Django Unchained and the Psychology of Persuasion

Poster art by Mike Butkus
This is not a movie review, if that is why you came here, I´m sorry.

This blog post will be about the psychology of persuasion, which Quentin Tarantino paid a tribute to with his most recent flick.

The whole plot from Django Unchained is based around the matter of persuasion and it is an exemplary masterpiece at that, a showpiece about this special area of psychology.

The idea of turning a black slave into a Master-persuader in 3 hours is a remarkable act and worth looking.

Robert Cialdini has written very much about the process Django experiences throughout the movie in terms of persuasion, here are a few examples:

  • In the beginning Dr. King Schultz killed the Sheriff and gained unenforced compliance from the Marschall just through persuasion.
  • When Dr. King Schultz began to introduce Django to a higher society, he added the surname "Freeman" and accented that very well, which then sounded more like "Free Man" than a name.
    A typical use of psychology to persuade the unconsciousness of the opposition.
  • Later in the movie Django began to behave like an authority even when he was just a guest, but the behavior is important and is consistent with his psychological evolution throughout the movie.
  • Later in the movie when he as a slave asked white men to let him free, he made use of the authority as other slaves could back up what he was saying=proof of authority.
  • The deal to get a meeting with Calvin Candie is based on the law of psychology too; an offer he can´t refuse (A fake offer) = Aiming high to get what they actually wanted.
All this and more can be found here: and if you get the chance, get the book from Robert Cialdini.

So basically if you´ve read Cialdini´s book, Django Unchained covers very much aspects of the book and put them into action, which is really great.

If you don´t believe that these things can work in real life, you should try out some of the easier steps for yourself or watch a master persuader at work, Derren Brown is a good example:

Sure there is much show involved, either in the movie from Tarantino or the show of Derren Brown, but some things truly work and it makes life much easier if you not have to prove your authority again and again.

More information about how authority works can be found here, Brian Clark, the author of authority rules has made an excerpt of the concept available for free, here - a highly recommended read!

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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


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