In terms of persuasion, a justification is always persuasive. Just saying “because” already convinces a person more. Naturally, the higher-quality the justification, the better, but it’s always persuasive to a degree.

There was a persuasion psychology study done where a person would try to cut in line for a copying machine, giving different justifications. “I need it”, “My boss will kill me”, and etc.

  • The biggest insight here was that the difference between giving an empty justification and not giving one was very high. In short, just saying “I need this because I need it” is a lot more persuasive than not giving any justification at all;

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

Justifications work because they give the impression that your ask has some basis in terms of proof. Even when the justification is insufficient or incomplete, that effect still occurs.

You use justifications by simply giving a justification for your ask. Using expressions such as “because” or “so that” is enough by itself, but using a justification based on a diagnostic, or the majority, or something tailored will work even more.


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"It's just that I need it"

Sometimes, a person will ask for something, and the other one will refuse. And the first person will say something as, “Oh, I was just asking because I need it”, or similar, as if that would change things... well, it can!

Based on preference

Nowadays, we have customised and tailored recommendations from many algorithms and software services. These sound very effective because they seem recommendations tailored to just us.

"Let me tell you why"

Whenever you’re trying to convince someone and you stop for a moment just to tell them why you’re doing it, you’re leveraging a justification.

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
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How to Stack This Technique