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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition Paperback – December 26, 2006
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The widely adopted, now classic book on influence and persuasion—a major national and international bestseller with more than four million copies sold!
In this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion—explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations.
You’ll learn the six universal principles of influence and how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and, just as importantly, how to defend yourself against dishonest influence attempts:
- Reciprocation: The internal pull to repay what another person has provided us.
- Commitment and Consistency: Once we make a choice or take a stand, we work to behave consistently with that commitment in order to justify our decisions.
- Social Proof: When we are unsure, we look to similar others to provide us with the correct actions to take. And the more, people undertaking that action, the more we consider that action correct.
- Liking: The propensity to agree with people we like and, just as important, the propensity for others to agree with us, if we like them.
- Authority: We are more likely to say “yes” to others who are authorities, who carry greater knowledge, experience or expertise.
- Scarcity: We want more of what is less available or dwindling in availability.
Understanding and applying the six principles ethically is cost-free and deceptively easy. Backed by Dr. Cialdini’s 35 years of evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research—as well as by a three-year field study on what moves people to change behavior—Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles effectively to amplify your ability to change the behavior of others.
“Robert Cialdini has done the impossible: he has improved a masterpiece. The new version of Influence is a marvelously rich and engaging account of the subtle power that people exert on each other.” — Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize laureate and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow and Noise
“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.
- Publisher : Harper Business; Revised edition (December 26, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 006124189X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0061241895
- Item Weight : 9.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.84 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on October 6, 2020
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# Why should the voting of a Jury member secret while the Jury is discussing a case?
# Why does a commitment made in public or by writing have such a powerful effect on the person who makes it?
# Why do we need to shout help and ask for specifics when we really need help?
# Why people commit more suicides after listening about suicides or disasters in the media?
# Which factors cause a person to like another person?
# Why do some people associate themselves so closely to their sport team that if their team is consistently losing they feel as losers as well?
# Which tricks do car sellers play to trick us to buy something right here right now?
# Why a TV commercial with a renowned actor playing a doctor selling pills has the same power as if he was a real doctor?
After studying all the tactics used by sales people, and the myriad techniques they use to manipulate, Cialdini came with six basic weapons of influence, each one governed by a psychological anchor or shortcut in human behaviour: 1/Consistency, 2/ reciprocation, 3/ social proof, 4/ authority, 5/ liking, and 6/ scarcity. Each of them is analysed in an individual chapter, where we are shown the psychological shortcut that produces automatic auto-pilot reactions that are used by manipulators, why these anchors sit comfortably in the human psyche from an Evolutionary Psychology and Sociology point of view, and in which precise ways they work, work better and can be enhanced or downplayed. Examples from many lab tests, natural psychology tests, scientific bibliography and Cialdini's own personal life are used to explain these mechanisms with simplicity.
Cialdini wants normal people, no matter we are a seller or not, to understand how our psyche works, because the trickster can be tricked and our psyche works using mechanisms that can be exploited and manipulated easily against us by anybody, for good and for evil. This is not a book on how to use or manipulate people and isn't directed to marketers or sellers specifically. A good part of Cialdini's work was done by infiltrating training programs from sales people and Cialdini mostly address the majority of people who don't use compliance techniques. However, he doesn't hold a grudge, nor want us to, against "compliance practioners" as he calls them (sales operators, fund-raisers, charities street workers, recruiters, advertisers, real-estate and travel agents, among others) are just people using the knowledge of our psyche without lying or masquerading anything. When they do, Cialdini advices war: "I he proper targets for counteraggression are only those individuals who falsify, counterfeit, or misrepresent the evidence that naturally cues our shortcut responses (...) The real treachery, and the thing we cannot tolerate, is any attempt to make their profit in a way that threatens the reliability of our shortcuts."
"Influence" is an useful book, not only to be learn and be aware of the tricks that compliance professionals play on us, but also of the ways people use them in our private lives to get something from us even if it is just approval, lack of a reprimand, or just sex. Most importantly the section "How to say no" in each chapter tell us, exactly, what to do or how to recognise the manipulators, the psychological anchors discussed in the chapter, and how to respond and react so our decision is o-u-r decision.
The book reads well, in simple English and is very entertaining and easy to understand.You will certainly get a few aha! moments as you can put into perspective what happened while booking a time with your hairdresser, your beauty salon, dealing with a charity worker that stops you in the street with a compliment, while a shop attendant shows you different stuff, dealing with a travel agent, dealing with your Real Estate agent, or while certain TV ads that do not make sense rationally but do make sense, totally, to your subconscious.
There are too many people including quotes in their books, but the ones Cialdini uses at the beginning of each chapter are spot on, as they summarise each chapter to perfection.
