- Create your FREE Amazon Business account to save up to 10% with Business-only prices and free shipping.
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition Paperback – December 26, 2006
There is a newer edition of this item:
Enhance your purchase
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Frequently bought together
Special offers and product promotions
“If there is only one book you’ll ever read, if there is only one expert whose advice you’ll trust, it should be this book and this author, Robert Cialdini.” -- Angela Duckworth, author of Grit and founder and CEO of Character Lab
“This is the most important book ever written about the science of persuasion, and it just keeps getting better. I can’t imagine a more fascinating, more practical read.” -- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and Originals and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
"Anyone who wants their abilities in communication or negotiation to be at their highest level has to read Robert Cialdini's book Influence. Your knowledge base is simply incomplete without it." -- Chris Voss, author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Split the Difference
“Influence is now even more practical and powerful. The new principle of unity alone is a game changer. Bravo!” -- BJ Fogg, Ph.D., founder of Stanford’s Behavior Design Lab
“The clouds have parted for everyone who wants to dent the universe. A new edition of what is already indispensable just got more so.” -- Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva and creator of the Remarkable People podcast
"In this update of his classic book, the world's most practical social psychologist shares his wisdom and reveals his charm. There's dynamite here. Please use what you learn with care!" -- Richard Thaler, Nobel Prize laureate and author of Nudge and Misbehaving
“If you could read just one book on how to be more effective in business and life, I’d pick Influence. It’s a tour de force that Cialdini has somehow made more marvelous.” -- Katy Milkman, professor at the Wharton School, host of the Choiceology podcast, and author of How to Change
“A phenomenal book! Whether you seek to boost sales, strike a better deal, or improve your relationships, Influence offers scienti?cally tested principles that can change your life.” -- Daniel L. Shapiro, Ph.D., founder and director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program and author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable
“Influence richly deserves its status as the de?nitive book on the subject. I learned so much from this revised edition, and so will you.” -- Tim Harford, author of The Data Detective (US)/How to Make the World Add Up (UK)
“Prepare to be dazzled. Bob Cialdini is the godfather of in?uence, and the original version of this book is already a classic. Whether you’re trying to in?uence or understand how others in?uence you, this book will show you how.” -- Jonah Berger, professor at the Wharton School and author of Contagious and The Catalyst
“A remarkable effort and achievement. Influence remains the brilliantly written treatise on fundamental principles of human behavior, with the addition of a timely new principle.” -- Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t
“Influence is a modern business classic that has profoundly shaped the ?elds of marketing and psychology. Robert Cialdini’s new edition makes a brilliant book even better, with robust new insights and examples.” -- Dorie Clark, author of Reinventing You and executive education faculty, Duke University Fuqua School of Business
“The new Influence is nothing short of a masterpiece. The writing is both timeless and worth reading immediately.” -- Joe Polish, founder of Genius Network
“Influence is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the decision-making process. It is simply essential reading in the canon of psychology and behavioral ?nance.” -- Barry Ritholtz, chairman and chief investment of?cer of Ritholtz Wealth Management
“Cialdini has made a classic even better. This updated edition of Influence af?rms its place as one of the most important books on business and behavior of the last ?fty years. The new additions are terri?c.”
-- Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and To Sell Is Human
"Influence is the only book I’ve assigned to my organizational behavior students at Stanford for the last twenty-?ve years. Students love it, and, years later, rave about how helpful it is has been throughout their careers. The new version is even more useful and nuanced— and even more fun to read." -- Robert I. Sutton, professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of seven books, including New York Times bestsellers The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss
“Like every psychologist I know (and like many thousands of others who are curious about how the world works), I got my start learning about persuasion with Bob Cialdini’s Influence. This revised edition builds so meaningfully on the worn ?rst edition sitting next to my desk—Influence will continue to clarify and inspire the art and science of persuasion for years to come.” -- Betsy Levy Paluck, professor of psychology and public affairs, deputy director of the Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy, Princeton University
"Robert Cialdini is a pioneer in translating complex scientific work into a fun and digestible form that the rest of us can understand and benefit from. In this updated version of Influence, Cialdini updates what was already a powerhouse book with the latest, cutting edge research and new narratives to masterfully draw the reader in. Influence was always a must read and, now, it is even more so." -- Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets and How to Decide
From the Back Cover
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.
