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.
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 copies. Influence has been published in twenty-five languages. His most recent co-authored book, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, has been on the New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Best Seller Lists.
In the field of influence and persuasion, Dr. Cialdini is the most cited living social psychologist in the world today.
Dr. Cialdini received his Ph.D from the University of North Carolina and post doctoral training from Columbia University. He has held Visiting Scholar Appointments at Ohio State University, the University of California, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University. Currently, Dr Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.
Dr. Cialdini is President of INFLUENCE AT WORK, an international consulting, strategic planning and training organization based on the Six Principles of Influence.
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. 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 sweater, because the contrast makes the sweater appear more affordable. * Reciprocity. Example: If someone buys you something (say, a Coke), you’re more likely to by 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 is on the line (ie 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 behavior 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 favor.” * “Social proof is most powerful for those who feel unfamiliar or unsure in a specific situation and who, consequently, must look outside of themselves for evidence of how to best behave there.”
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 how difference in you behavior can affect that of others then you're going to just find most of the things in these books to be obvious.
I do not read a lot of books about business/non-fiction but I sometimes find some really shinny gems. I had this book for a while but I kept avoiding it, thinking it is another of those badly written self-help books. How wrong I was. Influence is very well documented, thoroughly researched and well organised summary of what are the key factors that influence our decisions. The big five are: Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, Scarcity. Most of the examples were revelatory, interesting and relevant for each reader. Most of the information presented was backed by important studies in the field of Human Behaviour. Some of the results were common sense but many of them were surprising. Each chapter presented ways to protect ourselves from the people who use the five principles to trick us. .
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 of influence" were interesting and thought-provoking. Reciprocity and consistency. The third to sixth weapons were just plain obvious. Social proof, i.e. a group's preference influences your own? No shit. Liking, i.e. someone similar to be more persuasive to you? OK, obvious. Authority, i.e. power leads to persuasive ability? [sarcastic] Wow! Scarcity, i.e. perceiving scarcity leads to increased desire of a resource? Mildly surprising.
--The author must have read about the device of repetition just before writing this book and used the book for practice. The amount of times that he used "click, whirr" to illustrate the metaphor or playing a tape in our heads to produce automatic action made me want to scream! (Also, cassette tapes were out of style by the time I was in high school...)
--His choice phrase for people who consciously used these "weapons of influence" were ... wait for it ... "COMPLIANCE PRACTITIONERS"!!! Just call them "influencers" or something less vomit-inducing, buddy.
--The author "updated" the edition for the printing in 2007. He should have just done a reprint with a new foreword or something, because the result of the update is a total failure. 90% of the references are still from the mid-80's or before. A discussion about the future of communicating with computer has one puny line added to it about how everyone uses the Internet now.
To be fair, some of the conclusions drawn and the research presented were very interesting. But the feel of the writing was so juvenile and repetitive that I can't recommend this book to anyone. I'm sure there are much better books on the topic.
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 - If people commit, verbally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy. See cognitive dissonance.
3)Social Proof - People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then 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. See conformity, and the Asch conformity experiments.
4)Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents, such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.
5)Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware in what might now be called viral marketing. People were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed. See physical attractiveness stereotype.
6)Scarcity - Perceived scarcity will generate demand. For example, saying offers are available for a "limited time only" encourages sales.
"Click and the appropriate tape is activated; whirr and our rolls the standard sequence of behaviors."
Kind of scary how simple the principles of this one are... One of the main objectives of the books is said to be preparing the average person against compliance tacticians but I have a feeling that it's the latter who'll use the book more...
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!
