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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  41,618 Ratings  ·  1,398 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2006 by HarperBusiness (first published 1984)
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Elizabeth Nelson I read this book for pleasure. Psychology and consumer behavior is incredibility fascinating to me. I've done really well in sales and still saw this…moreI read this book for pleasure. Psychology and consumer behavior is incredibility fascinating to me. I've done really well in sales and still saw this book as an asset! It's written in a conversational tone (on purpose I'm sure), and the examples are spot on! Ha, I LOVE the consistency theory's survey example. Anyways, it was the #1 recommended book on Amazon in consumer behavior. I'm curious to know if anyone would recommend a better book. Bottom line, I think everyone should read this book to be aware of these techniques. Applying some of these theories well enough could be dangerous…seriously. (less)
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Dec 04, 2013 Sundeep rated it it was amazing
Summary: This book can’t be summarized. It can only be very, very strongly recommended.

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. Tru
Feb 22, 2016 Gina rated it liked it
I don't understand why so many people rated this book so highly.

--It panders to the audience by using overly simple language and repeating the same idea 5 times to make sure that the reader really understood. Example (from memory): "People are heavily influenced by society. Society shapes our choices. Our choices are influenced by the people around us. There are countless examples of one's choices being swayed by his or her peers." Thanks, I got it the first time.

--The first and second "weapons
Mark Cheverton
Dec 04, 2013 Mark Cheverton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business, marketing
Required reading for all marketing professionals. The book details the most common approaches to influencing the decisions of others, backed up by the authors time spent infiltrating direct marketing companies and the like. Offers handy hints on how to spot when you're being manipulated and how to handle it.

A very enjoyable read, should leave you much more aware of how you're being played next time you're in the market for a used car.
May 27, 2012 Shishir rated it liked it
Six "weapons of influence"

1)Reciprocation - People tend to return a favor. Thus, the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. In his conferences, he often uses the example of Ethiopia providing thousands of dollars in humanitarian aid to Mexico just after the 1985 earthquake, despite Ethiopia suffering from a crippling famine and civil war at the time. Ethopia had been reciprocating for the diplomatic support Mexico provided when Italy invaded Ethopia in 1937.

2)Commitment and Consistency - I
Jan 26, 2008 Jerry rated it really liked it
I put this book under "dangerous knowledge." Cialdini, still a top consultant in this field, has a tiny disclaimer at the end of the book saying how he's aware that this knowledge could be misused, but doesn't go much further.

I see this stuff abused all the time, to spin democracies to go to war, to sell us products and services we don't really need and much, much more.

I've been wanting to start an ethics institute around this topic. Interested? Write me!
Apr 30, 2016 Abubakar rated it it was amazing

A couple of months ago, I read somewhere that when it comes to the psychology of persuasion and influence, Cialdini is the “daddy” of this subject. I chuckled and moved on. But then, a few days ago I found myself in a bookstore holding this book and heading to the counter. I came back home, and devoured it chapter by chapter, awestruck and flabbergasted by the sheer brilliance of the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini is no novice, apart from being an academic scholar and researcher who conducte
Aug 09, 2007 David rated it it was amazing
Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more accomplices would look up into the sky; the more accomplices the more likely people would look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up, that they stopped traffic.

Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales.

Aug 10, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
So, I've read a fair amount of the literature about group dynamics and social influence, and taught classes that discussed and used it. So I thought I'd know much of what was in this book already. While I was familiar with some of it, there were a number of tricks I hadn't noticed, and excellent descriptions of the ones I had, complete with explanations. Definitely worth reading!

Influence describes the six categories of techniques that have the potential to influence us without our conscious awa
Mar 28, 2015 Hans rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
'Know Thyself' is not just a catchy cliché, it was for centuries a central spiritual imperative. Reading books like this only remind one of why it is so important. Even with modern psychology the average person understands so very little about themselves, their drives, why they do what they do, why they like what they like, that they are easily manipulated and exploited. You could say that it is even better if the person fallaciously believes they do know themselves and are confident in that und ...more
Mar 08, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's sometimes insightful but it seems to be written for a "young adult" reader and it seems to pander to the audience. I keep finding myself wishing it were better researched and better reasoned. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that such a popular book is so loaded with conventional wisdom and random assumptions presented as quasi-scientific.

