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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition Revised Edition
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Arguably the best book ever on what is increasingly becoming the science of persuasion. Whether you're a mere consumer or someone weaving the web of persuasion to urge others to buy or vote for your product, this is an essential book for understanding the psychological foundations of marketing. Recommended.
For markters, this book is among the most important books written in the last ten years. (Journal of Mariketing Research)
Influence should be required reading for all business majors. (Journal of Retailing)
This book will strike chords deep in the hearts and psyches of all of us. (Best Sellers Magazine)
The material in Cialdini’s Influence is a proverbial gold mine. (Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology)
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Top customer reviews
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.
This book provides the answers in an entertaining way, along with many others. I was astonished to see just how susceptible we are to manipulation of the social rules which guide us in day-to-day life. The author includes a large number of anecdotes, backed up by studies and references. It was a fun, quick read, and it will affect how I deal with solicitations and salesmen from now on. Conversely if you are a salesperson looking to get better at your job, this book will help.
On the down side, many of the first person examples about the author and his various relatives come across as a bit contrived. A minor annoyance in an otherwise great book.
I'd recommend 'Influence' to anyone as a useful, entertaining read. Well worth the time.
"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. My daughter read this book when she was 14 or 15, and I had to wrestle with her to get it back because she loved it so much! I only hope she doesn't begin using the principles against me!
One of the best parts of the book is the wonderful examples of each principle that Cialdini provides. An experiment to demonstrate the principle of authority, conducted by Stanley Milgram, is the classic example. In this experiment, two volunteers show up to help with an experiment, purportedly to test the effect of punishment on learning and memory. A researcher in a lab coat with a clipboard explains the experiment to the volunteers and that one is to take the role of the Teacher, who will administer increasingly higher levels of electric shock to the other volunteer, the Learner. Every time the Learner got a question incorrect, the Teacher was to administer a higher level of shock. However, the real experiment was to test how willing the Teacher was to administer pain to the innocent Learner, who was not really another volunteer but an actor pretending to be in increasing stages of pain. The results shocked everyone, for Milgram discovered that about two-thirds of the subjects were willing to administer the highest level of electric shock. The reason? Their deep-seated duty to authority.
Influence is filled with many such fascinating and useful examples of how our lives are influenced by others. I highly recommend the book to all readers, for influence is something common to us all, for good or for evil.