The Franklin Effect and The Law of Reciprocity


Tom Corley boats - crop

My wife has a lot of friends. More friends than anyone else I know. I find it counterintuitive because she seems to demand a lot from her friends in the form of favors. But, she always reciprocates, meaning, it’s never one-sided. What amazes me the most is that my wife will ask someone she just met for a favor right out the gate and, of course, eventually reciprocate.  

These two habits my wife has forged have long intrigued me. I didn’t understand how or why they helped her in building strong relationships until I embarked on my obsessive study of daily habits many years ago. There are actually two psychological phenomenons at play, I discovered.

The Franklin Effect

The Franklin Effect is named after one of the most famous founding fathers in America –  Benjamin Franklin, who used it as a relationship-building tool. It has now become an accepted method for building strong relationships. Here’s how it works:

If you want to get someone to like you, either ask them for a small favor or perform a small favor for them. 

For some strange reason, human beings like doing small favors for each other. 

The Law of Reciprocity

The Law of Reciprocity states the following:

If you do a small favor for someone they will feel obligated to reciprocate.

The rich people in my Rich Habits study all seemed to have one thing in common – they had a lot of relationships. 88% had 200 or more relationships. Conversely, 95% of the poor people in my study had less than 200 relationships. When I dug deep into the reasons for this dichotomy, that’s when I discovered that the rich people in my study were using the Franklin Effect and the Law of Reciprocity for relationship building. As a result, these two tools became part of my arsenal of Rich Habits, which I obsessively write, talk about with the media and teach to millions around the world.

My wife, without knowing it, was employing both tools to build her enormous number of relationships. And many of the wealthy in my study, like my wife, were completely oblivious to their use of these two relationship-building tools. My wife had picked up these tools from her Dad and then turned them into lifelong habits. This is not uncommon. Most of the habits the wealthy had forged in life came from their parents as well.

Less than 5% are raised in families where parents teach their kids the Rich Habits. We are most definitely not all on equal footing when we step foot onto the adult stage. Those who have the Rich Habits have at their disposal certain habits or tools, like the Franklin Effect and the Law of Reciprocity, thanks mostly to their parents. This enables them to cut through their competition, like a hot knife through butter, accumulating millions of dollars along the way.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit

Speak Your Mind