The Scientific Way to Get People to Like You: The Benjamin Franklin Effect

Dilara Avlupınar

Dilara Avlupınar

Boğaziçi Ekonomi

While there is no magic formula that will make people instantly become friends, there are scientifically proven ways to make people we meet love us more. One of them is the “Benjamin Franklin Effect”.

“Anyone who once did you a favor will be more ready to do another favor than if you feel indebted to them.” – Benjamin Franklin

So what is the “Benjamin Franklin Effect”? How can he help us with this? Let’s see together.




What Is This Benjamin Franklin Effect?

In his famous autobiography, Franklin tells the story of asking a political rival to borrow a rare and only book he has. His opponent agrees to give Franklin the book he asked for, and then Franklin sends him a thank you note. The two continue their lives as close friends.



So, the Benjamin Franklin Effect tells us that if you want someone to like you, ask for a little help because we feel closer to those we do good.


Someone who does you a favor is inclined to love you.

I know it sounds a little strange, but research backs this up. In a 2014 study of participants from the USA and Japan, it was revealed that someone who asks for help to complete a project is much more liked than those who do not.
Another experiment was done in pairs. While one of the couples is constantly doing favors to the other, the other is behaving normally. At the end of the experiment, it was seen that the person who did the good felt 5% more close than the other person.
There are about 1500 experiments like these, and they all prove the Benjamin Franklin Effect.
Here are a few ways you can apply the Benjamin Franklin Effect in your daily life;
Simply ask for small favors from people you want to like you. I share a few examples below, but of course, what you can do is not limited to these.
• Borrow a pen from a coworker.
• Ask a passerby to take a picture of you with your friend.
• If you want to get close to an old friend again, ask for a recipe for something he used to do.


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Kategoriler: Self-Improvement

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