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169 of 177 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2001
The Psychology of Persuasion is written for the person who wants to influence others. Hogan reveals more communication and influence secrets in one book than you might expect possible. The phallic paradigm of persuasion begins with the concept of Win/Win (which the author clearly believes in and repeats over and over throughout the text) and finishes with some very complex and advanced persuasion techniques that are difficult to describe in a book review.
Having been in market research for seven years, I can tell you that his insights into what works and what doesn't is pretty accurate. I also learned a great deal I hadn't come across in my work with P&G.
Specifically, the section about power words is worth a great deal to a person running their own business or for a salesperson. (It's also nice to have this information as a mother of a teenager!)
The next information that is striking (and there are some basics in the book like building rapport, elementary sales tools, and the like that make this useful for beginners as well as those of us who use this material to make a living)is the detailed discussions about nonverbal communication and strategic movement. I've never seen discussions of strategic movement in any book and the body language components are mature and insightful. Everything seems well researched and ready for use.
Another very nice benefit of this book is the subject of collecting intelligence. It seems that most everyone in the influence and persuasion professions have ignored this element and Hogan pulls a rabbit out of his hat here. Using simple examples, he shows how to really gather useful intelligence whether you are a marketer with a big budget or a small business person.
The most exciting material is the second half of the book. Here Hogan describes advanced techniques of persuasion that, once again, I have never seen anyone discuss. What again seems like magic is described carefully and with a simple but scientific precision.
Appropriate to news events of the year 2001, brainwashing is discussed in detail in the book and in light of current events, these revelations should be read by all.
The Psychology of Persuasion is a fun read. It is written so that you can be more influential with your kids, your boss or your business dealings.
The only drawback of this book was that most of the stories are about small business people. Those of us in corporate America have to extrapolate how to use these one on one tools, or small group strategies to the much larger audience of America and Western Europe. Aside from that, there isn't anything to complain about.
This was a big win for me.
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132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2002
The Psychology of Persuasion hits on most but not all of the criteria for being what I would consider to be the leader in the field of persuasion.
The book starts with a clear exposition about the importance of utilizing influence with integrity. Hogan is probably overly zealous in his repetition of "the win win philosophy." This could be a habit from his religious background or possibly a simple concern that people utilize the principles of the book ethically.
His discussion of outcome based thinking which at least in part appears to be based on the Harvard Negotiation Model is his first glimmer of genius. It's rare to see any author present a process of thinking as clearly as his model of outcome based thinking is presented. What makes this work is the multiple examples of how to think in a negotiation. This is an area generally untouched by most authors, who like Hogan, focus on how to do, but not how to think.
The next chapter glosses over an area which Cialdini addresses more articulately in "Influence." The laws of persuasion are an expansion on Cialdini's six principles of influence. Hogan's additions are valid and I suspect that in time when Cialdini updates his text, these additions will be seen there as well. This chapter works, just not as well as it's most profound influence.
Persuasion Techniques (Ch. 4) appears to be some of Hogan's oldest material as the examples date all the way back to Iraqui SCUD missiles and the fears of same. This chapter works as the author shares well thought out techniques for asking questions and rapidly assessing values. Again, this is Hogan's niche, teaching specific patterns of thinking.
Chapter Five is one that the author seems to be most comfortable with. The Impact of Nonverbal Communication is a treat. Hogan's new research blends well with the likes of Birdwhistell and Knapp. My only complaint is that he could have gone more in depth in this fascinating area.
The acquisition of "intelligence" is something that is rarely discussed in persuasion/influence literature but Hogan misses an opportunity when he doesn't detail how to acquire high level intelligence with the world's big players like GE and Cisco. Instead he sticks with the small business owner and sales person as his examples. Here again, the book excels, but an opportunity missed is an opportunity missed.
A couple of other chapters breeze by when you again find Hogan passionate about passion. Here Hogan scores big. Difficult concepts of motivational thinking processes are dealt with in some detail and they actually transfer to the reader. This was my favorite chapter in the text.
Instant Rapport comes next and I found this chapter a bit on the manipulative side. His modeling processes are so chameleon like that you almost voyeuristically observe someone who loves to teach others to play inside other people's minds. The chapter works well but it certainly is intense.
The first half of the book ends with a discussion about how to make effective sales presentations and close the sale. He was obviously trained in the J. Douglas Edwards/Zig Ziglar tradition and these chapters add nothing that isn't available elsewhere.
The second half of the book is absolutely intriguing.
The author's ability to synthesize NLP with current psychology is impressive. Complex ideas from NLP become easy to understand and seem to actually work in real life applications. I'd like to see more research in these areas...perhaps in a sequel???
His Master Persuader chapters seem to fit the bill as once again, Hogan excels at sharing effective thinking processes to succeed at human communication.
He closes with discussions about ethics and brainwashing in two appendices which one wishes would have been chapters. Hogan never discloses his intense passion for ethics and brainwashing but clearly his arguments for ethics and understanding brainwashing by the masses are well formed and worthy of every school teaching.
Overall this is an excellent book. It misses in the area of big business applications but succeeds at the highest level for the salesperson and entrepreneur. The pragmatic and humanistic philosophy mixes well with a dash of Christian/Jewish story telling.
Five stars.
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88 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2002
It appears to be that this book is nothing more than a collection of catch-phrases thrown together in a haphazard fashion interlaced with anecdotes. For example, Hogan mentions many times in his book that Saddam Hussein is a villain, who uses the same tricks in persuasion as other great leaders. However, his examples are direly lacking in both scientific validity as well as relevance to the theme of the book. Instead of informing the readers *why* Hussein hold power and is able to persuade followers, Hogan uses very bad metaphors, which do nothing but show his own lack of scientific knowledge. In the beginning of Chapter 4, Hogan describes Saddam Hussein as "using and manipulating laws of gravity and aerodynamics...
