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Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition) Paperback – August 8, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


Here's what people are saying about the material in INFLUENCE: Science and Practice:

“This marvelous book explains in clear, practical language the ways in which we become persuaded. It offers excellent insights for those who sell, but even more importantly for all of us who negotiate and buy.” –ROGER FISHER, Director, Harvard Negotiation Project, Co-author of “Getting to Yes.”

“For marketers, it is among the most important books written in the last 10 years.” –JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH

“The best sales tip I ever got was encouragement to read INFLUENCE by Dr. Robert Cialdini. It was so profound and insightful, I read it three times in a row.” –GREG RENKER, President, Guthy-Renker

“It would be marvelous reading for students taking Social Psychology.” –DAVID MYERS, Hope College

“The book is tremendously entertaining and very popular with students. It makes excellent reading for a Consumer Behavior or Advertising class.” –ALAN J. RESNIK, Portland State University

“INFLUENCE should be required reading for all business majors.” –JOURNAL OF RETAILING

From the Back Cover

Over 1.5 million copies sold!

What factors cause someone to say yes? And which techniques most effectively use these factors to bring about such compliance? In his bestselling book, Robert Cialdini, former salesperson, fundraiser, and advertiser, and current professor of social psychology, examines the science and practice of persuasion and compliance. Praised for its enjoyable writing, practical suggestions, and scientifically documented content, prior editions have been widely read by business professionals, fundraisers, and those interested in psychology. The new edition includes:

•  twice as many first hand accounts of how the book’s principles apply to business and personal lives;

•  updated coverage of popular culture and new technology; and

•  more on how compliance principles work in many cultures.


Here’s what people are saying about INFLUENCE: Science and Practice:

“This marvelous book explains in clear, practical language the ways in which we become persuaded. It offers excellent insights for those who sell, but even more importantly for all of us who negotiate and buy.”

–ROGER FISHER, Director, Harvard Negotiation Project, Co-author, Getting to Yes


 “Bob Cialdini is the most brilliant student of influence and negotiation I’ve encountered. If everything were on the line in a negotiation, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have advising me.”

–TOM PETERS, The Tom Peters Group


“This book is the de facto standard to learn the psychology of persuasion. If you don’t read it, I hope you enjoy pounding your head against the wall and throwing away marketing dollars.”



“His book should be in every sales and marketing person’s briefcase and reread frequently.”

–R. CRIAG WILSON, Sr. Vice President, Sales Manager, Northern Trust



Robert B. Cialdini is a well known and influential speaker who gives frequent speeches on The Power of Ethical Influence to such organizations as IBM, the Mayo Clinic, and NATO. He is currently Regents’ Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, where he has also been named Graduate Distinguished Research Professor. He is past president of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. He attributes his longstanding interest in the intricacies of social influence to the fact that he was raised in an entirely Italian family, in a predominantly Polish neighborhood, in a historically German city (Milwaukee), in an otherwise rural state.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Allyn and Bacon; 5th edition (August 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205609996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205609994
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (342 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Influence, Negotiation, Communication, Management, Leadership, Sales

Harvard Business Review lists Dr. Cialdini's research in
Breakthrough Ideas for Today's Business Agenda.

"Influence" has been listed on the New York Times Business Best Seller List.

Fortune Magazine lists Influence in their "75 Smartest Business Books."

Extensive scholarly training in the psychology of influence, together with over 30 years of research into the subject, has earned Dr. Cialdini an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.

His books including, Influence: Science & Practice, are the results of more than 30 years of study into the reasons why people comply with requests in business settings. Worldwide, Influence has sold over 2 million copies. Influence has been published in twenty-five languages. His most recent co-authored book, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, has been on the New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Best Seller Lists. Additionally, CEO Read lists Influence in their 100 Best Business Books of All Time.

In the field of influence and persuasion, Dr. Cialdini is the most cited living social psychologist in the world today.

Dr. Cialdini received his Ph.D from the University of North Carolina and post doctoral training from Columbia University. He has held Visiting Scholar Appointments at Ohio State University, the University of California, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University. Currently, Dr Cialdini holds dual appointments at Arizona State University. He is a W.P. Carey Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Regents' Professor of Psychology, where he has also been named Distinguished Graduate Research Professor.

Media coverage of Dr. Cialdini and his research include:

* Dateline NBC
* Washington Post
* New York Times
* On Wall Street
* Forbes Magazine

* Chicago Tribune
* USA Today
* London Times
* Scientific American
* Los Angeles Times
* Psychology Today
* Selling Power

* Sales and Marketing Magazine
* Leader to Leader Magazine
* The Atlantic Journal
* The Denver Post
* The New York Times
* Harvard Business Review
* Fortune Magazine

Dr. Cialdini is President of INFLUENCE AT WORK, an international consulting, strategic planning and training organization based on the Six Principles of Influence.