What made me about apoplectic is that his fifth edition continues his inaccurate presentation of the Catherine Genovese myth despite that it has been wid
Nyamka Ganni
Бас л хүн бүр уншууштай ном. Та хүсээгүй эсвэл төлөвлөөгүй худалдан авалт хийх бүртээ, бусдын ятгалаганд орох болгондоо яаж яваад "за" эсвэл "тэгье" гэж хэлэхэд хүрснээ гайхдаг бол энэ номыг санал болгоё. Бусдаар хүссэнээ хийлгүүлэх, бусдыг өөрийн талд эргүүлэх маш олон арга байдгаас хамгийн ихээр хэрэглэгддэг хэдийг нь тайлбарлан өгүүлсэн. Маш сонирхолтой.

За тэгээд заримаас нь дурьдаад явчихъя өө.
1. Reciprocity буюу Аяганы хариу өдөртөө зарчим
Их бага нь хамаагүй ч та эхлээд өгчихвөл дараа нь
May 31, 2013 Jenny rated it liked it
Basically an interesting book. It was written in the 80's and is a little out dated in facts and writing style. I liked how he explained different techniques that are used to influence us, and then had a section on "how to resist." I found him a tad paranoid, though. He seemed to read a lot of mal-intent into people's desire to influence, when really I just think it is human nature to want to influence people over to your own way of thinking. I don't think I need to be hyper-vigilant at all time ...more
Петър Стойков
Apr 29, 2016 Петър Стойков rated it it was amazing
Да си го кажем направо - някои хора не мислят много. Не защото ги боли глава, а просто защото са прости. Това което сложните (т.е. тия дето не са прости) хора рядко забелязват обаче е, че и те самите често не мислят много. Това е поради устройството на мозъка ни и начина, по който е организирана работата му - в много ситуации той предлага автоматични, бързи реакции и решения, вместо бавни, сложни и обмислени. Което е логично, като се замислиш - тия от пещерните ни предци, които много са се замис ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Elius rated it it was amazing
I have read a fair amount of literature about psychology, group dynamics and social influence - mostly from various little articles and blogs in the net, so although I knew many of the topics covered in the book, I am pleasantly surprised that I didn't know most of it. Now I do. This book pretty much covers all the popular studies done on the human psyche and far from being an academic paper, brings the Psychology of Persuasion to the masses in a well articulated, well referenced, book.

I especia
Feb 05, 2012 Veronika rated it liked it
This book gives good insight to compliance strategies and main reasons we are persuaded - however I was unimpressed by a few of the examples Cialdini used and the main conclusion he made at the end of the book.

Example 1: After claiming to have been a bigger socialite than he really is to impress a young attractive saleswoman, Cialdini became particularly pugnacious about her "strategy of tricking him into exaggerating his habits" where as this was his fault, not the saleswoman's. When she offer
Ruhin Joyee
Oct 21, 2015 Ruhin Joyee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-soft-copy
Never before did I recommend a book to so many. The book had me in the first chapter. I went on talking about how 'revealing' the book is during hangouts with friends, in between classes, sometimes during classes and when not. I tried to explain to mom how the rule of reciprocation influences our decisions while having dinner with her, tried to explain the reason behind certain behaviors of our newly appointed driver to my father. The book got to me.

I did certain things throughout my life withou
Jan 23, 2011 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Author Cialdini began the research that would lead to this book when he got tired of being taken advantage of. He’s not unintelligent, yet he would find himself talked into buying things he didn’t want at all. What was happening?

It turns out that there are some basic ways that humans are influenced, and most people follow them without questioning. Some are just the easy way to deal with situations, while some actually create discomfort when one refuses to follow the social conventions. Cialdini
Apr 20, 2012 Amir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Brilliant book! I first read Cialdini book several years ago and I try to make it my routine to read it at least every year since then. Professor Cialdini through many fascinating examples leads us on a journey to find how we are being persuaded to act and react in many ways that are not always to our benefits.

Professor Cialdini review in this book six main factors that influence our behaviors: reciprocation, liking, scarcity, authority, commitment/consistency and social proof, the books explai
Feb 12, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing
This book was assigned in my Social Influence class and I loved it! Cialdini has done tons of interesting research and is clearly very accomplished in the Psych field, yet he can write a book that everyone (non-Psych majors included) can understand. Each social tactic is explained thoroughly and he uses a lot of stories as well as his own experiments to back it up. I love how he peppers his anecdotes with his sense of humor ("Looking somewhat embarrassed because his father seemed to be raving wh ...more
Oct 28, 2015 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Všelijaké self-hack a self-help knihy se u mě většinou míjí účinkem, ale přesto jsem Zbraním vlivu díky výborným ohlasům šanci dal. A dobře jsem udělal. Dokonce by mi vůbec nevadilo, kdyby kniha byla obsáhlejší. V názorných příkladech prokládanými přiměřeně dlouhými úseky teorie jsem se naučil spoustu zajímavých mechanismů na obranu proti všudypřítomné persvazi. A jak už to tak bývá, každý meč má dvě ostří, takže se ze mě teď nejspíš stane machiavelistický manipulátor. Dejte si pozor.

