The How to Speak so People Listen Dictionary Part 7: Psychology

by Mike Clayton  - December 18, 2013

How to Speak so People Listen is filled with specific concepts and models. To make a valuable resource for readers, and to introduce non-readers to some of the core concepts of the book, I have created a dictionary. As a bonus, this dictionary also contains additional terms and ideas that are not contained in How to Speak so People Listen. It is in 16 parts and has around 100 entries. If you like dictionaries -�take a look too at The Yes/No Dictionary based on my earlier book, The Yes/No Book.

Part 7: Psychology

Psychological principles lie at the heart of much of How to Speak so People Listen. This means that I have had to use some technical psychological terms – and also some terms that I have coined to describe things.


Affect (noun); A transient, subjective feeling or emotion, resulting from a physiological or sensory stimulus, or from an internal representation of a person’s state. The word ‘affect’ is used by psychologists when the rest of us would use emotion (qv).

Cognitive Dissonance (noun); The brain-ache we feel when we try to hold to conflicting views. In trying to resolve it, we often negate or diminish one possibility by our choices or actions.

Emotion (noun); See also affect. There are many emotions and many attempts to characterise and list them. How to Speak so People Listen illustrates the Plutchik Model (qv).

Filters (noun); We filter what we hear through our experiences, prejudices, beliefs, values and labels to create our own interpretation of what we hear. So even when we hear everything that is said, in the way it was said, we fail to understand everything that was meant, in the way it was meant..

Plutchik Model (noun); A model that classified emotions (qv) – or affect (qv) -�as positive or negative and according to their intensity. It also represents opposites and similarities in a single graphic representation (see below).

You Principle (noun); When holding a conversation, people’s favourite topic is usually themselves. So when you can focus the conversation around my interests and around me, I am likely to consider you a good conversationalist.

The Plutchik Model of Emotions

The How to Speak so People Listen Dictionary Part 8: Linguistics

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