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Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Nick Kolenda has done a masterful job of taking complex psychological issues and techniques discovered through imaginative researchers, and reduced them to simple explanations we can all understand. He's done it with humor, while at the same time treating it as the serious subject that it really is. He says in his foreword or introduction (somewhere) that he hopes this will be the most underlined/highlighted book in our libraries. Turns out he's right.
You know a book is well written when it is not only entertaining, but also so densely packed with interesting stuff that most of it is turned yellow by enthusiastic highlighting. This is one of those books.
I have a beef with a few of the examples in the book.
He tries to read our mind when we choose the number 7. Well, the number 7 is the most popular number to choose from a list between 1 – 10. We didn’t really need to be primed with dwarfs or being lucky. I would have been more impressed if he made it more challenging for himself by trying to get us to think of the number six. He could have primed us with the Devil and intimate relations, but, no he went with the most popular number. Kind of cheap in my opinion.
The second example was guessing that we would say carrot. Again, this is a very popular vegetable. When I was ten years old, a classmate said he would read my mind. He asked me three math questions in which the answer was always 15. Then he asked me to name a vegetable. I said carrot. I think carrot worked because it rolls of the tongue. All the other popular vegetables have more than two syllables: cucumber, green (or red) pepper), broccoli, onions. These are vegetables that we think of in our salad. So, again, I would have been more impressed if Nick had tried to guess that we were thinking of eggplant or asparagus.
The two examples I mentioned above and Nick used are old parlor tricks. Look on YouTube, all the “mind reader” use carrot as the word to guess. Not very impressive..
Although his examples on You Tube are very impressive.
I like his section about anchoring. I see this all the time. I hear people say, “Well, I may not be the best looking guy in the world,” or “I’m not a billionaire, but…”
He talks about raising expectations. He uses his own book on raising expectation. I can tell you I experience this a lot. When I go to a movie and the usher takes my ticket and says, “Oh, you’re gonna love this movie. I saw it last night,” I immediately go in with a new positive attitude, whereas I was skeptical when I first bought the ticket.
It really works!
It’s funny though, Kolenda uses a similar example in his third section: Trigger Social Pressure. In it he uses a waitress telling a customer about a “Great choice” as an example of compliments to elicit a tip.
He talks about the primacy effect and how the order of things make a difference and also comparison. Well, it certainly worked on me. Before I read this book, I just read Influence by Cialdini and hated it.
That book was boring. This book by comparison was phenomenal. Now, writing this review, I am reading Kolenda’s book for a second time, and I will have to say that I am not as impressed with it as I was when I read it immediately after reading Cialdini’s lousy book. That’s interesting to note.
One thing I found interesting was when Kolenda mentioned that we like brands that use the same letters as our name known as “name-letter effect.” For years, I tried to like A & W Root beer just because of the letters. But in the end, I hated it and had to go with Barq’s. Every time, I see a house under construction, I see AW windows and I say to myself, “Those are really good windows.” I don’t know anything about windows. What am I talking about?
I’m ending this review because I am tired of typing. Thanks for reading. All in all, this book is definitely worth reading despite some of the parlor tricks.
The first factor was percentage of ratings so I don't waste my money or time. The positive reviews outnumbered the negative reviews by a huge margin (my minimum for a book purchase is 65% of reviews are 4+ Stars).
The second factor was cost. If you're like me, a patient Amazon customer who doesn't satisfy that impulsive instant gratification purchase, then the prices will adjust and the purchase is worth it. At the time of purchase, the book was $7 and change. After finishing it, I think it's worth the amount I spent.
This is a book written like a conversation between you and the author. I was dreading reading a textbook-ish book and I was happily surprised. It's well-written, organized and informative with (extensive) research to back up all the claims. Luckily, all research references aren't bogged down with unnecessary boring information. Plenty of real-world applications to keep you engaged and help you remember after you put the book down.
The citations are a appreciated, as I'm naturally skeptical, so I appreciate that so much of this book is grounded in real research. The humor and down-to-earth tone of the book is refreshing, as it doesn't take itself too seriously. Every chapter brings something new and interesting to the table, and everything gets wrapped up nicely.
The only thing I would have wished for is for this book to have a hardcover option, as I would have gladly paid more to have a hardcover of this on my bookshelf. Here is me trying to persuade you, Nick (David W. et all, 2018). Well written, and kudos. You're a hero, and probably a wizard, too.
The book could use a few more examples and and some of the smaller points could be lengthened, but over all it's a fun and informative read.
received more than my monies worth. It's a book that's hard to put down.
The author, Nick Kolenda, is BRILLIANT! He explains each concept using
easy to understand language, backs it up by citing the research & source,
and then uses the same methods on the reader ensuring that you experience it
1st hand. BRILLIANT!