- ASIN : 006124189X
- Publisher : Harper Business; Revised edition (December 26, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780061241895
- Item Weight : 9.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.84 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In reply to the few one star reviews...It has been stated in the uncharitable reviews, that the entire content of the book could have been written in a few pages. I agree, at first look, this would seem true. The Harvard Business Review article "Harnessing the Science of Persuasion" by Cialdini, from their October 2001 issue....is a good example. You can even get the Six Principles from the books Table Of Contents...save yourself some time.
But sales ideas have to not just be listed....not just explained...they have to be sold. Examples have to be given, Principles have to be
explained...we need proof. And you need the entire book to do that. The people who read a short article by the author, maybe read the
ideas...but nothing else happens. Salespeople are changed by the content of this book, like with all great sales books. For salespeople to benefit from a sales book, the ideas have to be explained, understood, proven, accepted, and made real. This book does that.
I own perhaps 2,000 books on the subject of selling. This is certainly in the top 5.
1. Reciprocity – 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. Ethiopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1935. The good cop/bad cop strategy is also based on this principle.
2. Commitment and consistency – If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self-image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. Cialdini notes Chinese brainwashing of American prisoners of war to rewrite their self-image and gain automatic unenforced compliance. Another example is children being made to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance each morning and why marketers make you close popups by saying “I’ll sign up later” or "No thanks, I prefer not making money”.
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.
The trick is that as the world gets more complex, these 6 things also provide us with social shortcuts, to keep on the straight and narrow with minimal effort. But this means we have to be vigilant - to make sure we are not being taken advantage of. He notes that we often get that funny feeling in the pit our stomach when we are being manipulated against our will, and he suggests using that feeling/intuition to our advantage - to recognize when we are at risk. One of the things I love about this book is that Cialdini himself is the first to admit that even with all he knows, even he was and is not immune, and he provides some very funny examples to show how he personally has been taken advantage of.
This really is a must read book. In the same vein, the last thing on his list is a one sentence course on persuasion - the sentence being, "People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies."
I think one of the most amazing examples in his book concerns well publicized suicides, as there are not just the expected copy cat suicides, but also up to 10X more fatal aircraft and automobile crashes. It's amazing how little it takes to establish a new subconscious social norm. Our lizard brain betrays us more often than we might think.
I picked the book up because it was recommended by a successful business owner who indicated that in building her business model, marketing strategy, and designing her website she used the principles in this book and found them to be very effective.
Insightful with good breakdowns of each principle and great examples. He even explains how a consumer can act against their natural and automated response to some of these triggers, which, for a business person, provides research into how to overcome rebuttals.
Could be that he wrote this book for the consumer, so they understood how they are being manipulated and how to overcome it...or could be that he geniusly manipulated us into believing it was in advocacy of the consumer when it's really for the business owner, heh heh. Either way, good read.
Top reviews from other countries
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
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 jumper because the contrast makes the sweater appear more affordable.
* Reciprocity. Example: If someone buys you something (say, a Coke), you’re more likely to buy 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 are on the line (i.e. 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 behaviour 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 favour.”
* “Social proof is most powerful for those who feel unfamiliar or unsure of a specific situation and who, consequently, must look outside of themselves for evidence of how to best behave there.”
Awesome content. Horrible Copy. Great Service by Amazon. Returned!
Paper quality - Very bad. It is equivalent to quality that is available on road side or some times on traffic signals at max. 100 Rs.
Quality of paper must be improved, here paying extra in comparison to what is available on locations mentioned above.
Book not worth amount paid.
However when I skipped to parts that I was interested in, the topics were quite enlightening. It certainly highlights the vulnerability and gullibility of 'the public' that is exploited in a scurrilous manner by so much of the commercial and corporate world. I helps to know what tricks they use in order to be a jump ahead of them if any should try such tricks against us. I would say it was useful but in a limited way. Interesting in parts. Perhaps not quite as revolutionary as the old 1960s "How to win friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie but in my opinion it's a modern day upgrade on the ethos contained in that book, but with a lot of the sexism updated to be more politically correct for the 21st Century. It was good value certainly.