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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion [Paperback]

Robert B., PhD Cialdini
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2007

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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; Rev. Ed., 1st Collins Business Essentials Ed edition (1 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006124189X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061241895
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


For marketers, 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)

About the Author

Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. holds dual appointments at Arizona State University. He is a W. P. Carey Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Regents' Professor of Psychology, and has been named Distinguished Graduate Research Professor. Dr. Cialdini is also president of Influence At Work, an international training and consulting company based on his groundbreaking body of research on the ethical business applications of the science of influence.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
I GOT A PHONE CALL ONE DAY FROM A FRIEND WHO HAD RECENTLY opened an Indian jewelry store in Arizona. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless 28 Oct 2007
By William Cohen VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been entertaining my friends at dinner parties with this book. Cialdini, who admits to being a bit of a sucker himself, shows all the ways we've been manipulated over the years by small gestures and situations contrived by salesmen.

There are so many good stories. The one about Joe Girard, a car salesman who sends out each month 13,000 cards every month to former customers with a card saying, "I like you". Surely people wouldn't fall for that? Yes they do, he made more than $200,000 a year selling cars. He's in the Guinness Book of Records.

There's the story of how the Chinese got the American prisoners in the Korean War to betray their country by setting them essay questions. There's accounts of the trouble we can get into when we insist on being consistent or make a vague commitment to supporting a cause.

Cialdini exposes loads of sales techniques and has some fascinating insights into what motivates us.

As a self-employed person I'm really grateful for this knowledge. This is a book that everyone should read.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I've just finished this book. Wow it was mind blowing!

I'm not going to reiterate all the brilliant reviews made about this book, suffice to say it is a useful guide for going into negotiations and other situations were undue and unfair influence might occur. For example, how to deal with dirty influence tricks or even just pushy salesmen, estate agents or recruitment consultants - you can see the tatics that are being used and side step them or use their tricks against them for your own advantage.

An amazing book. Read it for your own sake.
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155 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for the Intelligent Consumer 28 May 2004
The human mind is a wonderful thing, capable of the most wonderful thought processes and ideas. Yet the brain is on automatic pilot for most situations. That allows the conscious mind to really focus. The drawback is that some people will use our conscious inattention to sneak one by us, like a fastball pitch to a hitter looking for a change-up.
Influence, the book, is very useful in this regard, because it uses interesting examples to help us be aware of our own tendency to let automatic pilot thinking take over.
Since I first read this book many years ago, I have been watching to see if the circumstances I see support or invalidate Professor Cialdini's points. By a margin of about 9 to 1, Cialdini wins.
Given that we are easily manipulated by our desire to be and to appear to be consistent with our past actions and statements, swayed by what the crowd is doing, and various other mechanisms, the only way we can be armed against unscrupulous marketing is to be as aware of these factors are the marketers are.
At the same time, I appreciated how the book explores the ethics of when and how much to apply these principles. Without this discussion, the book would come off like Machiavelli's, The Prince, for marketing organizations. That would have been a shame. By dealing with the ethics, Professor Cialdini creates the opportunity to educate us intellectually and morally. Well done!
I have read literally dozens of books about marketing and selling, and I find this one to be the most helpful in thinking about how influence actually works. Even if you will never work in marketing, you will benefit from reading this book in order to better focus your purchases and actions where they fit your needs rather than someone else's.
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112 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not totally convincing or that useful 10 Sep 2007
By tomsk77
I bought this book for two reasons - one to make myself more alert to sales techniques, and two to see if there are any useful insights to glean that could be applied to other areas of life.

On both counts the book delivers. Having recently been pitched to at work by a media tracking agency and nearly taken the bait (didn't in the end) I immediately recognised the use of reciprocity and scarcity to try and harry me into signing up. That alone was worth buying the book for, and I will definitely use that insight in future.

In addition, the chapter on consistency is also very useful. I've been involved in trying (and failing) to get people behind certain campaigns in the past. As such the discussion about getting people to make small commitments to establish a self image which they then feel the need to act consistently with both rang true on a personal level, and seems like something worth trying out in future.

So why only three stars? For one I did not find elements of the book convincing. The section dealing with newspaper coverage of suicides is the bit that really troubles me. Some of the data seems both to be limited and have been interpreted quite loosely. I would need a lot more convincing that the stats are being interpreted reasonably, it looks far too rough and ready. Given that this book is really about behavioural biases surely it should be extra careful about interpretaion of data as this is something we humans tend to be very bad at, always looking for patterns that aren't there and so on. That then leads me to query the hypothesis built on top of the data and to be honest I find myself not buying it. That also makes me query whether other chapters suffer from similar flaws.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and informative
Read it, and you will understand yourself and others better, and it's entertaining too. I will dip into it from time to time just to remind myself of the obvious. Read more
Published 1 day ago by JessH
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
I really enjoyed this book found it very interesting why you buy things you didn't want and how people are made do this by the power of persuasion without feeling they are being... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Emer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Loved the book. Extremely recommendable for people or professionals in people's or communication businesses. Parents also, take notice. Actually this is a reference book.
Published 6 days ago by Santinho
3.0 out of 5 stars Of some interest
Basically a review of some of the clever but easy ways salesmen work, so that one can be alert to their methods. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Captain Kirk
4.0 out of 5 stars does what it says on the tin
I got hold of social psychologist Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence: the psychology of persuasion’ after hearing someone on BBC Radio 4 enthuse about how it had opened his eyes to... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Bobbie
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
I found this book interesting but slightly dated. I think a lot of this information is already common knowledge (perhaps partly because of this book) and it won't have the same... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Lintobo
2.0 out of 5 stars The Psychology of Persuasion
Didn't really get on with this book, Just too many poor examples for me to plough through. I wouldn't buy this again
Published 19 days ago by Colin P Jamieson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Not in the selling game just interested in psycology.
Cracking good read and explains nicely the major selling techniques and there are not that many. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Mr. S. Hyams
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enlightening and insightful
If, like me, you are fascinated by human psychology then you will definitely enjoy this book. Robert Cialdini brings to life the wealth of academic research into the psychology of... Read more
Published 28 days ago by P. Pechey
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Excellent
This book came highly recommended and it really did live up to its reputation. Well written with plenty of research to back up the points raised.
Published 1 month ago by Duncan Brodie
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