Why Are People So Attracted to Charisma

The Charisma Effect
How to bend people to your will


"According to an evolutionary theory proposed by a pair of psychologists, charisma is the ability to convince followers that you can get other members of a wider group to cooperate. These researchers found that exposure to charisma increased generosity: Subjects who saw a ted talk by a charismatic speaker later gave more money to a stranger than did those who saw an uncharismatic one. And thinking about a charismatic person (versus an acquaintance) made people more likely to cooperate with a stranger.

"We’re most swayed by charisma when lacking data on a leader’s record. In one study, subjects had to decide whether to keep or boot a CEO after watching a fake newscast describing him as high or low in charisma and his company’s stock price as rising, sinking, or relatively flat. Charisma helped the CEO most when performance was ambiguous. The researchers also rated past presidential candidates’ charisma, by combing their speeches for charismatic tactics—storytelling, expressing moral conviction, setting high goals. Only when economic indicators were muddled was charisma strongly correlated with votes received. "

Charisma can be taught/learned.

ClareBroommaker's picture

At this point in my life we're pretty much down to "what you see is what you get." I don't suppose I will make any deliberate effort to become more charismatic for the sake of leadership or anything else. But who knows?

Once when I was called for jury duty there was a fellow citizen who was lively, witty, engaged many people in conversation, just seemed to enjoy life. However, he just would not give it a rest. This showed strongly even through the voir dire. I wanted the guy to shut up and stop making himself the center of attention. I was not wanting to be on a jury with him. The lawyers excluded him. He had such an unrelenting overload of jolly likeability that, from my point, of view he was suspicious, and the lawyers apparently did not find him a good prospect either. Oh, he'd learned how to have personality, but he'd not learned a balanced level of give and take or allowing others a moment with their own thoughts. There was something a little narcissistic about him. His was not the kind of charisma that could last.