Apr 14, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
Overall, I liked this book a lot. This is a classic that's been sitting on my TBR shelf for a long time.

It's a classic because it remains relevant to today. What are the tactics and tricks that make us buy or believe something? We often don't think about it, and yet we are clearly being influenced by "compliance professionals." I have to admit that I was over that phrase pretty quickly in the book. THAT made the book feel dated. The examples, however, brought it back to now.

Apr 18, 2010 Dufour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrible book. Granted, I understand Cialdini is held in high regard for his analysis of "compliance professionals" but I found this book tedious, boring, and rife with self-reverance. It is by no means a 21st treatise on how influence works. I don't even recommend this as a historical example of how salespeople and other influence experts may have been taught; it's that bad.
Loïc Bicamumpaka
Feb 25, 2016 Loïc Bicamumpaka rated it it was amazing
"Just what are the factors that cause one person to say YES to another person?
All the weapons of influence discussed in this book work better under some conditions than under others.

1. RECIPROCITY - The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.

The beauty of the free sample, is that it is also a gift and, as much, can engage the reciprocity rule: many people find it difficult to accept a sample from the always-smiling attendant, return only the toothpick
Jan 11, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing
In this book Cialdini explores the subtle and not so subtle ways that our behaviour and decision-making can be influence by others. Most of the time influence and persuasion are useful exchanges wired into daily human interactions, but as such they are at times used by others to sway us one way or another without our awareness.

Cialdini's goal is to educate the reader about misuses of influence and to provide tools for pushing back. He is, for example, emphatically against trickery that salespeo
Tung Nguyen
Oct 18, 2011 Tung Nguyen rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely worth reading, especially for people who are interested in psychology, marketing and politics.
The book is organized in a very scientific way. For each principle, Robert mentions the ways we are exploited first, then the psychology under it and finally how can we "say no" or deal with such exploitation. Many vivid examples are used, even though the example are from 20 - 30 years ago. Still many of them exist nowadays. I read this book while studying the course general psy
Sean Mcmahon
In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini lists six different methods which one can use to persuade people. He lists the six tools of persuasion as: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proofs, attraction, authority, and scarcity. The first tool, reciprocation, draws its power from the desire to repay in kind a favor which was shown to us. The desire to repay a favor stems from the feeling of indebtedness which the receiver of the favor has from receiving the gi ...more
Loy Machedo
Aug 02, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it it was amazing
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

I first bumped into Robert Cialdini’s work with “Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive”. I found that book to be absolutely impressive and so, when I got to know he had also authored “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, I was more than eager to read it. And without a doubt, I can tell you, I am glad I did.

Harvard Business Review lists Dr. Cialdini's research in "Breakthrough Ideas for Today
David Groves
Jun 04, 2015 David Groves rated it really liked it
This book is excellent. It's so much more useful than other persuasion/negotiation/sales books, many of which are characterized by a lack of values. They promise everything, such as the book, "How to Get Anything You Want," or the Napoleon Hill books, which is full of easy pronouncements upon "the infinite," by which I mean LOTS OF MONEY. They make sweeping generalizations from on high. They offer no evidence for those things about which they generalize. They feel false. They have an underlying ...more
Matt Heimer
Jul 08, 2008 Matt Heimer rated it liked it
I read this because a Very Influential Person my magazine is profiling said that every consumer should read it. Can you say "hyperbole?" That said, Ciardini offers a tidy survey of post-Stanley Milgram research in human gullibility, and he's funny in a avuncular "professor who seems cool until you talk with him one on one" kind of way. Some of it--particularly a disquisition on the psych-warfare techniques of the Communist Chinese during the Korean War--is disturbingly timely in the Bush era.
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Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career researching the science of influence earning him an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.

His books including, Influence: Science & Practice, are the results of years of study into the reasons why people comply with requests in business settings. Worldwide, Influence has sold over 2 million
More about Robert B. Cialdini...

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“A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.” 33 likes
“Embarrassment is a villain to be crushed.” 13 likes
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