ممتع ممتع ممتع لم استمتع بقراءة كتاب هكذا منذ مدة طويلة. لدى الانسان كما لدى الحيوان اليات استجابة تلقائية تجعله بدون تفكير يتصرف بطريقة معينة كرد فعل. وهذا يجعل المستغلين والملاعبين يستخدمون هذه الاليات لتحقيق الربح المادي او لتحقيق مصالحهم. وهذه الاليات هي
-قانون التبادل. الانسان كائن اجتماعي يتبادل الخدمات والمساعدات مع الاخرين. لكن المشكل يكمن عندما تقدم له هدية او مساعدة هو ليس بحاجة لها لاشعاره انه مدين للاخر. وهذا يجعله يوافق على طلبات كان سيرفضها في حالته الطبيعية دون تاثير الدين
-قانون التباين. كل شيء غال هو جيد/ جمال امراة عادية يبدو باهثا امام عارضات الازياء ومعايير الجمال الذي يتم ترويجه في الاعلام/ البائع يجب ان يعرض على المشتري السلعة الغالية اولا ثم السلع الرخيصة لانه في حالة العكس ستبدو السلعة الاعلى ثمنا جد جد جد غالية
-قانون التنازل. رفضك للطلب الاول لاحدهم يجعلك بدون ارادتك تقبل طلبه الثاني الذي هو في حقيقة الامر الطلب المقصود
-قانون الثبات. الانسان لكي يظهر امام الاخرين بمنظر السوي الذي يمكن الوثوق به يجب ان يبقى ثابتا على مبادئه وافكاره وقراراته لكي لا يظهر بمظهر المشتت المجنون المزاجي المتقلب. وهنا المتلاعب يستغل ذلك لصالحه حيث يرمي له كرة منخفضة ويجعله يتخد قرارا غير مناسبا وعندما يكتشف ذلك يكون قد فات الاوان للتراجع
-البرهان الاجتماعي من الصعب التفكير في كل شيء لذا فان اغلب الاشخاص مقلدون وليس مبدعون. واتباع ما يقوم به الاخرون يعطي شعورا بالامان ان تسلك طريقا يسلكه الجميع يعني انه الطريق الصحيح. وهذا يستخدمه المستغل عندما يجعلك تظن ان هناك رواجا واقبالا على منتوج ما
-قانون المحبة. مهما حاولنا الانكار جمال الشكل يؤثر على طريقة تصرفنا. فالجميل يبدو اكثر صدقا اكثر لطفا اكثر ذكاء اكثر جاذبية لذا بدون ارادتنا نحبه اكثر نتعاطف معه اكثر ونساعده اكثر... نحن لا نحب من يختلف معنا نحب من يشبهنا من يشاركنا اهتماماتنا واذواقنا وافكارنا الدينية والسياسية...مهما قلنا اننا لا نحب النفاق فنحن في واقع الامر نحب المديح والاطراء والشعور باننا محط اعجاب الاخرين واهتمامهم... نحن نحب ان نربط انفسنا بالفائزين دوما ولا نحب الخاسرين وهذا يسمى مبدا الترافق مثلا عندما يربح فريق كرة قدم وطنك فهذا يشعرك بالافتخار ويعزز شعور الانتماء لديك كانك انت من ربحت فالانسان يربط نفسه بوطنه وعائلته وقبيلته... / مثال اخر اعلان سيارة معها عارضة جميلة تلقى اهتماما اكبر من اعلان سيارة بدون عارضة... هذا يجعل المستغلين يستخدمون اشخاص شكلهم جميل لترويج سلعهم واشخاص يشبهون المستهلك المستهدف
-قانون السلطة. نحن نخضع للسلطة منذ طفولتنا المدرسة ثم نكبر فنخضع لسلطة الطبيب والمحامي والاستاذ هذا يعطل ملكات التفكير ويجعلنا نخضع للاوامر. لذا في الاعلانات قد يستخدمون ممثلا يلعب دور طبيب لكي يثبت فائدة منتوج معين
-قانون الندرة. كلما قل تواجد شيء زادت قيمته حتى لو كان طابع بريدي بدون فائدة وكلما زادت المنافسة على منتوج زاد الاقبال عليه وكلما وجدت مصاعب ومشاكل للحصول على شخص نحبه كبر في اعيننا وكلما تم حظر معلومة زادت الرغبة في الوصول اليها. كل هذا يستعمل كوسيلة لترويج السلع ...
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.
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 замисляли над това какъв ще да е тоя шум в храстите, вместо направо да бягат, са били изядени от саблезъби тигри отдавна.
Склонността на хората да вземат инстинктивни решения, да правят оценки без замисляне, да избират автоматично в различни ситуации е отдавна известна на тия, които си изкарват хляба с това да убеждават.
Политици, търговци и бизнесмени може да не са наясно с невробиологи��та и невропсихологията на човешкия мозък, но от хиляди години намират и използват техники, с които да се възползват от "автоматичния" му режим за да убедят притежателите му да направят каквото те желаят.
