Ben Franklin Effect: request for help for friendship with someone

Weird Desk | April 4, 2018

Ben-franklin-effect photoWanna win someone’s heart? Then what will you do? Most probably you are thinking to do something for her or him. But believe it or not, the opposite works better. That means, if you are trying to figure out how to win someone’s heart, you can ask her or him to do a fever. It was suggested by one of the founding fathers of United States, Benjamin Franklin and now this effect is known as Ben Franklin effect. In his autobiography Franklin wrote, “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

Benjamin Franklin also mentioned how he applied this to a fellow legislator who had hostile relationship with Franklin. Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.”

Research by top psychologists also supports Ben Franklin effect. So, why this happens? Our brain asks us, why did you do that? We need an explanation, that is, I did it because he or she is a good guy and I have friendly relationship with him/her.

Even a sales person may request you to give him some information and suggestions about a particular product or service. In fact he is following Franklin’s advice.

Ben Franklin effect not only creates friends but also enemies. As I mentioned above your brain asks, why did you do that? When soldiers kill their counterpart in battle they need an explanation. So they start to hate them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • More from Weird