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

4.7 out of 5 stars 379 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.”

–GUY KAWASAKI, CEO, Garage.com

 

“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: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (379 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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"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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I've reviewed many books on influence and persuasion and this is one of the top books in the category. Easy to read, excellent writing style, it is a hard book to put down and begs you to read it slowly so that you don't miss something important. One of the fun things about reading it is when the author makes a point and you can look back and realize that you have dealt with someone who used just that technique to get you to buy that candy bar, car, or change your mind about something.
Persuasive speaking is an important part of what I do and I am very successful at it. The ability to persuade others has been very hard to pass on to employees and other speakers who have asked me how I do it. This book allowed me to look at what I do and see how I can transfer that ability to others. It has also helped me see some of the tricks of persuasion that snare the unwary and how they are used by unscrupulous people.
Cialdini not only makes his case by carefully presenting the techniques and the experiments on which they are based, but also details how they are used and how you can use them. For each technique he also indicates how to know when it is being used against you and how to resist the influence.
A highly recommended book and one of the best on this subject, Cialdini's work is often quoted in other books on influence and persuasion.
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