Дали с хитро подбрани въпроси политикът ще те подтикне към определени емоции по даден въпрос, дали продавачът на коли ще ти праща картичка за Коледа всяка година за да ти стане симпатичен, дали най-евтиното кисело мляко в големите магазини ще е със съвсем безлична кофичка, за да не го купи никой, който може да си позволи по-скъпо...
Влияние - психологията на убеждаването е страхотна книга за решенията които вземаме всеки ден и начина, по който (не) мислим. И как да почнем да мислим или поне да се опитаме (щото инстинктите не са в главата ни от хиляди години случайно).
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 conducted innumerable experiments over the course of his career; He spent three years, in field, researching for this book. He entered into programs offered by different business enterprises and marketing agencies to train sales staff and dealers in ‘the art of persuasion’. Cialdini explains the science at work behind the curtains of this ‘art show’ in this book.
We live in a consumer society. Our markets survive and thrive on mass consumption of products that are neither necessities nor luxury, but still they find their way to our homes right through our pockets. Why and how it happens, how we are convinced and persuaded to do something we really don’t need or want to do? Why in certain situations we are unable to fight the temptation to buy something we have no use of? How exactly do we fall for these marketing gimmicks? This book has the answer.
For our convenience, our brain has evolved some fixed-action patterns, patterns that we follow almost blindly without any recourse to reason or logic. Why we do this? Because our brain has been programmed this way and because by doing this we don’t have to think too hard, it seems natural and effortless, almost as if it is the most obvious and right thing to do. This ‘shortcut’ of ours is exploited, almost everyday by people who are trying to sell us something. Cialdini repeatedly uses the term ‘click, whirr’, which explains our behavior patterns when we encounter a situation for which we have a ‘programmed reaction’. What the situation does is that it appeals to our conscious mind with a red-flag-signal. A file is ‘clicked open’ as a result, and ‘whirr’… out rolls the standard sequence of behaviors.
The other important principles that marketing agents employ to get our assent are: Reciprocation, Commitment and Consistency, Friendliness, Authority and Scarcity.
These are the shortcuts our brain is evolved to rely upon for making quick smart decisions, and it is by manipulating these very ‘click, whirr’ responses that we are compelled to say yes, even when we don’t want or need to.
The synthesis of his entire research has been divided and assembled in 7 chapters. Each chapter explaining, through case studies, social experiments, research and psychological analysis of human behavior, different methods and tact with which we are convinced to do or not do a certain thing.
This book has a lot in common with Daniel Kahnemans’ “Thinking, fast and slow” which is one of my favorite books of all time. I highly recommend these two books to anyone who is interested in behavioral psychology.
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 and not-to-do lists. The examples were mostly business cases, although according to the author the principles also apply to other facets of life. Here are some practical tips included: -One can sell more expensive item by showing the top-of-the-line first and then working down. -When someone thanks you for a sizable favor you did him, instead of saying "it was nothing", say "listen, you'd do the same for me" to remind the person to reciprocate in the future. -When selling something, highlight the benefits the person stands to lose by not choosing your product, as people are more motivated by the thought of losing something than that of gaining something. -A leader, instead of simply using a poll, should communicate to the team that each member's input will be a factor into the equation of a decision, although might not be the deciding factor. -A commitment will most likely produce lasting changes when it's active, public and voluntary. -The factors that lead to liking: similarity, praise and Cooperation. I would not disagree that those are little more than common sense, and one must have read iterations of them in other psychology self-help books. Also the six principles are no way exhaustive in the arts of influencing. And yet this was a nice little framework, and to me, there would have certainly been less fun ways to pass time than listening to this book.
هكذا يجب أن تكون الإجابة، بسيطة ومباشرة. بدلاً من ذلك، تواجهنا أحياناً بعض الإجابات الظريفة:
لماذا اشتريت المُنتج؟ كان آخر قطعة متوفرة. كان هناك تخفيض كبير على ثمنه. قدم لنا المتجر الكثير من العينات المجانية. كان هناك ازدحام شديد على شراءه. كانت البائعة جميلة / كان البائع لطيفاً.
