on 10 December 2008
Besides the valid criticism already voiced by some reviewers; that the presentation is messy and not-memorable, a substantial criticism of this book would be that the book is very much "just the basics", devoid of further reflection or introspection which makes for a poor reading experience.
Though the content in itself is valuable. I'd like a better structured version of this book. And one that would make the points easier to remember.
My pleasure in this book was diminished by a phenomenon described in this book. A month or so ago I read Robert B Cialdini's Influence. I thought the book was brilliant. Loads of fascinating examples of persuasion in action. But as the writers point out, our main source of estimating value is in comparison to something else, and I was left disappointed.
Many of the anecdotes in the book are repeated from Cialdini's original. Occasionally there is a different emphasis put on research which is slightly at odds with the original book.
There is lots of great material, but it is put in a more commercial format than Cialdini's original. The style can become a bit smug and simplistic, and at the end I was labouring to finish it. The book puts an emphasis on being ethical when you're persuading people. Yes this is an ethical publishing venture, but having read a better version, I felt it was a bit of a grubby one.
on 8 January 2010
This is the first book I am reading in this subject and my boyfriend and I find it very interesting.
The book provides many examples from studies or events and then explains the results in 50 small, well-written and funny chapters. Although it relates more to business interactions by giving business examples, the techniques can very easily be translated to any social interactions.
Now, I do understand better some of our subconscious actions and how we get influenced to give higher tips in the restaurants ! Will try to not be influenced and will apply some of the advices to influence other !!!!
Strongly Recommanded !
on 3 March 2009
This is one of those books you can pick up for 5 minutes, read a couple of pages and put down again, as each chapter is only 2 or 3 pages. It's all about the science of persuasion, rather than the art. The basic premise is that it presents various tips and tricks that have been 'scientifically proven' in controlled experiments. Some of the ideas and little snippets of advice are surprising, yet simple and it's a great read for anyone who may need to perfect their persuasion techniques.
on 13 November 2015
I have enjoyed every page of this book because of two reasons. The contents were very interesting and the results of each study was inspiring and educating.
I recommend this book to anybody wishing to understand a bit more about the science of persuasion, with a clear aim to sharpen their skills when it comes to selling, marketing or general progress in life (we are all sales people after all).
I strongly recommend.
on 24 August 2013
I've bought three or four copies for friends, especially those in small businesses. All the 'case studies' are short and
informally written, making it very easy to read cover-to-cover or just to dip into. Makes you want to apply them to your everyday dealings, but in a good way!
on 14 August 2008
Having recently read Cialdini's previous book on Influence, I was drawn to this current work. If a book is extremely good, I will recommend it to friends and colleagues alike. However, this is one book I will never recommend to anybody I know; Why? Because it is just too good. Like Cialdini's last book, this one which he contributes to has a very succinct writing style and beautifully laid out sources to point you in the right direction to research it yourself. Each chapter contains thoroughly interesting comments on research conducted over the previous decades on persuasion, and I must say, this book has just nailed it.
I normally do not trust authors or books that attempt to publish the "secrets" of something. But having read this now, I can safely claim that I was wrong. The authors present a fully credible set of sources that back up their claims and always seem to stick to the point in each brief chapter. There is no drifting off topic and is has a perfect writing style.
Now you may ask why I could never recommend this book to a friend but feel compelled to write a review on Amazon for many people to see. The reason is because when you're in a social situation with colleagues and friends, it's hard at times to influence them to do the things YOU want to do. It's for this reason I cannot mention this book on social outings.
However, I feel I owe it to all three authors of this book to write a 5 star review for presenting me with this fabulous read. Overall, it is a book that must be on the desk of every businessman and is one that I cannot praise any more than I have.
Excellent read. Thanks Goldstein, Martin and Cialdini; you've surpassed yourselves.
on 23 February 2008
As one other reviewer stated "this book is presented in simple easy to use language" which is all very well but if you are an adult, with a basic level of literacy, you will find this book patronising.
It is a regurgitation of common sense, home spun wisdom and 80s management philosophy.
I heard this book being reviewed on Radio 4 one lunch time and the author sounded plausible, alas his written word is not as well developed as his spoken!