In addition, Hogan's neat classification of everyone into various sub-categories is entirely too simplistic for the real world. In Chapter 6, he neatly files Americans into Belongers (37%), Emulators (20%), Achievers(18%), Societally Conscientious (22%), and Need Driven(3%). Well, I don't know about the other 200 million Americans, but I personally would like to think that being an "Achiever" doesn't disqualify me from being Societally Conscientious!
Hogan vacillates between walking a scientific path and an empirical one. While to an uninformed reader this trick would elevate his status to sage-level, who is to be revered for both his practical experience as well as his broad and deep knowledge into the bio-physical reasonings for human behavior, to anyone with a basic knowledge in biology or psychology, Hogan is simply reciting the Psych 101 textbook, and adding in his own warped view of the sciences. On page 222, Hogan describes physiology as "our actual body position...and the movement of our eyes." I'll bet that if anyone tries to answer that on a pop-quiz to the question, "What is physiology?" they're guaranteed to fail the quiz.
It is, at least for me, a truly disappointing book. My recommendation is to buy "The 48 Laws of Power" which focuses on an purely empirical approach.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1999
This book is good, but EVERYTHING here is taken from Robert B. Cialdini "Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion".
My opinion is: buy the latter.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2003
The Psychology of Persuasion is a unique book about influence. What differentiates Persuasion from other books in it's category is that it doesn't only tell you "what" (which can be very helpful and interesting) but it tells you "how." So many self help books give you information. But as for the practical applications we are often left wanting.
Hogan's ethical background is largely influenced by a Judeo-Christian tradition which he doesn't hide in the book...nor does he ever preach...thankfully. The ethical approach he takes is essentially that of Stephen Covey's as put forth in Seven Habits.
Then with the foundation of win/win established, it is time to go to work. We learn about specific code words that change minds. "Because", "now", "imagine" and a plethora of others that seem to have been thoroughly researched as to their strength in the process of persuasion.
Synthesizing his academic background with his real world experience in sales we are treated to a truly useful introduction to hypnotic language. Hypnotic language is roughly defined as language that allows someone to avoid the reactant response. (Reduce resistance.)
Next up comes a core principle in all strategic thinking, the gathering of intelligence. In other words, McKay's 66 for five fingers. Hogan likes to keep intelligence simple. Uncover the keys to the other person's stories, get inside of those stories and then work within those "maps" if you will. His laying the foundation of intelligence (and ethics) with the old Gary Cooper movie, Meet John Doe, was either a stroke of brilliance or a lucky hit.
The chapters on nonverbal communication are not as powerful as his body language programs are but I did find the information quite helpful. The diagramming of positioning of people seems to disagree with his more recent research into seating and standing to build rapport. I suspect the information in POP is still valid and that his more recent discoveries are probably simply the next step up. The nonverbal communication chapters seem to be the best documented of the book.
His chapters on presenting material were more motivational than they were filled with the same degree of facts and specific applications. They aren't greatly lacking, they simply aren't the strength of the book.
Getting to Yes, is dealt with remarkably briefly. Hogan believes in a very powerful model of influence where you eliminate resistance, paint a vivid outcome, work within values and the person you are communicating with simply MUST say "yes." This is probably not as simple as it really works in real life but I confess that his chapter on asking for confirmation, compliance or agreement is powerful in it's simplicity.
The advanced section of the book contains material from an offshoot of various psychological backgrounds called, NLP. It differs from "traditional NLP" and some of the material is useful though I have seen little value in most of the NLP books I have read.
The final appendices discussing Ethics and Brainwashing should have been full chapters. They act only as a foretaste perhaps of future books. Just as you are finished with each of the appendices you are ready for 200 pages more on each subject. He brings up the problems of Win/Win thinking. (How much of a win and for whom?) He brings up brainwashing and it's positive and negative uses. These subjects are all tantalizing. He refuses to judge most mainstream points of view though you sense the author has very distinct beliefs and views in these areas.
Overall, The Psychology of Persuasion is a win for anyone who needs other people to comply with them.
Quite good and well worth the time invested.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2001
The first book I read by Kevin Hogan was Irresistible Attraction. I thought it was great. Then a friend recommended this one and it is even better! What makes Kevin so great is that he doesn't talk down to you. He makes complicated subjects easy to understand. The Psychology of Persuasion book teaches literally anyone how to build rapport, and communicate effectively. The title may scare some people off as being a book for college professors. It isn't. It's based on real life experiences and while he draws on the academics, he doesn't bore you with it. This book reads fun, exciting, interesting and you really feel confident when you make your sales calls after knowing just what makes people tick!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 1999
The Psychology of Persuasion is a book with a value well over double its weight in gold! As a student at the University of Wisconsin, I have been able to utilize the tools and skills which are included within the book to increase my grades on papers and speaking assignments. Professionaly the information has assisted me in communicating effectively with clients and audiences. The Psychology of Persuasion is written to teach the "how to" to anyone who is going to be placed into a persuasion setting and persuade the other individual(s) ethically and efficiently. Kevin Hogan is able to write in a manor which makes the information easy to understand and become instantly incorporated into your behavior in any persuasion setting. Recently, I utilized many of the strategies to create promotional materials in both print and video. The quality increased and cost decreased on printing because of the persuasion skills which I have learned to utilize. The investment into this book will improve results and give you an advantage in any persuasive setting which will also make it more enjoyable and fun to be there!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2005
I read a lot of self-help books. I'm sort of on a never-ending quest to improve myself. I read this book at the same time I was reading Maslow's paper on human needs. The two dove-tail quite nicely.

