Hot Best Seller

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Availability: Ready to download

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.


Compare

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

30 review for Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sundeep

    Summary: This book can’t be summarized. It can only be very, very strongly recommended. Recommended? YES. Buy it now if you haven’t read it. Table of contents: 1 Weapons of Influence 2 Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take…and Take 3 Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind 4 Social Proof: Truths Are Us 5 Liking: The Friendly Thief 6 Authority: Directed Deference 7 Scarcity: The Rule of the Few Notes: Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you. Buy it. Read it. Tru Summary: This book can’t be summarized. It can only be very, very strongly recommended. Recommended? YES. Buy it now if you haven’t read it. Table of contents: 1 Weapons of Influence 2 Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take…and Take 3 Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind 4 Social Proof: Truths Are Us 5 Liking: The Friendly Thief 6 Authority: Directed Deference 7 Scarcity: The Rule of the Few Notes: Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you. Buy it. Read it. Trust me. * Expensive implies quality. Example: gems in a jewel case that weren’t selling were marked up and then sold at a “discount” to the markup (a price higher than the original price), and they sold like hotcakes. * Power of contrast. Example: If you go into a men’s store they’ll try and sell you an expensive suit before the sell you the expensive sweater, because the contrast makes the sweater appear more affordable. * Reciprocity. Example: If someone buys you something (say, a Coke), you’re more likely to by something from them (say, raffle tickets). * Concession. Example: If someone tries to sell you something and you pass (say $5 of $1 raffle tickets), they’ll try and sell you something less that you’ll end up buying because you feel bad (1 $1 raffle ticket). Another term used here is “reject then retreat.” * Commitment leads to consistency leads to collaboration. Example: During the Korean war, the Chinese got American soldiers to make public commitments of various things. Then they made those commitments even more public, which the American soldiers had to stand by to be consistent. That consistency then led them down a path of minor forms of collaboration – without them really thinking about it as such. * Writing something down, even privately, strengthens your commitment to something. * People like and believe in commitment because their image and reputation is on the line (ie the Chinese concentration camp example above). * People like more what they struggle to get, even if it’s not that good. Example: frats (hey, it’s in the book, don’t hate the messenger). * People like to feel they have control over a decision – even if they really don’t. * The power of social proof, or the idea that if others do it it’s good. Example: introverted pre-schoolers who saw introverted kids become social in a movie were more inclined to go play. Another example: cults. People follow the crowd because they believe in the “wisdom” of the crowd. * Convince and you shall be convinced. Example: cults, where people who convince or convert others become more convinced (that’s why so many are evangelical). * Assign responsibility if you want things done. Example: a stabbing that took place over many minutes had 38 witnesses…it happened cause everyone figured someone else would call the police. * The power of copycats that’ll play on social proof. Example: if you find a wallet of someone like you and you’re more likely to return it (it’s true). Another (scary) example: more suicides when the press publicizes a suicide…more fatal “accidents” too. * Liking is an important part of influence. Attractiveness, similarity (identity and context), compliments, contact & cooperation all can make someone more influential. * The reason good cop/bad cop works is because the subject feels someone is on their side. * Associations are powerful. Bearers of good news get treated well, and bad news get treated poorly. Examples: weathermen (or Roman messengers reporting lost battles!) * People tend to defer to authority/experts. Examples: experiments involving shock therapy where people listened to a guy in a lab coat to inflict pain on another human being (incredible how strong this is). * The power of connotations and context over content, and how it can imply authority. Titles and clothing do this. * Gaining trust. Example: a waiter who advises against a more expensive item early in the meal will gain the trust of everyone at the table, and then he can suggest more expensive items and more items through the course of the meal. * Scarcity is powerful. There’s a psychological reaction…people don’t want to lose their freedom, and don’t want to lose. This plays to a second point: competition. Invite 3 used car buyers at the same time and you’ll sell the car faster. A cookie is more attractive if there are two of them than if there are 10 of them. (Always as yourself when something is scarce: will the cookie taste as good if there are 10 of them?). Plus, if you saw that the number went from 10 to 2, you want it even more. It can even lead to revolt…when something is given and then taken away, people get mad; if something is never given at all, they don’t know what they’re missing. * “It appears that commitments are most effective in changing a person’s self-image and future behavior when they are active, public, and effortful.” * “The most influential leaders are those who know how to arrange group conditions to allow the principle of social proof to work maximally in their favor.” * “Social proof is most powerful for those who feel unfamiliar or unsure in a specific situation and who, consequently, must look outside of themselves for evidence of how to best behave there.”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Pouting Always

    Another one of those business books where it's a good read if you haven't read any others from the same genre but with the same basically formula where they keep repeating information that can be condensed down into a few pages and which every other business book will tell you but of course they'll rephrase it. If you haven't ever thought much about the influence of the way you talk to people and vice versa I'm sure this can be very eye opening. If you're pretty self aware or have contemplated h Another one of those business books where it's a good read if you haven't read any others from the same genre but with the same basically formula where they keep repeating information that can be condensed down into a few pages and which every other business book will tell you but of course they'll rephrase it. If you haven't ever thought much about the influence of the way you talk to people and vice versa I'm sure this can be very eye opening. If you're pretty self aware or have contemplated how difference in you behavior can affect that of others then you're going to just find most of the things in these books to be obvious.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gina Grone

