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Appeal to Flattery

 

Disciplines Argument > Fallacies > Appeal to Flattery

Description | Discussion | Example | See also

 

Description

You are a nice, good person. Nice people accept my arguments. Therefore you will accept my arguments.

Compliment the other person. Make them feel good about themselves. Show that you approve of them and their actions. Tell them that they look good.

Then ask them to agree with you.

Example

Hey, you're looking great today. You know I read your paper and it was amazing. Now doesn't it make sense for us to go out tonight?

You're the kind of person who understands this. Could you endorse me?

That's a really good idea. So let's go and show it to Bill. We can also ask him about next year at the same time.

Discussion

Flattery is always nice to receive as it strokes a person's sense of identity. In doing so, it leads them to like you in exchange and want to repay you for your kindness. Agreeing to your request is an immediate way of doing this.

Flattery can include compliments on such as:

  • Their looks
  • Their actions
  • Their beliefs or values
  • Their intelligence, ideas and thinking
  • Their creativity and aesthetic sense
  • Their ability to argue
  • The things they have produced

Some people are more susceptible to flattery than others, particularly those with a weaker self-image and who may be generally less confident.

Flattery is a particular kind of Appeal to Emotion.

Classification

Appeal

Also known as

Apple Polishing, Wheel Greasing, Soft Soaping, Flannelling.

See also

Narcissistic Personality, Exchange principle

 

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