- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: HarperBusiness; Revised ed. edition (1 Feb. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006124189X
- ISBN-13: 978-0061241895
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 421 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Paperback – 1 Feb 2007
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For markters, 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)
"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.See all Product description
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Recommended? YES. Buy it now if you haven’t read it.
Table of contents:
1 Weapons of Influence
2 Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take…and Take
3 Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind
4 Social Proof: Truths Are Us
5 Liking: The Friendly Thief
6 Authority: Directed Deference
7 Scarcity: The Rule of the Few
Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you. Buy it. Read it. Trust me.
* Expensive implies quality. Example: gems in a jewel case that weren’t selling were marked up and then sold at a “discount” to the markup (a price higher than the original price), and they sold like hotcakes.
* Power of contrast. Example: If you go into a men’s store they’ll try and sell you an expensive suit before the sell you the expensive jumper because the contrast makes the sweater appear more affordable.
* Reciprocity. Example: If someone buys you something (say, a Coke), you’re more likely to buy something from them (say, raffle tickets).
* Concession. Example: If someone tries to sell you something and you pass (say $5 of $1 raffle tickets), they’ll try and sell you something less, that you’ll end up buying because you feel bad (1 $1 raffle ticket). Another term used here is “reject then retreat.”
* Commitment leads to consistency leads to collaboration. Example: During the Korean war, the Chinese got American soldiers to make public commitments of various things. Then they made those commitments even more public, which the American soldiers had to stand by to be consistent. That consistency then led them down a path of minor forms of collaboration – without them really thinking about it as such.
* Writing something down, even privately, strengthens your commitment to something.
* People like and believe in commitment because their image and reputation are on the line (i.e. the Chinese concentration camp example above).
* People like more what they struggle to get, even if it’s not that good. Example: frats (hey, it’s in the book, don’t hate the messenger).
* People like to feel they have control over a decision – even if they really don’t.
* The power of social proof, or the idea that if others do it it’s good. Example: introverted pre-schoolers who saw introverted kids become social in a movie were more inclined to go play. Another example: cults. People follow the crowd because they believe in the “wisdom” of the crowd.
* Convince and you shall be convinced. Example: cults, where people who convince or convert others become more convinced (that’s why so many are evangelical).
* Assign responsibility if you want things done. Example: a stabbing that took place over many minutes had 38 witnesses…it happened cause everyone figured someone else would call the police.
* The power of copycats that’ll play on social proof. Example: if you find a wallet of someone like you and you’re more likely to return it (it’s true). Another (scary) example: more suicides when the press publicizes a suicide…more fatal “accidents” too.
* Liking is an important part of influence. Attractiveness, similarity (identity and context), compliments, contact & cooperation all can make someone more influential.
* The reason good cop/bad cop works is because the subject feels someone is on their side.
* Associations are powerful. Bearers of good news get treated well, and bad news get treated poorly. Examples: weathermen (or Roman messengers reporting lost battles!)
* People tend to defer to authority/experts. Examples: experiments involving shock therapy where people listened to a guy in a lab coat to inflict pain on another human being (incredible how strong this is).
* The power of connotations and context over content, and how it can imply authority. Titles and clothing do this.
* Gaining trust. Example: a waiter who advises against a more expensive item early in the meal will gain the trust of everyone at the table, and then he can suggest more expensive items and more items through the course of the meal.
* Scarcity is powerful. There’s a psychological reaction…people don’t want to lose their freedom and don’t want to lose. This plays to a second point: competition. Invite 3 used car buyers at the same time and you’ll sell the car faster. A cookie is more attractive if there are two of them than if there are 10 of them. (Always as yourself when something is scarce: will the cookie taste as good if there are 10 of them?). Plus, if you saw that the number went from 10 to 2, you want it even more. It can even lead to revolt…when something is given and then taken away, people get mad; if something is never given at all, they don’t know what they’re missing.
* “It appears that commitments are most effective in changing a person’s self-image and future behaviour when they are active, public, and effortful.”
* “The most influential leaders are those who know how to arrange group conditions to allow the principle of social proof to work maximally in their favour.”
* “Social proof is most powerful for those who feel unfamiliar or unsure of a specific situation and who, consequently, must look outside of themselves for evidence of how to best behave there.”
There is a large amount of information included, however the author is careful not to use jargon or esoteric language, so I found it very easy to read and would expect most people to be similarly able.
Considering the nature of the subject I would have preferred a more instructive direction from the author though, outlining theories is great but he needs to include more examples of their use in the real world.
4 stars - well written, intelligent, engaging and informative, only lacking more meat on the bones and tighter structure with regards concepts and usage.
Influence by Cialdini
Cialdini hasn’t been researched within an inch of its life in the same way Byron Sharp’s books have been.
Cialdini provides planners and strategists with starting points for customer experiences. The book isn’t a how to guide for digital journeys but provides first principles. Psychology is not channel-specific.
The Journal of Marketing Research described it as
…among the most important books written in the last 10 years.
The book’s style allowed me to pick it up and put it down, to fit in with my holiday schedule of train travel and family time.
Why should you have Cialdini’s Influence?
If your work includes marketing planning or strategy, your bookshelf should have this book. If you are thinking about customer interactions, this book outlines the first principles that you need
If you’re a consumer and want to know how you’re being sold to; read this book
If you want to get on better with people ( your kids or co-workers); buy this book
My copy is well-thumbed and stuffed with post-it notes around the edges as I go back and forth into it on a regular basis.
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