    I don't understand why so many people rated this book so highly. --It panders to the audience by using overly simple language and repeating the same idea 5 times to make sure that the reader really understood. Example (from memory): "People are heavily influenced by society. Society shapes our choices. Our choices are influenced by the people around us. There are countless examples of one's choices being swayed by his or her peers." Thanks, I got it the first time. --The first and second "weapons I don't understand why so many people rated this book so highly. --It panders to the audience by using overly simple language and repeating the same idea 5 times to make sure that the reader really understood. Example (from memory): "People are heavily influenced by society. Society shapes our choices. Our choices are influenced by the people around us. There are countless examples of one's choices being swayed by his or her peers." Thanks, I got it the first time. --The first and second "weapons of influence" were interesting and thought-provoking. Reciprocity and consistency. The third to sixth weapons were just plain obvious. Social proof, i.e. a group's preference influences your own? No shit. Liking, i.e. someone similar to be more persuasive to you? OK, obvious. Authority, i.e. power leads to persuasive ability? [sarcastic] Wow! Scarcity, i.e. perceiving scarcity leads to increased desire of a resource? Mildly surprising. --The author must have read about the device of repetition just before writing this book and used the book for practice. The amount of times that he used "click, whirr" to illustrate the metaphor or playing a tape in our heads to produce automatic action made me want to scream! (Also, cassette tapes were out of style by the time I was in high school...) --His choice phrase for people who consciously used these "weapons of influence" were ... wait for it ... "COMPLIANCE PRACTITIONERS"!!! Just call them "influencers" or something less vomit-inducing, buddy. --The author "updated" the edition for the printing in 2007. He should have just done a reprint with a new foreword or something, because the result of the update is a total failure. 90% of the references are still from the mid-80's or before. A discussion about the future of communicating with computer has one puny line added to it about how everyone uses the Internet now. To be fair, some of the conclusions drawn and the research presented were very interesting. But the feel of the writing was so juvenile and repetitive that I can't recommend this book to anyone. I'm sure there are much better books on the topic.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shishir

    Six "weapons of influence" 1)Reciprocation - People tend to return a favor. Thus, the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethopia in 1937. 2)Commitment and Consistency - I Six "weapons of influence" 1)Reciprocation - People tend to return a favor. Thus, the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethopia in 1937. 2)Commitment and Consistency - If people commit, verbally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. See cognitive dissonance. 3)Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments. 4)Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents, such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre. 5)Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype. 6)Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    I put this book under "dangerous knowledge." Cialdini, still a top consultant in this field, has a tiny disclaimer at the end of the book saying how he's aware that this knowledge could be misused, but doesn't go much further. I see this stuff abused all the time, to spin democracies to go to war, to sell us products and services we don't really need and much, much more. I've been wanting to start an ethics institute around this topic. Interested? Write me!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark Cheverton

    Required reading for all marketing professionals. The book details the most common approaches to influencing the decisions of others, backed up by the authors time spent infiltrating direct marketing companies and the like. Offers handy hints on how to spot when you're being manipulated and how to handle it. A very enjoyable read, should leave you much more aware of how you're being played next time you're in the market for a used car.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Abubakar Mehdi

    A couple of months ago, I read somewhere that when it comes to the psychology of persuasion and influence, Cialdini is the “daddy” of this subject. I chuckled and moved on. But then, a few days ago I found myself in a bookstore holding this book and heading to the counter. I came back home, and devoured it chapter by chapter, awestruck and flabbergasted by the sheer brilliance of the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini is no novice, apart from being an academic scholar and researcher who conducte A couple of months ago, I read somewhere that when it comes to the psychology of persuasion and influence, Cialdini is the “daddy” of this subject. I chuckled and moved on. But then, a few days ago I found myself in a bookstore holding this book and heading to the counter. I came back home, and devoured it chapter by chapter, awestruck and flabbergasted by the sheer brilliance of the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini is no novice, apart from being an academic scholar and researcher who conducted innumerable experiments over the course of his career; He spent three years, in field, researching for this book. He entered into programs offered by different business enterprises and marketing agencies to train sales staff and dealers in ‘the art of persuasion’. Cialdini explains the science at work behind the curtains of this ‘art show’ in this book. We live in a consumer society. Our markets survive and thrive on mass consumption of products that are neither necessities nor luxury, but still they find their way to our homes right through our pockets. Why and how it happens, how we are convinced and persuaded to do something we really don’t need or want to do? Why in certain situations we are unable to fight the temptation to buy something we have no use of? How exactly do we fall for these marketing gimmicks? This book has the answer. For our convenience, our brain has evolved some fixed-action patterns, patterns that we follow almost blindly without any recourse to reason or logic. Why we do this? Because our brain has been programmed this way and because by doing this we don’t have to think too hard, it seems natural and effortless, almost as if it is the most obvious and right thing to do. This ‘shortcut’ of ours is exploited, almost everyday by people who are trying to sell us something. Cialdini repeatedly uses the term ‘click, whirr’, which explains our behavior patterns when we encounter a situation for which we have a ‘programmed reaction’. What the situation does is that it appeals to our conscious mind with a red-flag-signal. A file is ‘clicked open’ as a result, and ‘whirr’… out rolls the standard sequence of behaviors. (view spoiler)[For instance, if a thing is expensive it is good. If a thing is rare, it is precious. Likewise, we are more likely to spend a higher amount on alloy rims if we have spent a fair deal on the car. The more we spend on our suit, the more we are likely to spend on shoes and tie. This is due to the contrast principle, which is that on spending a high amount of money on an expensive thing we are likely to spend money on something less expensive than the initial product but which is still expensive enough if compared to its alternatives in the market. Click, whirr. The more we spend on the first thing, the more we are likely to spend on the second and the third. (hide spoiler)] The other important principles that marketing agents employ to get our assent are: Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Friendliness, Authority and Scarcity. These are the shortcuts our brain is evolved to rely upon for making quick smart decisions, and it is by manipulating these very ‘click, whirr’ responses that we are compelled to say yes, even when we don’t want or need to. The synthesis of his entire research has been divided and assembled in 7 chapters. Each chapter explaining, through case studies, social experiments, research and psychological analysis of human behavior, different methods and tact with which we are convinced to do or not do a certain thing. This book has a lot in common with Daniel Kahnemans’ “Thinking, fast and slow” which is one of my favorite books of all time. I highly recommend these two books to anyone who is interested in behavioral psychology.

