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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"The great social psychologist Robert Cialdini has written another timeless and indispensable book about the psychology of influence. I'll be recommending it for years and years."—Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and author of Presence
"Extends the science of persuasion in several important ways....an essential tool for anyone serious about science-based business strategies. Pre-Suasion is well worth the long wait, and is destined to be an instant classic. The book belongs on the shelf of anyone in business, from the CEO to the newest salesperson."—Forbes
"An utterly fascinating read on how the most important drivers of persuasion aren't the words we choose in the moment, but how we set the stage beforehand. Robert Cialdini is the world's foremost expert on influence, and you will never look at it the same way again."—Adam Grant, professor of Management and Psychology at the Wharton School, and author of Originals and Give and Take
"Digging down into how people make decisions at a primitive level is the specialty of author Robert Cialdini, a guru to salesmen and marketers since the publication of his 1984 book Influence. In his new book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, he returns with more tips about how to slither your way into people’s minds and rearrange what you find there.”—New York Post
"No psychologist’s research has been used more often or successfully than that of Robert Cialdini, who literally “wrote the book” on influence. Now, he’s done it again, showing us the power of the moment before an attempt to persuade. This is classic Cialdini—authoritative, original, and immediately practical."—Richard H. Thaler, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, co-author of Nudge, and author of Misbehaving
"Robert Cialdini's Influence is, by a wide margin, the book that I recommend most often. Pre-Suasion may be even more shockingly insightful."—Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and co-author of Switch and Made to Stick
"[Pre-Suasion] is sure to be an important contribution to the fields of social psychology and behavioral economics...detailed, readable, and fascinating, this book may cause the reader to wonder whether unbiased decisions are possible."—Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating and engaging glimpse into the world of persuasion, and it’s a lot more pervasive and evanescent than we might think.”—BizEd
"Books employing social science are very popular these days, but so are books on workplace culture. Pre-Suasion reminds us that there is a connection between the two, that using insights from behavioral science and social psychology can yield huge dividends if used accordingly and ethically."—800CEOREAD
“Exhaustively reviews the research not on how to influence others but on how to make people ready to be influenced….chapter after chapter piles on the experimental evidence from the field and the lab….Scholars, teachers and researchers will find the endnotes invaluable, because here, with his usual clarity and charm, Mr. Cialdini addresses academic concerns—such as the debate about the persistence and strength of change that can be produced in a brief lab study or field intervention—and explains many studies in detail, with more anecdotes to illustrate them….the overall message of this book is compelling.”—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Robert Cialdini is recognized worldwide for his inspired field research on the psychology of influence. He is a New York Times bestselling author. His books, including Influence, have sold more than three million copies in thirty-three languages. Dr. Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and the president and CEO of Influence at Work, an international company that provides keynotes and influence training on how to use the lessons in Dr. Cialdini’s books ethically and effectively.
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Robert Cialdini, author of Pre-Suasion – a Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade shares his insights and finding about the importance of framing the discussion before it actually begins.
“The basic idea of Pre-Suasion is that, by guiding preliminary attention strategically, it’s possible for a communicator to move recipients into agreement with a message before they experience it.” That is a very strong statement. But throughout the book, Mr. Cialdini gives example after example of how and why it works.
If you have any interest in the psychology of marketing, then the chances are extremely good that you have been exposed to his first book Influence. So you might be wondering if this is simply a rehashing of the ideas contained in Influence.
Mr. Cialdini says that in the first book, he simply articulated the tactics advanced marketers were using to sell goods and services to the public. In this book, he is introducing concepts and ideas that the most advanced marketers are not really aware of.
In one example, a company was introducing a new soft drink and had representatives stationed in a mall. Their job was to stop shoppers, explain the features of the new soft drink and attempt to gain the shoppers email address in exchange for the promise of a sample. The success rate was less than 30%. But when a Pre-Suasion question, “Are you adventurous?” was asked prior to launching into the discussion about the new soft drink, the results were astounding. First 97% of the people responded that there were in fact adventurous. Clearly that is not the case. But what was really amazing was that once people had affirmed they were adventurous, the success rate nearly tripled.
Mr. Cialdini cites many research studies that substantiate his findings. The stories and research make for extremely interesting reading. The book is a quick read. Dr. Cialdini a master teacher, weaves the ideas together to form a clear and compelling case for understanding and employing Pre-Suasion techniques in all our persuasion attempts.
Mr. Cialdini very thoughtfully raises and answers the questions of using the Pre-Suasion techniques unethically. He cites numerous cases that show the long term negative consequences of such behavior.