Dr. Cialdini's clients include such organizations as Google, Advanta, IBM, Washington Mutual Group of Funds, Coca Cola, KPMG, AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Kodak, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, Northern Trust, Prudential, The Mayo Clinic, Glaxo Wellcome, Harvard University - Kennedy School, The Weather Channel, the United States Department of Justice, and NATO.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

391 of 395 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on September 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Right away, buyers should know that Cialdini has produced a less-expensive version of this book. "Influence: Science and Practice" is designed as a textbook for classroom instruction. So, it has things like chapter summaries and questions that can be assigned as homework. However, the other book "Influence: the psychology of persuasion," is designed for a more general audience. The content is basically the same, but it omits the classroom-oriented layout. It's also cheaper. If you are a student who is buying textbooks online, this is probably what you (or rather, your professors) want. If not, get the other one.

Both books focus on persuasive tactics. This is not a theoretical work trying to lay out a strategy of communication, like "Getting to Yes." This is a toolkit, designed to give the reader a selection of tools for specific circumstances. That is not to say that Cialdini lacks an understanding of more strategic thinking, just that it isn't the focus here.

The underlying theory is that people tend to be hardwired to respond to certain stimuli in predictable ways. The book tells you what those stimuli are, that is, how to push people's buttons. And it does a very good job, which is why Cialdini has demand for two versions of the same book.

I'm not going to list all of the tactics because the table of contents does that and, because they're detailed, they're difficult to understand without reading the book. But, they all have some basis in science and their effectiveness is empirically demonstrable, so you can trust that they work. The best part of this book, for me, was becoming more conscious of how others, including politicians, advertisers, and bosses, try to manipulate me.
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178 of 180 people found the following review helpful By DeveloperKJ on June 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a great book. I come from a technical background, and as most people know engineers are horrible at influencing others. But this book taught me a lot of simple ideas that are applicable in helping to motivate others to my point of view and also how to recognize when others are using these techniques and how to defend against them.

The book has 6 different concepts and it goes into the psychology of each (at a high level), some examples of it, and a few testimonials from readers. It was a quick read and held my attention throughout.

As a side note, in case you are comparing editions. The "Influence Science and Practice" seems to be the most recent version. The "Influence psychology of persuasion" book looks like the same book with an earlier copyright. Skimming through the chapters of both they look like the exact same text, so you probably don't need both.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on October 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Influence" by Robert Cialdini is one of the most wonderful and influential books I've ever read! Other books have been written on the topic, but Cialdini's is the best and most influential of them all.

"Influence" deals with the study of persuasion, compliance, and change - a subject that has application for every area of life. Cialdini presents the latest research on influence in a compelling way, clearly stating the 6 principles of influence and providing wonderful illustrations of each principle from advertising, psychology and other fields. If we understood these 6 principles better, we would be less subject to manipulation from others (for example, the manipulation to buy things we don't need or to buy more than we need). We might, in turn, also be able to understand how to influence others for good.

The 6 principles of influence are:

1. The Rule of Reciprocation: "We should try to repay in kind what another person has provided us."

2. Commitment and Consistency: "Once we make a choice or take a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment."

3. Social Proof: "We determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct."

4. Liking: "We most prefer to say yes to the requests of people we know and like."

5. Authority - we have a deep-seated sense of duty to authority

6. Scarcity - something is more valuable when it is less available

I find that in my own life, these 6 principles are remarkably powerful and have the ability to explain a lot of the behavior I observe as a father, teacher, and priest. We would all benefit from memorizing and mastering these six principles. They are simple but extremely powerful.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I disagree with the complaints about this being a repeat of earlier versions. "4th Edition" is quite clear. This is an updated easy to read version of a highly-regarded seminal work whose value has been proven over time.

While intended for students of psychology and for practitioners of the black art of marketing (selling over-priced unnecessary "stuff" to the unwitting), I regard this text as a very helpful reference for the new warriors, the practitoners of Information Operations and within that larger discipline, Strategic Communication & Public Diplomacy.

The six "principles" of influence, reciprocation, consistency, social proof (e.g. canned laughter), liking, authority, and scarcity, each receive their own chapter with annedotes and study questions.

Most interesting to me would be an international variation of this book, one that discussed the nuances of influence in other cultures, inclusive of family ties and prevalent sterotypes.

This book is applicable to business, evangelism, foreign affairs, defense, homeland security, and just about any field where interaction with humans is called for, and the mission demands the elicitation of collaborative behavior from others.

Good index, notes, and illustrations. Well-presented.
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