  8. 4 out of 5

    John

    Not a runaway train of rapturousness like 1776, Moneyball, or Outliers, but like Anna Karenina it seems to encompass all of life and address all of life's important issues. I would recommend this to anyone, and will definitely listen to it again. I tired one of his techniques on a colleague I had been chasing for week, and it worked like a charm within an hour, so 1 for 1.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David

    Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more accomplices would look up into the sky; the more accomplices the more likely people would look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up, that they stopped traffic. Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales. Likin Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more accomplices would look up into the sky; the more accomplices the more likely people would look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up, that they stopped traffic. Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales. Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware–people were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor. Thus, the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. Commitment and Consistency - If people agree to make a commitment toward a goal or idea, they are more likely to honor that commitment. However, if the incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wen

    Yesterday I had to kill a couple hours, and happened to have this tiny audiobook on my phone. it turned out to be an instructive read. The author offered six principles of influence, i.e. getting people to comply or say yes: reciprocation, scarcity, authority, consensus, commitment and liking. he identified three agents who apply these principles with various degree of success, a bungler, a smuggler, and a sleuth; this was an alternative approach to give application tips than, say, using to-do an Yesterday I had to kill a couple hours, and happened to have this tiny audiobook on my phone. it turned out to be an instructive read. The author offered six principles of influence, i.e. getting people to comply or say yes: reciprocation, scarcity, authority, consensus, commitment and liking. he identified three agents who apply these principles with various degree of success, a bungler, a smuggler, and a sleuth; this was an alternative approach to give application tips than, say, using to-do and not-to-do lists. The examples were mostly business cases, although according to the author the principles also apply to other facets of life. Here are some practical tips included: -One can sell more expensive item by showing the top-of-the-line first and then working down. -When someone thanks you for a sizable favor you did him, instead of saying "it was nothing", say "listen, you'd do the same for me" to remind the person to reciprocate in the future. -When selling something, highlight the benefits the person stands to lose by not choosing your product, as people are more motivated by the thought of losing something than that of gaining something. -A leader, instead of simply using a poll, should communicate to the team that each member's input will be a factor into the equation of a decision, although might not be the deciding factor. -A commitment will most likely produce lasting changes when it's active, public and voluntary. -The factors that lead to liking: similarity, praise and Cooperation. I would not disagree that those are little more than common sense, and one must have read iterations of them in other psychology self-help books. Also the six principles are no way exhaustive in the arts of influencing. And yet this was a nice little framework, and to me, there would have certainly been less fun ways to pass time than listening to this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    So, I've read a fair amount of the literature about group dynamics and social influence, and taught classes that discussed and used it. So I thought I'd know much of what was in this book already. While I was familiar with some of it, there were a number of tricks I hadn't noticed, and excellent descriptions of the ones I had, complete with explanations. Definitely worth reading! Influence describes the six categories of techniques that have the potential to influence us without our conscious awa So, I've read a fair amount of the literature about group dynamics and social influence, and taught classes that discussed and used it. So I thought I'd know much of what was in this book already. While I was familiar with some of it, there were a number of tricks I hadn't noticed, and excellent descriptions of the ones I had, complete with explanations. Definitely worth reading! Influence describes the six categories of techniques that have the potential to influence us without our conscious awareness. One, for example, is the mark of authority -- people are more likely to follow directions and suggestions given by someone with a title (Dr., Judge) than otherwise. The same applies to suggestions given by people who dress as if they are in the successful upper-class, or who are acknowledged authorities in some field (it doesn't have to be the one under discussion). What makes the book interesting (besides the highly useful listing of techniques and defenses) is the additional research -- including the surveys showing that people *are* in fact completely unaware that they're doing it. When asked about an experiment, they will insist that the given technique won't work, but when actually involved in the experiment, will fall for it almost every time. Really interesting stuff. I read recently that if you trace the locations (by location-aware cell phones) of a small population in an American city over a 6-month period, on average, the movement collapses into standard predator patterns. ( http://www.citeulike.org/user/sjc/art... ). This says something profound about the reasons we give for our behavior vs. the underlying causes. Cialdini sheds some light on these differences by pointing out some other areas where our thoughts don't match our actions, and explaining the unconscious shortcuts we use to help us function in our daily lives. Plus, it's got some great tricks to get out of being pressured into buying stuff or contributing to charities you don't like. :D

