throughout it. Triggering these fears will naturally cause people to rethink truth. The price of not doing so is too high.
Triggering the desire to have these things will cause people to rethink truth too. They want to feel secure, new and special. The desire grows if they think they’re easy to get.
Thus, in the end, emotions, not logic, drive the story that wins. Undermining truth means pulling emotional triggers in people. That begins with finding what people want to believe. These three emotional triggers make it easier to do that.