The book is well researched. The references and end notes are about 150 pages, so for those who wish to do additional reading/research, the sources are well documented.
If you want to up your persuasive game, this is a must read.
And if you are seeking input from others, ask for “advice”. “The novelist Saul Bellows once observed, ‘When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” “Togetherness” is one of the Pre-Suasion pillars.
I was provide a review copy of this book.
I was also excited because the early part of the book talked about communication as a process, not as an event. My experience in business and as an author and copy writer led me to endorse that position. I used to have a copy of the famous “Man in The Chair” ad right where I could see it when I was writing.
McGraw-Hill’s classic ad first appeared in 1958. It shows a fellow in a plain suit and a bowtie with a scowl on his face sitting in a chair and staring at the reader of the ad. The copy essentially says, “I’ve never heard of you or your company, so what was it you wanted to sell me?”
The ad is a classic. It speaks to the need to have previous communication before you show up and want to sell me something. It seemed like Cialdini’s book was going to meet that need, too. I was prepared to be impressed, but I quit reading at page 146. I don’t abandon many books. Let’s go back to the beginning so you can understand why I didn’t finish this one. In the author’s note, Dr. Cialdini says this:
“Pre-suasion seeks to add to the body of behavioral science information that general readers find both inherently interesting and applicable to their daily lives. It identifies what savvy communicators do before delivering a message to get it accepted.”
Fair enough. I qualify as a general reader. I’m not a psychologist or academic and I’m always looking for information and insights that are both interesting and helpful. I was prepared to be impressed.
The first warning that this might not be the book I expected came on page 4. That’s where Cialdini describes the concept of “anchoring,” but doesn’t use that term at all. I admit to distrusting writers who don’t use common terms to refer to their concepts or don’t mention their colleagues by name to give them credit or share any references to research that comes to different conclusions. I expect that from political speech writers. I don’t expect it from a professor at a major university.
There are good things in this book. An example is the discussion of “single-chute questions” and how they can distort understanding and research findings. Even so, by page 30 I was already getting frustrated. That’s where Cialdini says
“Plenty of research shows that reducing the distance to an object makes it seem more worthwhile.”
That may be true, but a footnote would have been helpful. More helpful would have been an example of the research, complete with names of who did it and how it was structured. You don’t have to show me a lot of the research, but a complete description of one piece of the “plenty” would be nice. Throughout the book, Cialdini refers to studies but offers no descriptions and no footnotes. It makes me wonder about the quality of the research and the validity of his conclusions.
Then there are statements like this one: “Already some data show…” I don’t know what “already” means. Is that research done in the last 10 years or the last 6 months? And I certainly would like to know more about what “some data” is.
By the time I got to page 45, I was making marginal notes about things being very general and facts being stated without support.
Around page 50, he presents a study that he says shows that people make decisions for reasons that aren’t strictly economic. Well, duh! The only people who don’t know that are traditional economists. Human beings know it quite well and a variety of psychologists and behavioral economists have pointed it out.
Even though I was frustrated by extraneous material that didn’t seem to fit and broad statements about research with no details or footnotes. I pushed ahead until I got to page 130. That's where I found this.
“In one university physics class, women students who engaged in such a self-affirmation exercise just twice – once at the outset and once in the middle of the semester – scored better on the course’s math-intensive examinations by a full letter grade.”
I’m pretty sure that if one of Cialdini’s students wrote that in a paper his red comments would cover the page. One physics class? How can that be a valid sample? Better by a full letter grade? Better than what? Better than their peers? Better than they had in another class? Better than other women taking physics? It was enough to make me consider abandoning the book right there.
But, hope springs eternal. I decided to push ahead anyway. I was at page 146 when I finally slammed the book shut for good. That’s where you find this:
“Sleep researchers have noted that in field tests of combat artillery units, teams that are fully rested often challenge orders to fire on hospitals or other civilian targets. But after 24-36 sleepless hours, they often obey superiors’ directives without question and become more likely to shell anything.”
Really? What army is this? Who orders gun crews to fire on hospitals or other civilian targets? Would you like to know? I sure would. Guess what? There’s no footnote for this one, either. That’s where I quit reading.
There are some good things about Pre-suasion. I’m sure that some of the material is valid and might be helpful. I just don’t know how to figure out which material that is. Instead of being a great sequel to a legendary book, this one is filled with slipshod research, questionable assertions, and sloppy writing. It’s not worth your money or your time
Most recent customer reviews
I've read Caldini's other book and it was ok, (type way too small )but this one is FABULOUS.Read more