What is the English word for this; making someone or some people do something you want while thinking its what they want...

For example I want to get my stuff at home so I told my brother that he forgot his textbook in my wardrobe back at home and so he goes back home to pick his text and in the process gets my stuff for me.

  • 4
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 11:53
  • Killing two birds with one stone.
    – user140086
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 12:06
  • @Rathony That doesn't have the sense of "making someone believe it's what they want", and the verb desired would be the same whether or not Peter was lying about the textbook (i.e. if only one bird were actually killed). No, I think he means something more along the lines of Tom Sawyer's whitewashed fence.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 12:11
  • @Dan Bron I thought of manipulation before I saw your comment. I know you don't mind people expanding your comments into answers, but even so I want to be on record as having independently thought of it.
    – ab2
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 17:59
  • @ab2 Let the record so reflect. +1 for your answer.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 19:14

1 Answer 1


Manipulation, from Vocabulary.com

Manipulation is the skillful handling, controlling or using of something or someone. Whether it's the sculpture you made in art class or how you convinced your friend to do your homework — both are considered manipulation.

A famous example in literature of manipulation (however, not called that in the book) is that of Tom Sawyer and whitewashing the fence. From Wikipedia, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

[Tom] skips school to swim and is made to whitewash the fence the next day as punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work.

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