>>> Cialdini is a bit reiterative at times, goes for pages unnecessarily, and although I loved most of the examples that Cialdini mentions, there are too many and he could have cut a few without the book losing interest or quality.
>>> Probably because the book was written in the 1980s, some stuff is really well-known nowadays and doesn't need of long explanations, or won't surprise anybody. I would say that people with a basic degree of education would not be saying what what what?! when reading about the bystander factor, the halo effect and the good cop-bad cop dynamics, or that our titles are something that can be used to trick people and that people who don't have them will attach to those to get a bit of the spark.
>>> The book has not aged well with regards to a few points:
1/ Some contextual facts that were common in the 80s are are no longer in use, or even legal in some parts of the world, like door-to-door sales. We live in the world of the Internet, online stores, publicity everywhere we look at, constant spam and marketing on networking sites, and the use of our private meta-data by corporations to sell us things or know what we want to buy. I would have loved seeing an analysis on how the shortcuts presented in this book have morphed to adjust to the needs of the online world and market, if some of these shortcuts are now more prominent than others, and if new shortcuts have been added to the six mentioned here.
2/ The bibliography used and referenced is still mostly from the 70s and 80s, with a few additions from the 90s. It would have been great adding a modern bibliography in a "further reading" sort of chapter when the book was revised.
3/ The use of some vocabulary is no longer OK. Referring to primitive cultures is no longer acceptable or accepted without discussion and calling animals infrahumans it is an anthropocentric adjective that doesn't connect with the reality of the environment and the planet we live in. I would call a shark or alligator a suprahuman!
4/ Some social practices have changed dramatically in the last decades, even though Cialdini thought that they would not as they have a function in the human psyche. Well, it seems no longer. For example the hell-week practices in Universities, which were in decline in my University before I entered mine and banned when I was in. They might be alive in the American Fraternity Societies, but there is something called Open University that works quite well, is everywhere and expanding, and people don't need to be part of a group or enter any building that often. The world is quite different nowadays more than people in the 80s would have imagined.
RENDERING FOR KINDLE
The book has a word index at the end, but it is not linked in the Kindle edition of the book. The author advises using the search tool to find them. Well, Kindle's search tool is not the most accurate sensitive sort of search tool. Kindle books should be sold cheaper if indexes or features that were in the hard-copies are not available in the electronic edition.
This is a great reading overall, informative, entertaining and useful for our daily life, to notice things to stop us from buying something we don't want to buy right now or just not to act in a way that feels is not you but we are being pushed into and is not in our best interest. Entertaining and eye-opening this might be a bible for manipulators, but also a bible to counter-attack those who want to bend our will for their own benefit. We should learn about how influence works because automated stereotyped behaviour works better now than in the 80s, as the pace of modern life is faster and more stressful, and we have less time and energy to pause and think for a second to ask ourselves what we really want. This being the case, we can be manipulated more easily today than 30 years ago.
"Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini is a book about psychology and how people react to the weapons of influence. The book has been published numerous times and the first edition dated back to 1984. The good point is that, despite dramatic changes in lifestyle and technology, human psychology does not change much. We are still the social animals and the weapons of influence is as effective to us as ever, if not even more. The book is arguably one of the best selling psychology books ever (although we can classify it as a business or self-improvement book).
(Actually, to explore the contents, you can easily google "Influence, Cialdini" and there will be a lot to read. So, I'll keep it very brief.)
Intro: Weapons of Influence
1. Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take ... and Take
The rule of reciprocation is that when you give someone something, it is almost obligatory that the person who took it has to return the favour. This rule is very effective that you feel you need to give back even though you are not satisfied with the whole situation.
2. Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind
This is the shortcut of human beings. We tend to do what we set our mind to without thinking much. It reduces time spent but sometimes consistency without careful consideration can be disastrous.
3. Social Proof: Truth Are Us
When you are thinking and doing one thing, it might be true or false. When too many people are thinking and doing that thing, our human mind tend to believe that it is true just because so many people do and believe in it. It might sound insignificant and Cialdini told us stories that the rule of "Social Proof" can lead to tragic deaths.
4. Liking: The Friendly Thief
It is not as simple as that you will do something if you like it. The author wrote different perspectives of liking such as that salesperson often pretend to be similar to us in one way or another to trigger the sense of association and similarity that can deceive our judgment or sexy ladies in the ad can stimulate the "liking" and alters your perception towards the product.
5. Authority: Directed Deference
We are born to obey authority from parents, teachers, etc. When we are adult, this same trait is still with us and we tend to obey and rely on people who we believe have higher authority. Authority comes in different forms such as titles, or even clothes.
