The Psychology of Persuasion

Book - 1993
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The widely adopted, now classic book on influence and persuasion--a major national and international bestseller with more than four million copies sold!

In this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini--the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion--explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations.

You'll learn the six universal principles of influence and how to use them to become a skilled persuader--and, just as importantly, how to defend yourself against dishonest influence attempts:

Reciprocation: The internal pull to repay what another person has provided us. Commitment and Consistency: Once we make a choice or take a stand, we work to behave consistently with that commitment in order to justify our decisions. Social Proof: When we are unsure, we look to similar others to provide us with the correct actions to take. And the more, people undertaking that action, the more we consider that action correct. Liking: The propensity to agree with people we like and, just as important, the propensity for others to agree with us, if we like them. Authority: We are more likely to say "yes" to others who are authorities, who carry greater knowledge, experience or expertise. Scarcity: We want more of what is less available or dwindling in availability.

Understanding and applying the six principles ethically is cost-free and deceptively easy. Backed by Dr. Cialdini's 35 years of evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research--as well as by a three-year field study on what moves people to change behavior--Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles effectively to amplify your ability to change the behavior of others.

Publisher: New York : Morrow, c1993.
Edition: Rev. ed. --
ISBN: 9780061241895
Branch Call Number: 153. 852 CIA 1993
Characteristics: xiv, 320 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Sep 21, 2017

The book explores various social and psychological triggers that can potentially have highly positive or highly negative consequences for the masses. There's no "middle ground" in the book, and that's a good thing.

The way that psychological triggers work is quite simple and very effective, so you'll be able to use those tactics against anyone who's employing them to merely be profitable instead of really exchanging value with you.

Admittedly, I didn't really pay attention to any of the listed factors in the book before I picked it up, but when I was made aware of these "tricks" and psychological influencing techniques I was able to reorient my business strategy and make my products even more ethical than before.

As some of the other comments suggest that the techniques are "wearing out," it's not the case completely. It could be that due to the "consistency bias" (yes, I went there!) some of the readers may have seen these in action before and don't think they'll work when they themselves are using them.

That's okay though, I'd highly recommend you don't judge this book by its cover. Read it, and re-read it if you have the time. There are some nuances that a summary or skim-read cannot and will not provide.

Highly recommended for business-minded individuals looking to keep their products and selling processes ethical and transparent.

Jun 08, 2017

His research is starting to show its age (Tupperware in-home sales, the Jim Jones cult tragedy, the Milgram experiments, etc.) I’d be interested in reading more timely psychology research that explores the effect of the Internet, always-on, location-broadcasting smartphones, and unethical data mining. That said, for someone new to the idea that marketing is everywhere, this is a decent introduction to “compliance professionals” techniques and ideas for deflection. All people engage in trying to influence their environment and results; Cialdini ends with a protective call-to-arms of pushing back: “I would recommend extending this aggressive stance to any situation in which a compliance professional abuses the principle of social proof (or any other weapon of influence)…..we should be willing to use boycott, threat, confrontation, censure, tirade, nearly anything, to retaliate.” This update was published in 2007. (NOTE: book cover is ripped/in bad shape.)

Sep 04, 2013

This book has helped me stop and think before acting on certain automatic triggers. It is also helpful during my study of consumer behavior and marketing. I appreciate the summaries at the end of each chapter, which allow for the content to sink in a little more.

Aug 25, 2012

A must read for anyone interested in social psychology. This edition however, seems nothing more than a reprint of the 1984 book. What has changed/improved in our understanding of human influence and persuasion since then?

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Sep 21, 2017

bigbosstms thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Sep 21, 2017

A social psychologist (psychoanalyst perhaps is a better description) attempts to answer the questions of why we buy or become 'patsies' from time to time and fall for the ploy of a crafty business-person who's looking to sell their product for profit and not value.


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