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Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive Paperback – December 29, 2009
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"This easy-to-read summary of the social-psychological research on persuasion really does tell people how to get to 'yes.' Since we are all selling something, including ourselves, all the time, everyone can, and will be, reading this amazing book." -- Jeffrey Pfeffer, professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and author of "What Were They Thinking? Unconventional Wisdom About Management"
""Yes!" is the "Freakonomics" of social psychology. This book changed my way of looking at the world. This thinking is the real deal. Don't miss out!" -- Daniel Finkelstein, Comment Editor, "The Times" (London)
""Yes!" is the single best introduction to and distillation of research and wisdom on how to change people's minds, including your own." -- Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California, author of "On Becoming a Leader" and coauthor of "Judgment: How Winning Leaders Make Great Calls"
"If you had a team of bright guys looking for research that you can actually use to improve your effectiveness, and they wrote it up for you with wit and style, putting it in nifty little reports of three to five pages, would that be useful? YES! This book is the trifecta: first-rate research, lively writing, and practical advice. Read it, enjoy it, use it." -- Dale Dauten, nationally syndicated King Features columnist and author of "The Gifted Boss"
About the Author
Noah Goldstein is a protege of Cialdini's. He is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology under Robert Cialdini at Arizona State University in 2007, and he has published research with Cialdini in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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I particularly appreciate the formatting. Each chapter begins with a scientific case study, followed by the relevant conclusions drawn from the study, then completed with ways the conclusions can be applied in a variety of circumstances. The effect on me was to spark tons of ideas for my clients.
The brief, yet concentrated chapters make for easy and engaging reading. I read the book the first time in one sitting, and not once did my attention wander. The formatting also means that you don't have to read the chapters sequentially -- you can open up to any chapter and get valuable, stand-alone content.
The most beneficial aspect of the book is the scientific research. Contrary to many other books in the field, you can feel comfortable with the empirical, rather than subjective, approach.
I've added this book to the core books on persuasion that I reference constantly.
The authors challenge the notion that persuasion as art. For them, it is science. One can hypothesize, test, and field it. In fact, the 50 ways (or examples) are real life experiences of how persuasive strategy has been implemented scientifically.
As the authors points out that the purpose of the book is to show the underlying psychological processes, therefore, enhancing one's persuasiveness by properly aligning one's efforts to influence other people.
For instance, the authors writes that if one would like to persuade others to do something, the first step is to ask a little thing to create a vested interest. Once, a person is vested, it is easier to convince them to do more later on. Another example is that the word, "because", is the most persuasive word in the English vocabulary that one ought to utilize the most when trying to convince others to help you.
The book is very easy to read and in fact, quite enjoyable. I recommend it to those who want to learn the Science of Persuasion.
Cialdini divides social psychology into six divisions:
1) Social Proof Studies
2) Reciprocation Tendency
3) Authority Respecting
4) Commitment & Consistency Response
5) Scarcity Reaction, and
6) The Liking & Loving Response
As another reviewer has pointed out, the chapter titles are designed to create curiosity. If you need to get up early in the morning, resist reading the title to the next chapter.
An easy five stars for this extremely well-written and useful book.
Practical advice you can apply? Some.
But ... there’s a good bit in this book I’ve never heard or read elsewhere and that’s why I recommend it.