6. Scarcity: The Rule of the Few
People always perceive that less is more valuable. Not having something is more tolerable than losing something. We always fear losing things or desire rarer things that sometimes it clouds our judgment.
I would like to compare this book to an ideal business book; the book that is easy to understand, distinct, practical, credible, insightful, and provides great reading experience.
Ease of Understanding: 8/10: The book is structured nicely into 6 weapons of influence and each of them are explained sufficiently with many interesting researches. Those researches are not filled with complex statistics but common senses in everyday situations like a choice of cookie, car salesperson, poster ads, etc.
Distinction: 9/10: It is a matter of then and now. At the time the book was first published I doubt that there were many book that explored into our mind on how we make decisions. The findings are eye-opening in how they explain the reasons why we do what we do. Currently, there are many similar books on this topic but it is likely that "Influence" has influenced most, if not all, of them.
Practicality: 7/10: This book offers solid guidelines on how these methods work and how to avoid them. However, implementation is a different story because in many situations, there will not be enough time for you to implement it perfectly unless you are a natural born influencer. Nevertheless, this book is very useful if you have time to think and make decision.
Credibility: 7/10: Each method is supported by many researches; they are very credible. Moreover, those methods are pretty much common senses and self-explanatory but most of the time, we are not even aware of them because they are built-in our behaviours and they are often triggered subconsciously and involuntarily. The points are taken because some researches might still be just coincidence because despite having many researches, some are not deep enough.
Insightful: 9/10: This book is a great compilation of psychological researches about persuasion. There are more than 200 references in the bibliography section in a 280 pages book. Some of them might be shallow but that number of researches is intriguing and you will learn a lot from the book.
Reading Experience: 2/10: I have been objective throughout my review, I need a place to be subjective and sentimental. You can ignore this completely but I do not like this book at all. Some remarks of the author has "influenced" me totally negatively. I will give you some examples.
Regarding the mass suicide in a jungle settlement in Guyana, South America led by the Reverend Jim Jones under the name of The People's Temple. Approximately 910 died in the incident; people took strawberry flavored poison. The author suggested that due to the rule of "Social Proof", when people are uncertain of the situation, they follow others and all of them died in orderliness. "When viewed in this light, the terrible orderliness, the lack of panic, the sense of calm with which these people moved to the vat of poison and to their deaths, seems more comprehensible."
On the other hand, when the author explained people who are sport fans who refer to the team they support "we" when the team win. For example, when the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series, 11 million people - in a city of 1.5 million - crowded the streets to shout "We're Number 1" as their heroes passed in a victory parade. And when the team lost, the sport fans rather refer to the team as "they". Cialdini wrote
"Unless I miss my guess, they are not merely great sports aficionados; they are individuals with a hidden personality flaw - a poor self-concept. Deep inside is a sense of low personal worth that directs them to seek prestige not from the generation or promotion of their own attainments, but from the generation or promotion of their associations with others of attainment."
It continues "No matter which form it takes, the behavior of such individuals shares similar theme - the rather tragic view of accomplishment as deriving from outside the self."
In the later chapter, there is an analogy of a shopper and fish; I find it very insulting to many people. It's about shopping. He explained that commercial fishermen use loose bait to attract a large schools of certain fish. When water is full of fish snapping mouths competing for the food. Fishermen drop unbaited lines and catch fish because it crazed food and will bite at anything, including bare metal hooks. He stated that a "Bargain Sale" sign is a loose bait and you, shoppers, are craving fish.
"If the bait, of either form, has done its job, a large and eager crowd forms to snap it up. Soon, in the rush to score, the group becomes agitated, nearly blinded, by the adversarial nature of the situation. Human and fish alike lose perspective on what they want and begin striking at whatever is contested."
Hence, while I felt terribly sorry for those in the mass suicide, we can imply that Cialdini sees them as psychologically normal but under a bad circumstance. While passionate sport fans (a majority of men) have poor self-concept and a rather tragic view of accomplishment. And girls fighting for clothes on sale (most female, obviously) are nearly blind food craving fish. Next time when you are going to support your sport team, take a look at a mirror and tell yourself how great you are instead. And ladies, alway buy full price.
Overall: 7.0/10: Despite the fact that I detest some remarks and the general know-it-all egotistical attitude of the author, this is an excellent book. It will teach you how to beware of the influence from everywhere in every social setting. The six methods are very clear and the number of researches are remarkable if you decide to use them or to prevent them from influencing you. Unfortunately, the author has totally influenced my negatively but when thinking of it sensibly, I still recommend everyone to read the book.
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.”
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.
Awesome content. Horrible Copy. Great Service by Amazon. Returned!
Some of the samples are so small that statistically the assertions are difficult to back up, but if you put that to one side you can believe the experiments would get results in the stated direction.