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    It's sometimes insightful but it seems to be written for a "young adult" reader and it seems to pander to the audience. I keep finding myself wishing it were better researched and better reasoned. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that such a popular book is so loaded with conventional wisdom and random assumptions presented as quasi-scientific. What made me about apoplectic is that his fifth edition continues his inaccurate presentation of the Catherine Genovese myth despite that it has been wid It's sometimes insightful but it seems to be written for a "young adult" reader and it seems to pander to the audience. I keep finding myself wishing it were better researched and better reasoned. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that such a popular book is so loaded with conventional wisdom and random assumptions presented as quasi-scientific. What made me about apoplectic is that his fifth edition continues his inaccurate presentation of the Catherine Genovese myth despite that it has been widely discredited. It's kind of disappointing. I'd recommend it to people as being worth reading but I strongly wish it were more academically rigorous. It's not nice to say but the guy comes across sometimes as kind of flaky and not that smart. Perhaps he's just as much of a chump when it comes to ideas as he says he is when it comes to complying with the requests of other people. By the last couple of chapters I couldn't stand it anymore. I basically quickly skimmed them. The chapters on Authority and Scarcity are all over the place. The fifth edition, with its extensive editing, shouldn't be this sloppy. I think it would have been better if he had simply rewritten it because aside from all of the forced conclusions and so forth, the mixture of outdated references and haphazardly injected contemporary material feels schizophrenic. It's hard not to dislike this guy just for his inane bio on the back cover as it is vomit-inducingly cutesy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    'Know Thyself' is not just a catchy cliché, it was for centuries a central spiritual imperative. Reading books like this only remind one of why it is so important. Even with modern psychology the average person understands so very little about themselves, their drives, why they do what they do, why they like what they like, that they are easily manipulated and exploited. You could say that it is even better if the person fallaciously believes they do know themselves and are confident in that und 'Know Thyself' is not just a catchy cliché, it was for centuries a central spiritual imperative. Reading books like this only remind one of why it is so important. Even with modern psychology the average person understands so very little about themselves, their drives, why they do what they do, why they like what they like, that they are easily manipulated and exploited. You could say that it is even better if the person fallaciously believes they do know themselves and are confident in that understanding, these are even more gullible than the naiveté. Robert Cialdini dissects all the different tactics that marketers have known for years on how to get people to do things they initially had no desire for. Through careful analysis and explanation he goes one by one over these techniques and how to counter them. The author's impetus for even conducting this study a sincere desire to understand himself better because of how many times he had been duped, sold, tricked, conned and convinced into purchasing/doing things against his true wishes. These Weapons of Influence are 1- Reciprocation (feeling indebt to return a favor) 2- Commitment and Consistency (People naturally don't like change, they want predictability) 3- Social Proof (If everyone is doing it, that is proof enough) 4- Liking (We are more susceptible to being influenced by those we like) 5- Authority (Many are more than happy to put blind faith in authority) 6- Scarcity (Ahh the central tenet of Economics, also has a powerful emotional appeal)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Varun

    The techniques described in this book are very fundamental to our psychology and the way Cialdini has explained them in a lucid manner is commendable. It requires a deep understanding of the subject to be able to bring such perspicuity to a subject area. In his almost story-like narrative, the author has at times over-communicated or repeatedly emphasized a particular phrase often to benefit of the reader. As a reader, you may feel that you already know some of these tricks of the trade, but the The techniques described in this book are very fundamental to our psychology and the way Cialdini has explained them in a lucid manner is commendable. It requires a deep understanding of the subject to be able to bring such perspicuity to a subject area. In his almost story-like narrative, the author has at times over-communicated or repeatedly emphasized a particular phrase often to benefit of the reader. As a reader, you may feel that you already know some of these tricks of the trade, but then author brings out specific edge cases where a particular influence approach may fail because you just are trying to blindly apply the technique without understanding those edge cases. A must-read book for anyone looking to come across as a person who gets the buy-ins she or he wants. Obviously, a mere reading of this book won't make you a master. But taking specific notes and applying them in your real life is what matters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Huyen Chip