Some of the chapter heading and topics are frankly ludicrous, anyone finding this book useful, as either not had much exposure to the real world: read many management books: has absolutely no common sense or is involved with promoting this book. I see at least one name here who falls into this latter category, who I suspect will mark down my review as being of no help: or course it is of no help I am not helping you ramp the sale of this book!
Depending on your mind set, if you are considering purchasing this book, you can learn from your own mistakes or do the smart thing and learn from the mistakes of others; your choice!
on 28 January 2016
How can you increase the chance of someone saying “YES!” when asking them for a big favour? This book’s title might have it mistaken for a motivational or ‘self-help’ book. However, whereas those books work on convincing the reader to say ‘yes’, this book helps with the opposite - convincing others to say yes (possibly to a big favour) – through the psychology and science of persuasion. Co-written by Robert Cialdini, the worlds most quoted expert on influence, I was intrigued from the first page and enjoyed the short chapters that do without the need for superfluous content just to fill space. With each chapter covering a different study, and only taking 2-5 pages, it has a high turnover of material, all tied together with the underlying principles of persuasion.
‘YES! 50 secrets from the science of persuasion’, could be viewed as a sequel to Cialdini’s earlier work ‘Influence – The psychology of Persuasion’, in which he discusses the science of persuasion, and his 6 universal persuasion principles:
• Scarcity – Demand for something increases as its supply decreases
• Reciprocity – Persuasiveness will increase if the individual feel indebted
• Consensus (Social Proof) – Tendency to ‘follow the pack’
• Commitment and Consistency – People will act in a way that is consistent with their prior actions or commitments
• Liking – An individual is more likely to agree with someone if they like them
• Authority – People are more easily persuaded by figures in authority
Following on from these principles, YES! uses a collection of academic studies and examples to put these principles into context, and to explain exactly how these principles can be used in persuasion efforts. Given this connection to his earlier work, YES! begins with a short overview of Cialdini’s theory of influence, and the 6 universal principles. From there, the 6 principles are discussed and explained in relation to real-world situations, all of these real-world examples being backed up with academic evidence.
The Commitment and Consistency principle is examined by asking how to get a lot by asking for a little first. During the study, one group of residents within a high class area was asked to support the ‘Drive Carefully Through Our Neighbourhood’ Campaign by placing a large ‘DRIVE CAREFULLY’ sign on their front lawn. As might be expected, only 17% agreed. A second group of residents from the same area was asked if they would allow a small ‘BE A SAFE DRIVER’ sign to be put in their front window, almost all agreed to this small request. When the researchers returned to the second group two weeks later and asked them to erect the large ‘DRIVE CAREFULLY’ sign on their front lawn, a huge 76% agreed. Why? Upon agreeing to the first small request, the residents came to see themselves as committed to a worthy cause – their self-image was that they are someone who cares about safe driving in the neighbourhood. When the second request was made, they were compelled to act consistently with this perception of themselves, making them 59% more likely to agree to the big favour.
This approach of applying the principles of persuasion to real-world situations helps to make the science of the subject less daunting, and more accessible to those who may have turned away from Cialdini’s earlier work for fear of being out of their depth. Written in the 1st person, with many references to “I” and “we”, it feels as though it’s a story being told, rather than a dry academic paper. The author’s style and structure of describing a case or example and then asking ‘why’, helps to put the focus of each chapter in black and white, and to keep the reader engaged.
The real-world situations range from charities seeking donations, to the influence of strange colour names for crayons, to the earlier example of a ‘Drive Safely Through Our Neighbourhood’ campaign. It is hard to suggest there would be an individual reading this book that hasn’t come across at least one of these situations at some point, which adds to the hook of the content. Virtually all of the claims are backed by published studies, and the one that isn’t is backed by a study performed by the authors themselves - an unsubstantiated claim is very hard to point out.
Returning to the question ‘how can we increase the chances of someone saying “YES!” when asking them a big favour?’. The commitment and consistency principle suggests asking them for a small favour first. The reciprocity principle would suggest doing them a favor first. Which route to take?
Intrigued from the first page, I enjoyed the fast paced feel of the short chapters, and the way in which the content quickly changes, yet is held together by the 6 underlying principles. If the science of persuasion is of interest, Cialdini’s ‘Influence’ will give you knowledge, but ‘YES!’ will give you the tools.