For me, I'll put it this way. Each of us have about a dozen or so moments in our lives where we feel like me just made a huge stride forward; like some of life's biggest questions just got answered, and from that point, the world is never the same. It's a paradigm shift. We've all had them. This book was probably my most significant paradigm shift in my 34 years. It occurred to me that probably 90% of humanity goes through life asleep at the wheel, or dozing off. When you learn, and MASTER (that is key - mastery) the art of persuasion, you will then be able to master your own life, and thus speed up personal growth. It's a wake up call that, if heeded, will put you among the more enlightened people. Read it, then read it again, just to be sure.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2006
This book has so much valuable information to help you influence others to get more of the results you want. And it gives you this info in bite-sized chunks you can use and build on.

The book builds on the terrific work that Cialdini has done and reported in his books, which any student of influence will also buy and study. Hogan expands Cialdini's number of persuasion principles ("laws") from six to nine and fills the book with examples to teach you how to use them and scores of influence methods and techniques.

When we do choose to persuade someone, we want certain results. Anyone who consistently uses this book's simple model of outcome-based thinking will reap dollar benefits at least hundreds of times greater than the price of this book. And Hogan teaches you this in just ten pages.

Each chapter ends with a short summary in outline form. This helped me grasp the information the first time I read the book and has made it easy for me to quickly review the material when I've gone back to it.

I highly recommend that you buy and study this book, and then review the short chapter summaries from time to time.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 1999
The author definitely made some interesting points; however, I found myself skipping sentences and then paragraphs and finally, pages. The only "evidence" that Hogan provided in order to support his arguments (throughout the entire book) were simulated dialogues between an imaginary person and a Master Persuader. The dialogues, however, were poor. They were not realistic or informative. The best part of the book is Hogan's consistent references to other books, which end up composing a great list of must-reads. A good alternative is Robert Cialdini's "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion."
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