حسب رأي كالديني، نميل نحن البشر إلى استخدام بعض الاختصارات في اتخاذ القرار بدلاً من التفكير المعقد في كل مسألة تعرض لنا. وعليه فإننا نعتاد على إصدار ردود أفعال معينة عند التعرض لمحفزا�� معينة. مثلاً عندما يعطينا أحدٌ شيئأً فإننا نحاول أن نعطيه بالمثل. إذا شعرنا أن ثمة شيء أصبح نادراً، ترتفع قيمته في أذهاننا...إلخ. بناءً على هذه القواعد، تتم عمليات الإقناع التجارية وغيرها. يهدف الكتاب إلى سرد هذه القوانين مع أمثلة عليها ،متبوعة بنصائح لتجنب الوقوع في شراكها. يحتوي الكتاب على قصص حصلت للكاتب وكذلك رسائل من القراء يؤكدون فيها على أفكار الكتاب.
أغلب التقنيات الواردة في الكتاب معروفة ولكن من المفيد استيعاب المبادئ التي بُنيت عليها، طرق تطبيقها والتغلب عليها. ظننت أن الكتاب يتحدث عن أساليب الإقناع بصفة عامة لكن الكتاب ركّز على التطبيقات التسويقية بشكل خاص. أضف إلى ذلك أن أساليب التسويق تطورت بشكل مخيف منذ صدور الكتاب. ومع ذلك فأنني أضمن أنك ستصبح بائعاً أكثر براعة، وزبوناً أكثر حذقاً إذا قرأت هذا الكتاب وطبقت ما فيه.
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 print out these copies and jump in line? instead use the magic word "because, because I'm in a rush. It's effective just using the word because. Even if you say because I need to print these people would still allow you to jump the line.
رغم أن الكتاب في مجال التأثير وإغراء الناس( وليس إقناعهم) إلا أنه يعتبر مرجع جيد في مجال علم النفس الاجتماعي. أسلوبه جميل وواضح وأمثلته متنوعة حية مشاهدة. وأما تلك التي من عالم الأسماك والمخلوقات البرية فممتعة :-) أظن أن المهتمين بعلم النفس الاجتماعي لن يجدوا فيه جديدا ولكن ترتيبا لبعض الأفكار. اللهم إلا أن يكونوا ابتدءوا به
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 widely discredited.
It's kind of disappointing. I'd recommend it to people as being worth reading but I strongly wish it were more academically rigorous. It's not nice to say but the guy comes across sometimes as kind of flaky and not that smart. Perhaps he's just as much of a chump when it comes to ideas as he says he is when it comes to complying with the requests of other people.
By the last couple of chapters I couldn't stand it anymore. I basically quickly skimmed them. The chapters on Authority and Scarcity are all over the place. The fifth edition, with its extensive editing, shouldn't be this sloppy. I think it would have been better if he had simply rewritten it because aside from all of the forced conclusions and so forth, the mixture of outdated references and haphazardly injected contemporary material feels schizophrenic.
It's hard not to dislike this guy just for his inane bio on the back cover as it is vomit-inducingly cutesy.
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.
Liking - People are easily persuaded by other people that they like. Cialdini cites the marketing of Tupperware–people were more likely to buy if they liked the person selling it to them. Some of the many biases favoring more attractive people are discussed.
Reciprocity - People tend to return a favor. Thus, the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing.
Commitment and Consistency - If people agree to make a commitment toward a goal or idea, they are more likely to honor that commitment. However, if the incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement. For example, in car sales, suddenly raising the price at the last moment works because the buyer has already decided to buy.
Authority - People will tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.
This book was particularly interesting to read immediately after Simon Sinek's 'Start With Why', in which is outlined the difference between tactics of inspirational leadership vs those of manipulative coercion. Many of the strategies outlined in this book are tactics of psychological manipulation and therefore beneficial only for immediate, short term, impulsive human response. This book therefore is NOT one to be read by anyone intending to develop effective, long-term and ethical leadership skills, but IS still an extremely important general read for learning our innate automatic psychological triggers that can be used against us, and how we can recognise these triggers so that we can fight them.