    There are several good passages but unfortunately, the book didn't persuade me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. With the sophisticated mental apparatus we have used to build world eminence as a species, we have created an environment so complex, fast-paced, and information-laden that we must increasingly deal with it in the fashion of the animals we long ago transcended. Another fascinating book, this time provided by the "Influence Without Authority" class I took through Deere back in April. An overarching idea of the book is that people don't always use all the available information to make a decision - s With the sophisticated mental apparatus we have used to build world eminence as a species, we have created an environment so complex, fast-paced, and information-laden that we must increasingly deal with it in the fashion of the animals we long ago transcended. Another fascinating book, this time provided by the "Influence Without Authority" class I took through Deere back in April. An overarching idea of the book is that people don't always use all the available information to make a decision - somtimes they use shortcuts. The book explores many of these shortcuts and those that exploit them in great detail. The shortcuts are as follows. 1. Reciprocation - There are two types of reciprocation. Type 1 - Giving a "free sample" - This kind is used by Hare Krishnas in airports. They pin a flower on a passerby before asking for a donation. People feel more obligated to give a donation since they already received a flower, even if they throw the flower in the trash 3 steps later and are even angry about it. Type 2 - Making a big demand, then conceding, getting the target to reciprocate a concession. He used an example where a Boy Scout initially asked him to buy a box of cookies for $5 or something, then after declining, the Boy Scout said, "Well, we have these chocolate bars for only $1." The Boy Scout conceded the larger sale, and the customer felt obligated to "concede" by buying the cheaper option. Committment and Consistency - This was perhaps the most fascinating chapter. It's quite simple: people want to be consistent with their past actions. Once people admit or make a declaration, it may even "grow legs to stand on" in their mind as they justify their actions. Some of the fascinating examples: Retailers advertised certain toys like crazy for Christmas, but deliberately didn't supply enough. They got parents to promise their kids the toy, but then the parents couldn't buy it. Then the retailers would advertise it again in January, and there would be plenty available. This was a way to pump up sales during a normally dead time for stores, and cash in on parents' promises to their children. Signing petitions is extremely dangerous! There was a story about people who signed a petition about traffic safety. Then, 6 weeks later, they were asked to put an ugly "Buckle up" billboard in their front yard. The people who signed the petition were far more likely to allow the billboard. Another study was done where people were asked to sign a petition totally unrelated to traffic safety. Then 6 weeks later they were asked to put the same ugly "Buckle up" billboard. The results were the same - even though the petition was in no way about traffic safety! Why? Because by signing the petition, people "saw" themselves more as the type of person who would take action for public causes like traffic safety. The Chinese used simple tricks on prisoners. They'd get them to admit that America has problems, and then get them to write about America's problems. Putting it in writing has a powerful effect to make the writer believe it even more. They'd also get them to admit that Communism wasn't "all bad" for China, and get them to write about that. Pretty soon, they'd have essays on the subject which appeared damaging to the USA, and made the prisoners look brainwashed. Social Proof - Everyone is doing it, especially people just like you! If you go stand on a street corner, and stare up at a point in the sky, people might think you are nuts. If you and 3 of you friends go to a street corner and do the same thing, passers by will be far more likely to look up to see what "everyone" is looking at. We are far more likely to just "do what everyone else is doing" when there is uncertainty about what the best course of action is. In this chapter, he goes through the whole ordeal about the woman who was killed in New York, where there were 32 witnesses that never called the police. They were confused because it was happening in broad daylight, and because no one else was panicking. You can cut through this mob mentality by grabbing someone and giving the, specific instructions - "Call the police!" He also went through the story about the cult that moved to Jonestown, Guyana and "drank the kool aid" in a mass suicide. By moving to such a remote area, there were no other people like them anywhere. It gave their leader more influence over the group - the only people "like" them were themselves. When one woman "drank the kool aid", it was a snowball, because she was just like the others. He also went into detail about how suicide rates dramatically increase when a highly publisized suicide occurs in an area. He even went so far as to blame an increase in car accidents and plance crashes on them - and had the data to back it up! Fascinating. His contention is that this increase in car accidents and plane crashes aren't accidental, but are fake suicides. Liking - Tupperware parties are so successful because they are using your friends as their salespeople. These parties also use social proof and reciprocity (by giving prizes, guests feel obligated to buy more). They also use commitment by getting people to say publicly how they will use the products. But liking is a big category. He reviewed how attractive people get a "halo effect", where we believe them and like them better, and are therefore more likely to buy from them. Serving people lunch before asking for a contribution also works! We also like and follow people we perceive as similar to ourselves. Authority - Just the appearance of a business suit or a doctor's lab coat can make people believe them more. He told a story where nurses have been found to obey doctors (and ignore their own training) just because doctors have authority over them. He also told the infamous story where people would continue administering shock therapy to "subjects" because the professor told them to continue - despite people screaming in the other room. Beware of people in business suits! Scarcity - By making something scarce, people want it more, and even like it more. Taking it away makes people want it even more. There was an elaborate study where they gave one set of people 10 cookies, another set 2, and then a third set initially 10, and then took away 8 and left them with two. The people who thought the cookies tasted best were the 3rd set. The people with only 2 to begin with ranked #2, and the people with 10 rated the cookies the least tasty. The moral of the story is that we value things more when we have less, and we value things the most right after they were taken away from us. This is why "first come, first serve" works so well. It's also why having multiple people competing for the same thing works so well. Cialdini closes the book by saying that we humans have created an insanely complex world that is getting incomprehensible - we call it the "Information Age" not the "Knowledge Age". In this context, we are more likely than ever to use these shortcuts to help us make decisions quicker and easier. Using these shortcuts isn't always a bad thing, but we need to be more aware of when they can be exploited by others. There is more opportunity than ever for exploitation. I agree 100%.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hussain Elius

