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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  79,766 ratings  ·  3,008 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 December 26th 2006 by HarperBusiness (first published January 1st 1984)
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Elizabeth 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)
Bill Yeadon Well after all these years Cialdini has written a follow up (Yes not included).
Pre-suasion can be considered a continuation but it is really about how…more
Well after all these years Cialdini has written a follow up (Yes not included).
Pre-suasion can be considered a continuation but it is really about how to set up the persuasion with particular questions that prime the person.
It is a great book but as I think Influence may be one of the best books ever written I can't put it in the same category.(less)

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4.18  · 
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Sundeep
Nov 20, 2008 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

Notes:
Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you. Buy it. Read it. Tru
...more
Pouting Always
Another one of those business books where it's a good read if you haven't read any others from the same genre but with the same basically formula where they keep repeating information that can be condensed down into a few pages and which every other business book will tell you but of course they'll rephrase it. If you haven't ever thought much about the influence of the way you talk to people and vice versa I'm sure this can be very eye opening. If you're pretty self aware or have contemplated h ...more
Gina Grone
Sep 02, 2011 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
...more
Shishir
May 27, 2012 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
...more
Jerry
Jan 26, 2008 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!
Mark Cheverton
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marketing, business
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.
Abubakar Mehdi
Apr 08, 2016 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
...more
John
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooked
Not a runaway train of rapturousness like 1776, Moneyball, or Outliers, but like Anna Karenina it seems to encompass all of life and address all of life's important issues.

I would recommend this to anyone, and will definitely listen to it again.

I tired one of his techniques on a colleague I had been chasing for week, and it worked like a charm within an hour, so 1 for 1.
David
Jul 17, 2007 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.

Likin
...more
Wen
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yesterday I had to kill a couple hours, and happened to have this tiny audiobook on my phone. it turned out to be an instructive read.
The author offered six principles of influence, i.e. getting people to comply or say yes: reciprocation, scarcity, authority, consensus, commitment and liking. he identified three agents who apply these principles with various degree of success, a bungler, a smuggler, and a sleuth; this was an alternative approach to give application tips than, say, using to-do an
...more
Rachel
Aug 09, 2009 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
...more
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
Hans
Mar 28, 2015 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
Varun
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The techniques described in this book are very fundamental to our psychology and the way Cialdini has explained them in a lucid manner is commendable. It requires a deep understanding of the subject to be able to bring such perspicuity to a subject area. In his almost story-like narrative, the author has at times over-communicated or repeatedly emphasized a particular phrase often to benefit of the reader.
As a reader, you may feel that you already know some of these tricks of the trade, but the
...more
Huyen Chip
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
There are several good passages but unfortunately, the book didn't persuade me.
Daniel
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hussain 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
...more
Jenny
Apr 23, 2013 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
Alaa
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, psychology
This book again is an evidence of how easily men can manipulate each other, highly recommended for entrepreneurs and influencers.
Leah Nadeau
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-the-book
Psychological studies like a Malcolm Gladwell style. It's taken me a long time to get through it.

Unfortunately a bunch of the topics mentioned I've learned from taking Psychology in University.

It had interesting information but I feel it really drags on each topic.

Clothiers know to sell the most expensive item first because the accessories are cheaper in comparison and they're more likely to buy them as well. Instead of buy cheap, then expensive.

When you ask for a favour don't just say can I pr
...more
Veronika
Feb 04, 2012 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
...more
Ruhin Joyee
Aug 29, 2014 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
...more
Loy Machedo
Aug 02, 2012 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
...more
Loïc Bicamumpaka
Feb 03, 2016 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
...more
Jeanne
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Social psychology is going through a replication crisis right now, but Influence is a reminder of the field's promise and its return on our investment on it.

I prefer reading fiction outside of work, although generally have both fiction and nonfiction going simultaneously. Robert Cialdini's very readable and sensible book satisfied both needs simultaneously.

Cialdini, like many psychologists, argued that humans face many difficult decisions in life. He argues,
Automatic, stereotyped behavior is pr
...more
Scot Parker
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent work of pop psychology written at a level accessible to the layperson. Knowledge of this subject is beneficial to just about everyone on the planet, given the prevalence of people trying to persuade us to buy certain products, act a certain way, vote for a certain candidate, etc. The information in this book arms the reader against underhanded or malicious attempts at persuasion and provides tools to use to strengthen their own interpersonal skills. This is definitely worth ...more
Cyndi
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is informative it is also repetitive. It states that a vast majority of people don't think for themselves and go along with the majority. I might have believed some of that, but I read.
Every day more and more web sites open up with alternating viewpoints. Just look at the varying opinions on this book, alone. We are not as easily led and controlled as this book and the current administration would like to think.
Ania Pierzchała
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First time I read this book while studying and I decided to read it once again now. Honestly for me it's one of the best publications about social psychology written very accessible language especially for the people who have never had any contact with social psychology. Also, I'm quite sure it might be very helpfull for the majority of the social movements and every activist.
Laura Noggle
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting.

I’ve found myself noticing new elements of interpersonal interactions since reading, and subtly applying some of the methods.
Chad Warner
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 feature rather than the entire situation, we often respond automatically, leading to a poor decision. Although influencing features can provide sho
...more
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1,148 followers
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
“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.” 68 likes
“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much. —WALTER LIPPMANN” 32 likes
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