OT: Influence: Science and Practice (first published in 1984)
This book deals with the techniques used to get people to agree to something, and with the psychological processes behind it. It also shows how to defend against certain communication techniques, or how to use them yourself to achieve the desired outcome in negotiations. But not only in a professional context. The content of this book is useful for all types of situations in which you interact with people, or even just process information that is brought to you with the intent of getting a certain reaction.
It’s the third time I’ve been reading this. It was first brought to my attention by a colleague a little over a decade ago, and I’m still a little baffled by his decision to lend me his copy. After all our respective jobs meant that we were often pitted against each other in negotiations. I guess he was just pretty confident in his negotiation skills. He told me he reads the book once a year.
Cialdini’s book looks at what he calls the six weapons of influence:
1. Reciprocation 2. Commitment and consistency 3. Social proof 4. Friendship/liking 5. Authority 6. Scarcity
There are others. But he sees those six as the most effective ones. And he has studied them for quite some time. The main point, as I take it, is that we are living in an age where we have access to more and more information all the time. Therefore we often have to rely on short-cuts to come to decisions. And while this is working just fine most of the time, sometimes someone comes along who knows how these short-cuts work and tries to exploit them. Watch out for those guys!
Some of the things described in this book are quite obvious. And Cialdini also uses repetition to drive home his point. However, after reading this for a third time already, and also considering I’ve been working in an environment where I was trained extensively in all matters of communication, I can’t really blame the book for not telling me something new. At this point it’s a little hard to tell how much of this seems obvious to me because of previous reads, or previous training, or just because it’s, well, obvious. But I remember clearly how I gobbled it all up, when I read this for the first time, and it’s also clear to me that some of it has made its way into how I use to communicate ever since.
This third read was a nice refresher. And it was again fun, mainly because of Cialdini’s humorous and sometimes self-deprecating approach to the subject matter, a certain fascination with his methods of research and study, and most of all because of all the real-life examples he uses to illustrate the concept. A couple of those are well-known instances of people having done something that seems to be completely illogical at first. Until you understand who or what made them do it. Other examples of such behavior you will not have heard of, but they also are often quite entertaining. Many of them are fascinating and some are also shocking or even tragic. Sometimes our short-cuts can trip us up badly. Sometimes it’s just about seeing the signs. The shortest way to a decision is not always the best one.
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 awareness. One, for example, is the mark of authority -- people are more likely to follow directions and suggestions given by someone with a title (Dr., Judge) than otherwise. The same applies to suggestions given by people who dress as if they are in the successful upper-class, or who are acknowledged authorities in some field (it doesn't have to be the one under discussion). What makes the book interesting (besides the highly useful listing of techniques and defenses) is the additional research -- including the surveys showing that people *are* in fact completely unaware that they're doing it. When asked about an experiment, they will insist that the given technique won't work, but when actually involved in the experiment, will fall for it almost every time. Really interesting stuff.
I read recently that if you trace the locations (by location-aware cell phones) of a small population in an American city over a 6-month period, on average, the movement collapses into standard predator patterns. ( http://www.citeulike.org/user/sjc/art... ). This says something profound about the reasons we give for our behavior vs. the underlying causes. Cialdini sheds some light on these differences by pointing out some other areas where our thoughts don't match our actions, and explaining the unconscious shortcuts we use to help us function in our daily lives.
Plus, it's got some great tricks to get out of being pressured into buying stuff or contributing to charities you don't like. :D
I read this book a second time--not realizing that I had read it 35 years ago! Again, I can give it a 5-star rating. This is a top-notch book on psychology, and seems quite comprehensive on the subject of how we are persuaded to do things. The book is fascinating and engaging.
Here are a few of the ways we are persuaded: Reciprocation Consistency acts as a shield against thought, and can be exploited. The book contains numerous examples of how we strain to stay consistent. Maybe, this is why so many Trump-supporters cannot break away from this fascist in the White House. Another important technique is to first obtain a small commitment, followed by ever-increasing commitments.
Social Proof People look to others for guidance in their behaviors. It is so interesting that people will help others in distress if there are just a few bystanders. But if there are many bystanders, they won't think of helping, assuming others will step in.
Many copycat suicides are disguised as accidents. As a result, many innocent people also die in the resulting so-called "accidents".
Laugh tracks used to be very popular in TV shows. But they aren't new. In 1820, opera houses were hiring people who would applaud to instigate audience reactions. The phony applause grew to include laughing and weeping on cue, as well as calls of "encore".