    I have read a fair amount of literature about psychology, group dynamics and social influence - mostly from various little articles and blogs in the net, so although I knew many of the topics covered in the book, I am pleasantly surprised that I didn't know most of it. Now I do. This book pretty much covers all the popular studies done on the human psyche and far from being an academic paper, brings the Psychology of Persuasion to the masses in a well articulated, well referenced, book. I especia I have read a fair amount of literature about psychology, group dynamics and social influence - mostly from various little articles and blogs in the net, so although I knew many of the topics covered in the book, I am pleasantly surprised that I didn't know most of it. Now I do. This book pretty much covers all the popular studies done on the human psyche and far from being an academic paper, brings the Psychology of Persuasion to the masses in a well articulated, well referenced, book. I especially liked how the book used said studies in how it affects daily, and non-daily lives. For example: Scarcity. We already know that something being scarce increases it's perceived value, but then the book goes on to say WHY does scarcity increases perceived value and draws yet another example of how the 1960s Black Revolution stemmed from scarcity. Who would have known? The subject is intriguing to say the least. Wouldn't you like to know what makes you decide, and what you can do to help someone else decide? ;)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    Basically an interesting book. It was written in the 80's and is a little out dated in facts and writing style. I liked how he explained different techniques that are used to influence us, and then had a section on "how to resist." I found him a tad paranoid, though. He seemed to read a lot of mal-intent into people's desire to influence, when really I just think it is human nature to want to influence people over to your own way of thinking. I don't think I need to be hyper-vigilant at all time Basically an interesting book. It was written in the 80's and is a little out dated in facts and writing style. I liked how he explained different techniques that are used to influence us, and then had a section on "how to resist." I found him a tad paranoid, though. He seemed to read a lot of mal-intent into people's desire to influence, when really I just think it is human nature to want to influence people over to your own way of thinking. I don't think I need to be hyper-vigilant at all times, looking out for people who are trying to take advantage of me. I got a kick out of the chapter on the Mormon temple and how he refused to attend an open house due to the priciple of "scarcity influence."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alaa

    This book again is an evidence of how easily men can manipulate each other, highly recommended for entrepreneurs and influencers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leah Nadeau

    Psychological studies like a Malcolm Gladwell style. It's taken me a long time to get through it. Unfortunately a bunch of the topics mentioned I've learned from taking Psychology in University. It had interesting information but I feel it really drags on each topic. Clothiers know to sell the most expensive item first because the accessories are cheaper in comparison and they're more likely to buy them as well. Instead of buy cheap, then expensive. When you ask for a favour don't just say can I pr Psychological studies like a Malcolm Gladwell style. It's taken me a long time to get through it. Unfortunately a bunch of the topics mentioned I've learned from taking Psychology in University. It had interesting information but I feel it really drags on each topic. Clothiers know to sell the most expensive item first because the accessories are cheaper in comparison and they're more likely to buy them as well. Instead of buy cheap, then expensive. When you ask for a favour don't just say can I print out these copies and jump in line? instead use the magic word "because, because I'm in a rush. It's effective just using the word because. Even if you say because I need to print these people would still allow you to jump the line.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

    This book gives good insight to compliance strategies and main reasons we are persuaded - however I was unimpressed by a few of the examples Cialdini used and the main conclusion he made at the end of the book. Example 1: After claiming to have been a bigger socialite than he really is to impress a young attractive saleswoman, Cialdini became particularly pugnacious about her "strategy of tricking him into exaggerating his habits" where as this was his fault, not the saleswoman's. When she offer This book gives good insight to compliance strategies and main reasons we are persuaded - however I was unimpressed by a few of the examples Cialdini used and the main conclusion he made at the end of the book. Example 1: After claiming to have been a bigger socialite than he really is to impress a young attractive saleswoman, Cialdini became particularly pugnacious about her "strategy of tricking him into exaggerating his habits" where as this was his fault, not the saleswoman's. When she offered a package that saves him money - since he claimed to go out so often - she was actually offering a favour; the fact that he was bragging - because she was young and good looking - was not her fault at all. He makes this out to be a malevolent trick used by the saleswoman when in fact it was him trapping himself. He could have easily just not lied, despite her being young and attractive, instead of going into a big argument in the end about her "wrong-headed strategy to persuade him to exaggerate his social habits" Example 2: His friend Sara, who after being offered to be married to her boyfriend (Lets call him Candidate 2) chose to go back to her old boyfriend, Tim, despite him unwilling to marry her: Cialdini says she has been tricked by Tim into going back as he had offered to marry her while she was courted by Candidate Nr. 2 but disregarded of the marriage after she chose him. I don't see this example as a properly researched one - the reasons we chose mates is a lot more complicated than who is willing to marry us. Just because Candidate Nr. 2 was willing, does not necessarily make him a more attractive potential partner. There are a lot of other things to consider. What's more Cialdini said she was genuinely happier in the end - so was this not a good deal? He had also not considered she may have only had Candidate Nr. 2 around to put Tim into a competitive situation and to profit from the scarcity rule... Tim, who is obviously for some reason or another - clearly unknown to Cialdini - much more valuable to her than Candidate Nr. 2. I also did not like his conclusion that she must chose before her time is up and all her alternatives to Tim disappear. Finally, I was not particularly impressed with the conclusion of the book: "We should be willing to use boycott, threat, confrontation, censure, tirade, nearly anything to retaliate" to those exploiting our natural triggers to "short cut" the massive amounts of information presented to us: for example dismissing any show that uses fake laughter, not giving any tips to bartenders who "salt" their tip jar and the like....recognising these exploits of triggers and short cuts is one thing, but going to war with them and arguing with every salesperson as he does in various examples of the book would be far more energy and time consuming than it is worth.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ruhin Joyee

