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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  33,853 ratings  ·  1,050 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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Sundeep
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

Notes:
Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you. Buy it. Read it. Tru
...more
Mark Cheverton
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.
Gina
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
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David
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.

Likin
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Shishir
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
...more
Jerry
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!
Rachel
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
...more
Jenny
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
Veronika
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
...more
Daniel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard
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
...more
Elius
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
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Laurie
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
...more
Amir

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
...more
Liz
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
Dufour
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.
Ruhin Joyee
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
...more
Tung Nguyen
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
...more
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
TarasProkopyuk
Прекрасная книга!

Автор очень профессионально подошёл к работе с ней. Информация воспринимается очень легко, а самое главное то, что она весьма ценная.

Она поможет углубиться в понятие психологии влияния и манипулирование людьми, таким образом стать помощником для использования новых знаний для достижения более эффективных манипуляций при достижений тех или иных целей.

Главное, чтоб эта книга попадала в руки только людям с высокими моральными ценностями, иначе она способна принести существенный вре
...more
Hans
'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
Matt Heimer
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.
Chad Warner
Feb 16, 2015 Chad Warner rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Chad by: Daniel Pink
An intriguing exploration of the psychology of persuasion. Cialdini explains six “weapons of influence,” showing how they’re used, why they work, and how to resist them. There’s plenty of research and anecdotes. The lessons are applied to everyday life, and frequently to marketing and sales.

The main point is that when we focus on a single influencing future rather than the entire situation, we often respond automatically, leading to a poor decision. Although influencing features can provide shor
...more
Vitalijus Sostak
This is what I call practical psychology!
This book is much-hyped, but it totally met my expectations: simple style with summaries at the end of each chapter., numerous real-life examples, based on tons of research (references comprise full 15% of the book!) and a lot of "exactly!" moments for even advanced readers.

Well worth reading for everyone, absolute must for salespeople.
Tiffany daSilva
One of the BEST books I've read on persuasion.. (Hmm.. maybe they really do know how to influence?). I loved the studies, anecdotes, and teachings this book provides. On top of that, Cialdini really makes you stop and think about your the choices you make and the reasons you make them. Good for everyone no matter what field they're in.
Alex Allain
This is an absolutely incredible book. One of those books that frame how you see the world--particularly how you interpret the behavior of others.
Ryan Uyehara
There are several marks of a great book. The first is if the information seems so intuitive that we wonder why we didn't think of it and synthesize it ourselves. The answer, of course, is that it's not- or else we would have done it already. But when we feel that, that means the information is presented so forcefully, so systematically, that we feel it to be true- it has hit our brain and our gut.

The second mark of a good book is if it forces us to pursue or wonder about additional lines of inqu
...more
Diana
Робърт Чалдини сам е ставал много пъти жертва на въздействащи събеседници и това е една от причините да се заеме с множество изследвания по темата. Събира резултатите в тази книга, която обяснява начините за извличане на съгласие, как да ги използваме, разпознаваме и как да им се противопоставяме.

Методите на убеждаване се изучават при някои професии, част от тях се прилагат и несъзнателно. Могат да се наблюдават в различни ситуации - пробутване на скъпа стока в магазина или ненужна такава на до
...more
Anya
Why do we buy stuff we don't need? Why do we comply with requests that "feel wrong" or make us uncomfortable? In this book, Arizona State professor Robert Cialdini examines the social psychology behind compliance, with the goal of helping us understand the "weapons of mass persuasion" that advertisers and salespeople can so easily use against us.

Cialdini went undercover in the late 1970s/early 1980s to do research about compliance techniques. He apprenticed himself to Amway salesmen and car deal
...more
Mark
click...whirr Automatic gears turning. This is the metaphor Cialdini uses to describe certain aspects of human behavior and decision making which are not the result of logical thought, but rather are hard wired into our makeup. If one can identify, name, and examine these aspects of our human nature, we stand on much firmer ground when it comes to combating and/or employing these biases during our own negotiations.

A simple example would be the idea of "social proof" where, all other things being
...more
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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
More about Robert B. Cialdini...
The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence Yes!: 50 secrets from the science of persuasion Influence: Science and Practice: The Comic Instant Influence: How to Get What You Want in Any Business Situation Influence et manipulation (French Edition)

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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.” 28 likes
“Embarrassment is a villain to be crushed.” 10 likes
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