Association Principle People like to be associated with celebrities and famous events. For example, after the 1980 American Olympic hockey team victory over Russia's team, scalpers swarmed outside the hockey arena. They were selling $100 for a pair of ticket stubs.
During a California referendum on smoking in public places, a woman in LA was overheard saying: "It's a real tough decision. They've got big stars speaking for it, and big stars speaking against it. You don't know how to vote."
Scarce Commodity My favorite example is a sales tactic used by toy sellers, with artificially-created scarcity. Parents promise their children a favored toy for Christmas. The toy is not available in toy stores before Christmas, so parents end up buying a substitute toy. Later, after the Christmas season, children remind their parents of their promise. So, parents have to return to the stores and buy the originally-promised toy!
Another marvelous story is about how the author's brother sold cars while in school. He advertised a car, and had three prospective buyers make appointments to see the car at the same time. This created intense competition due to scarcity. The buyers failed to realize that the competition's increased pressure had nothing to do with the merits of the car. People don't stop to think that the joy of a scarce commodity is NOT in experiencing it, but in POSSESSING it.
I cannot overstate how much fun this book is. Maybe this review will INFLUENCE you to read 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 then author brings out specific edge cases where a particular influence approach may fail because you just are trying to blindly apply the technique without understanding those edge cases. A must-read book for anyone looking to come across as a person who gets the buy-ins she or he wants. Obviously, a mere reading of this book won't make you a master. But taking specific notes and applying them in your real life is what matters.
'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 understanding, these are even more gullible than the naiveté.
Robert Cialdini dissects all the different tactics that marketers have known for years on how to get people to do things they initially had no desire for. Through careful analysis and explanation he goes one by one over these techniques and how to counter them. The author's impetus for even conducting this study a sincere desire to understand himself better because of how many times he had been duped, sold, tricked, conned and convinced into purchasing/doing things against his true wishes.
These Weapons of Influence are
1- Reciprocation (feeling indebt to return a favor) 2- Commitment and Consistency (People naturally don't like change, they want predictability) 3- Social Proof (If everyone is doing it, that is proof enough) 4- Liking (We are more susceptible to being influenced by those we like) 5- Authority (Many are more than happy to put blind faith in authority) 6- Scarcity (Ahh the central tenet of Economics, also has a powerful emotional appeal)
This book would stand out more if it was titled "How People Can Scam You." It is filled with useful information about tactics that manipulate you into agreeing to or buying something you normally wouldn't have. The author cites studies demonstrating these tactics work. The author also provides dramatized stories of these tactics applied in different situations. People are familiar with many of the advertising tactics, such as posing an attractive model next to a car or using celebrity spokespersons to promote their product. Despite knowing it's a gimmick, people are still influenced by it. This book provides many examples of these manipulation tactics and explains why they work. By reading this book, you'll become more conscious of how others (salespersons, politicians, and businesspersons) may be trying to manipulate you.
With the sophisticated mental apparatus we have used to build world eminence as a species, we have created an environment so complex, fast-paced, and information-laden that we must increasingly deal with it in the fashion of the animals we long ago transcended. Another fascinating book, this time provided by the "Influence Without Authority" class I took through Deere back in April.
An overarching idea of the book is that people don't always use all the available information to make a decision - somtimes they use shortcuts. The book explores many of these shortcuts and those that exploit them in great detail. The shortcuts are as follows.
1. Reciprocation - There are two types of reciprocation. Type 1 - Giving a "free sample" - This kind is used by Hare Krishnas in airports. They pin a flower on a passerby before asking for a donation. People feel more obligated to give a donation since they already received a flower, even if they throw the flower in the trash 3 steps later and are even angry about it. Type 2 - Making a big demand, then conceding, getting the target to reciprocate a concession. He used an example where a Boy Scout initially asked him to buy a box of cookies for $5 or something, then after declining, the Boy Scout said, "Well, we have these chocolate bars for only $1." The Boy Scout conceded the larger sale, and the customer felt obligated to "concede" by buying the cheaper option.