    Never before did I recommend a book to so many. The book had me in the first chapter. I went on talking about how 'revealing' the book is during hangouts with friends, in between classes, sometimes during classes and when not. I tried to explain to mom how the rule of reciprocation influences our decisions while having dinner with her, tried to explain the reason behind certain behaviors of our newly appointed driver to my father. The book got to me. I did certain things throughout my life withou Never before did I recommend a book to so many. The book had me in the first chapter. I went on talking about how 'revealing' the book is during hangouts with friends, in between classes, sometimes during classes and when not. I tried to explain to mom how the rule of reciprocation influences our decisions while having dinner with her, tried to explain the reason behind certain behaviors of our newly appointed driver to my father. The book got to me. I did certain things throughout my life without even ever recognizing that there might be a concrete reason behind why I have been doing this. For example, I have a thing 'for' footing my food bill all the time. If it is not someone's birthday, or a special occasion where someone is giving a treat, but is trying to pay my bill, I feel uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. Almost physically uncomfortable. I have stopped dating once because the guy simply won't let me pay my bill. I believe it is a good practice, but I wasn't sure why I had this strong feeling against this. Now I know. I simply did not want to have the Rule of Reciprocation influence me. The book with vividly furnished examples and case studies tells you what persuades and influences people, their decisions. Why they say yes to some offers and no to the others. The in-depth discussion on the six weapons of influence: Reciprocation, Commitment & Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity is such an eye-opener. I now see these principles working on everything, everyone, everywhere. You will be missing out if you don't read it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Loy Machedo

    Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini I first bumped into Robert Cialdini’s work with “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive”. I found that book to be absolutely impressive and so, when I got to know he had also authored “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, I was more than eager to read it. And without a doubt, I can tell you, I am glad I did. Harvard Business Review lists Dr. Cialdini's research in "Breakthrough Ideas for Today Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini I first bumped into Robert Cialdini’s work with “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive”. I found that book to be absolutely impressive and so, when I got to know he had also authored “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, I was more than eager to read it. And without a doubt, I can tell you, I am glad I did. Harvard Business Review lists Dr. Cialdini's research in "Breakthrough Ideas for Today's Business Agenda" as he breaks down the Science of Influence into 6 key principles of persuasion. 1) Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor. Example the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing or The good cop/bad cop strategy where the criminal or suspect tends to open up to the cop who is nice to him. And as an act of reciprocity, returns the kindness by giving the required information. 2) Commitment and Consistency - If people commit verbally or in writing they are more likely to honor that commitment. The reason stems from the pressures that come with being congruent with their self image. Example - Car salesman employ this strategy by raising the price of the vehicle at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy or the Chinese brainwashing on American prisoners to enforce disloyalty towards their country. 3) Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. Example – If a group of people would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. 4) Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts 5) Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. 6) Scarcity - Scarcity (real / artificial) will generate demand. Example, Offers with "limited time only" creates more sales. The whole book has quite a number of examples to state and reinfornce the points of wisdom stated by Caildini which makes the book very compelling everything from having the Hare Krishnas and their flower gift strategy to what telemarketers do to ensure sales to the fake laughter used by sitcoms to create even more laughter. Overall Rating I found this book to be a Masterpiece in the Science of Psychology. In fact, I personally felt, this book should be made mandatory for everyone to read – especially the part where the author clearly states, that misusing these techniques will result in a more of a negative result than positive – As I feel quite a number of Sales People with their so called ‘Smart Closes’ think they have achieved a positive result – while the fact remains, they have destroyed themselves slowly and surely. A great book, A fantastic read and A worthwhile investment. Without hesitation, I would give this book a perfect 10 out of 10. Loy Machedo loymachedo.com

  24. 4 out of 5

    Loïc Bicamumpaka

    "Just what are the factors that cause one person to say YES to another person? All the weapons of influence discussed in this book work better under some conditions than under others. 1. RECIPROCITY - The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. The beauty of the free sample, is that it is also a gift and, as much, can engage the reciprocity rule: many people find it difficult to accept a sample from the always-smiling attendant, return only the toothpick "Just what are the factors that cause one person to say YES to another person? All the weapons of influence discussed in this book work better under some conditions than under others. 1. RECIPROCITY - The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. The beauty of the free sample, is that it is also a gift and, as much, can engage the reciprocity rule: many people find it difficult to accept a sample from the always-smiling attendant, return only the toothpick, and walk away. There is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay. 2. COMMITMENT & CONSISTENCY - Our nearly obsessive desire to be (and to appear) consistent with what we have already done. TIP ON GOALS: Set a goal and write it down. Whatever the goal, the important thing is that you set it, so you've got something for which to aim. There is something magical about writing things down. 3. SOCIAL PROOF - One means we use to determine what is correct is to find what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior. We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it. In general, when we are unsure of ourselves, when the situation is unclear or ambiguous, when uncertainty reigns, we are most likely to look to and accept the actions of others as correct. 4. LIKING - We most prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and LIKE. This simple rule is used in hundreds of ways by total strangers to get us to comply with their requests. 5. AUTHORITY - We are trained from birth that obedience to "proper" authority is right, and disobedience is wrong. Information from a recognized authority can provide us a valuable shortcut for deciding how to act in a situation. WE DON'T HAVE TO THINK, THEREFORE, WE DON'T. (sometimes it's best to avoid shortcuts) 6. SCARCITY - Opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited. (People want what they can't have) As opportunities become less available, we lose freedoms; and we hate to lose the freedoms we already have." Probably one of the best books I've read. A must read if you're doing business; or if you want to understand why you buy things.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Social psychology is going through a replication crisis right now, but Influence is a reminder of the field's promise and its return on our investment on it. I prefer reading fiction outside of work, although generally have both fiction and nonfiction going simultaneously. Robert Cialdini's very readable and sensible book satisfied both needs simultaneously. Cialdini, like many psychologists, argued that humans face many difficult decisions in life. He argues, Automatic, stereotyped behavior is pr Social psychology is going through a replication crisis right now, but Influence is a reminder of the field's promise and its return on our investment on it. I prefer reading fiction outside of work, although generally have both fiction and nonfiction going simultaneously. Robert Cialdini's very readable and sensible book satisfied both needs simultaneously. Cialdini, like many psychologists, argued that humans face many difficult decisions in life. He argues, Automatic, stereotyped behavior is prevalent in much of human action, because in many cases it is the most efficient form of behaving, and in other cases it is simply necessary. You and I exist in an extraordinarily complicated stimulus environment, easily the most rapidly moving and complex that has ever existed on this planet. To deal with it, we need shortcuts. (p. 5)As Cialdini said, when faced with difficult situations and a shortcut, we respond with an unthinking click and whirr. Cialdini identified six broad compliance-pulling situations: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. Use these and you can and will sell ideas, merchandise, and relationships. Supporting these ideas, Cialdini described experiments, his "undercover" work with a number of sales experts (such as car sales), and the times when he and others have been tricked to buy or do things without recognizing (until after the fact). He also explained how we can recognize and avoid complying. For example, when in a situation pulling compliance through reciprocity,As long as we perceive and define [the other person's] action as a compliance device instead of a favor, he no longer has the reciprocation rule as an ally: The rule says that favors are to be met with favors; it does not require that tricks be met with favors. (p. 39)When I read books I enjoy, I always want to share. I'd like to share this with the other members of a board I'm on – and everyone I know who wants to influence others' behavior.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Scot Parker

