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5.0 out of 5 stars Be afraid, be very afraid - Big Brother IS watching!, 8 July 2012
This review is from: Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy (Paperback)
Forget Stephen King et al, this is probably the scariest book you'll ever read! Lindstrom takes us through a fascinating (and terrifying) journey showing how we are constantly manipulated by companies to buy whatever they are selling.

He begins by talking about how he wants to "pick up where" Vance Packard's classic 1950's book "The Hidden Persuaders" left off. He has more than achieved this. Packard's book is, in my opinion, one of the best books on influence (and the book I credit with giving me an interest in psychology - which remains to this day) along with Cialdini around. This now joins that select group.

Lindstrom explains the sophisticated techniques now being used to part us from our money without us recognising how much we are being tricked, and how much information that the biggest companies actually hold about us without our knowledge or agreement. Even this will now add to the covert file that is John Fisher's buying/liking habits!; and reflects one of the techniques Lindstrom discusses - that of peer/colleague word of mouth recommendation. Of course Amazon are a classic example of this technique with their "reader's lists" and recommendations - both directly or more subtley in the "readers who bought "X" also bought "Y". How many of us have accepted Amazon's kind offer to share with our Facebook friends our latest purchase - now I know why!

In many ways I can see throughout the book examples of Cialdini's social influencers and how they are now being used. This book should be required reading on every influence, persuasion or social psychology media course!

Scarily, you will still be manipulated by these techniques in the same (oblivious/subconscious) way and only once you've been caught will you (possibly/occaisionally) realsie you've been got!
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