Committment and Consistency - This was perhaps the most fascinating chapter. It's quite simple: people want to be consistent with their past actions. Once people admit or make a declaration, it may even "grow legs to stand on" in their mind as they justify their actions. Some of the fascinating examples:
Retailers advertised certain toys like crazy for Christmas, but deliberately didn't supply enough. They got parents to promise their kids the toy, but then the parents couldn't buy it. Then the retailers would advertise it again in January, and there would be plenty available. This was a way to pump up sales during a normally dead time for stores, and cash in on parents' promises to their children.
Signing petitions is extremely dangerous! There was a story about people who signed a petition about traffic safety. Then, 6 weeks later, they were asked to put an ugly "Buckle up" billboard in their front yard. The people who signed the petition were far more likely to allow the billboard. Another study was done where people were asked to sign a petition totally unrelated to traffic safety. Then 6 weeks later they were asked to put the same ugly "Buckle up" billboard. The results were the same - even though the petition was in no way about traffic safety! Why? Because by signing the petition, people "saw" themselves more as the type of person who would take action for public causes like traffic safety.
The Chinese used simple tricks on prisoners. They'd get them to admit that America has problems, and then get them to write about America's problems. Putting it in writing has a powerful effect to make the writer believe it even more. They'd also get them to admit that Communism wasn't "all bad" for China, and get them to write about that. Pretty soon, they'd have essays on the subject which appeared damaging to the USA, and made the prisoners look brainwashed.
Social Proof - Everyone is doing it, especially people just like you! If you go stand on a street corner, and stare up at a point in the sky, people might think you are nuts. If you and 3 of you friends go to a street corner and do the same thing, passers by will be far more likely to look up to see what "everyone" is looking at. We are far more likely to just "do what everyone else is doing" when there is uncertainty about what the best course of action is.
In this chapter, he goes through the whole ordeal about the woman who was killed in New York, where there were 32 witnesses that never called the police. They were confused because it was happening in broad daylight, and because no one else was panicking. You can cut through this mob mentality by grabbing someone and giving the, specific instructions - "Call the police!"
He also went through the story about the cult that moved to Jonestown, Guyana and "drank the kool aid" in a mass suicide. By moving to such a remote area, there were no other people like them anywhere. It gave their leader more influence over the group - the only people "like" them were themselves. When one woman "drank the kool aid", it was a snowball, because she was just like the others.
He also went into detail about how suicide rates dramatically increase when a highly publisized suicide occurs in an area. He even went so far as to blame an increase in car accidents and plance crashes on them - and had the data to back it up! Fascinating. His contention is that this increase in car accidents and plane crashes aren't accidental, but are fake suicides.
Liking - Tupperware parties are so successful because they are using your friends as their salespeople. These parties also use social proof and reciprocity (by giving prizes, guests feel obligated to buy more). They also use commitment by getting people to say publicly how they will use the products.
But liking is a big category. He reviewed how attractive people get a "halo effect", where we believe them and like them better, and are therefore more likely to buy from them. Serving people lunch before asking for a contribution also works! We also like and follow people we perceive as similar to ourselves.
Authority - Just the appearance of a business suit or a doctor's lab coat can make people believe them more. He told a story where nurses have been found to obey doctors (and ignore their own training) just because doctors have authority over them. He also told the infamous story where people would continue administering shock therapy to "subjects" because the professor told them to continue - despite people screaming in the other room. Beware of people in business suits!
Scarcity - By making something scarce, people want it more, and even like it more. Taking it away makes people want it even more. There was an elaborate study where they gave one set of people 10 cookies, another set 2, and then a third set initially 10, and then took away 8 and left them with two. The people who thought the cookies tasted best were the 3rd set. The people with only 2 to begin with ranked #2, and the people with 10 rated the cookies the least tasty. The moral of the story is that we value things more when we have less, and we value things the most right after they were taken away from us.
This is why "first come, first serve" works so well. It's also why having multiple people competing for the same thing works so well.
Cialdini closes the book by saying that we humans have created an insanely complex world that is getting incomprehensible - we call it the "Information Age" not the "Knowledge Age". In this context, we are more likely than ever to use these shortcuts to help us make decisions quicker and easier. Using these shortcuts isn't always a bad thing, but we need to be more aware of when they can be exploited by others. There is more opportunity than ever for exploitation. I agree 100%.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.