    This is an excellent work of pop psychology written at a level accessible to the layperson. Knowledge of this subject is beneficial to just about everyone on the planet, given the prevalence of people trying to persuade us to buy certain products, act a certain way, vote for a certain candidate, etc. The information in this book arms the reader against underhanded or malicious attempts at persuasion and provides tools to use to strengthen their own interpersonal skills. This is definitely worth This is an excellent work of pop psychology written at a level accessible to the layperson. Knowledge of this subject is beneficial to just about everyone on the planet, given the prevalence of people trying to persuade us to buy certain products, act a certain way, vote for a certain candidate, etc. The information in this book arms the reader against underhanded or malicious attempts at persuasion and provides tools to use to strengthen their own interpersonal skills. This is definitely worth the time to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Although this book is informative it is also repetitive. It states that a vast majority of people don't think for themselves and go along with the majority. I might have believed some of that, but I read. Every day more and more web sites open up with alternating viewpoints. Just look at the varying opinions on this book, alone. We are not as easily led and controlled as this book and the current administration would like to think.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ania Pierzchała

    First time I read this book while studying and I decided to read it once again now. Honestly for me it's one of the best publications about social psychology written very accessible language especially for the people who have never had any contact with social psychology. Also, I'm quite sure it might be very helpfull for the majority of the social movements and every activist.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura Noggle

    Very interesting. I’ve found myself noticing new elements of interpersonal interactions since reading, and subtly applying some of the methods.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chad Warner

    An intriguing exploration of the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini explains six “weapons of influence,” showing how they’re used, why they work, and how to resist them. There’s plenty of research and anecdotes. The lessons are applied to everyday life, and frequently to marketing and sales. The main point is that when we focus on a single influencing feature rather than the entire situation, we often respond automatically, leading to a poor decision. Although influencing features can provide sho An intriguing exploration of the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini explains six “weapons of influence,” showing how they’re used, why they work, and how to resist them. There’s plenty of research and anecdotes. The lessons are applied to everyday life, and frequently to marketing and sales. The main point is that when we focus on a single influencing feature rather than the entire situation, we often respond automatically, leading to a poor decision. Although influencing features can provide shortcuts that save us time in analyzing a situation, we must be wary of those people who misrepresent evidence and use their influence to exploit. The six principles of influence are reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. Several of the anecdotes are long-winded. I’ve seen this book on many lists of business books, and finally decided to read it because Daniel Pink recommended it in To Sell is Human. Notes Reciprocation Present the customer the more expensive item first, so subsequent items seem relatively inexpensive. People tend to reciprocate concessions. To apply this, offer an expensive option; when they decline, offer a less expensive option. As another example, ask for a big favor; when they decline, ask for a small favor. Commitment and Consistency The foot-in-the-door technique: ask a person to make a small commitment, which manipulates their self-image. Later, they’ll be more likely to comply with more and larger requests that are consistent with this image. Written commitments are especially effective. To get a child to behave long-term, it’s more effective to provide a reason they can internalize and take personal responsibility for than to make external threats. To test a decision you’ve made (or are about to make), ask yourself, "Knowing what I know now, would I make the same choice?" Social Proof If you need medical help in a crowd, the most effective option is to be precise about your need for aid. Pick one person, point to them and say, "You, sir, in the blue jacket, I need help. Call an ambulance." "We will use the actions of others to decide on proper behavior for ourselves, especially when we view those others as similar to ourselves.” Liking People tend to like those who are similar in interests, background, interest, age, religion, and politics. "Continued exposure to a person or object under unpleasant conditions such as frustration, conflict, or competition leads to less liking." Cooperation towards common goals is one of the best ways to overcome hostility between different groups. People become fonder of people and things the experience while eating. That’s why food is often served when people are trying to influence. Authority People tend not to question the orders of those they perceive to be legitimate authorities. A person's title, clothes, and trappings (status symbols) affect their perceived authority. Scarcity Parental interference make some couples feel greater love and desire for marriage.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.