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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  6,877 ratings  ·  550 reviews
The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? Using the same combination of rigorous scientific research
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Christopher Carosa I have read all of Cialdini's books in order of publication. Influence was good from a thoroughness and academic standpoint. For the practitioner, Yes…moreI have read all of Cialdini's books in order of publication. Influence was good from a thoroughness and academic standpoint. For the practitioner, Yes! is better because if contains less theory and more (50, actually) practical examples. Pre-Suasion expresses a great concept and it provides some of the academic rationale behind it. It's lacking, however, in hands-on. It does offer solid and concrete example, but it repeats those examples throughout the book without providing a good blueprint or system for practicing pre-suasion on your own. (less)

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Oct 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
If I had read this book a few years ago I probably would have thought it was fantastic. Now I rate it as largely worthless.

Why the change? The book largely relies on so-called "priming" research, which is the idea that our decisions are substantially influenced by seemingly trivial elements of one's background environment. For example, in Pre-Suasion we are told that customers are more likely to buy French wine if there is French music playing in the background. Similarly, worker productivity s
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
While I was reading “Pre-Suasion” I took a look at some of the reviews on Goodreads. I saw a few that suggested the scientific studies this book is based on are questionable, and a few reviewers downgraded their reviews of the book because of that. I finished the book with that in mind. What I found was that most of the book, the first 2/3 or so, describe ways that, in effect, the state of mind of a person comes into play when they make a decision. You know, if it is sunny, you’d expect a person ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
If you have read Cialdini's other books (including the more recent ones he co-wrote with other authors, such as "The Small Big: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence" and "Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive"), you won't feel like you are reading substantially different or new content in this one. He gives a great interview and covers nearly all of the main points in this recent podcast as well:
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Prime the recipients of your message by altering what is in their mad at the moment of decision. Using a single-chute question (ex. "Are you a helpful/adventurous/etc person") channels attention. Even getting people to lean forward makes the message seem more important.

Drawing attention to something increases its importance to the listener. Direct attention to the favorable characteristics of what you are selling and do not ask people to compare- singular evaluation. Decision makers spend all t
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book reveals lots of small useful nuggets that are scientifically backed. I will be coming to this book again and again to remember these helpful tricks.
Chad Warner
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: marketers, salespeople
Recommended to Chad by: Copyblogger
Shelves: business, non-fiction
This book tells how to persuade by influencing a person before they decide. It tells not just what to say, but when to say it. It's educational and entertaining. The lessons can be applied to marketing, sales, or any role that requires persuasion. It cites many scientific studies and includes illustrative anecdotes.

Cialdini's popular book Influence told consumers how to resist unwelcome influence attempts. This book tells businesses and individuals how to be more influential in ethical, scientif
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you haven't read anything about mental framing (writing down a high number pushes you to buy a more expensive bottle of wine) then this book will hit you with all the force of Cialdini's classic Influence. If, however, you've read Thinking Fast and Slow or Nudge, or any other of a thousand books on how we're relatively easily influenced in our thinking, then nothing in this book will surprise you. Cialdini basically argues that prompting someone with a cue of some kind can influence what they ...more
Feb 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was surprised by one section where he spends some time suggesting how to "fix" the gender gap in mathematics grades. He offers four suggestions, all of which raised my eyebrows. For example, he claims that the gender gap for math can be bridged by having successful female examiners proctor the exam for female students.

Cialdini uses very subtle "pre-suasion" in his book - he has 130+ pages of notes and references at the end. Almost every anecdote he uses for the first half references him teachi
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
The first time I heard about that service where you pay for access to summaries of non-fiction and business books, I thought I would never use something like that. After reading Pre-Suasion, I'm thinking they might have a point. Pre-Suasion brought very little to the table, instead repeating itself ad nauseam. The author repeatedly patted himself on the back and slipped into little sexist jokes (which I was maybe, MAYBE willing to forgive in the much older Influence: Science and Practice: The Co ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
When I read a book, I want to learn something. Given that the author of Pre-Suade presents information suggesting that cues (like the American flag) can pre-suade one to recall something (like Republican), I'm skeptical at best of this line of research.

It may work in marketing, such as a check mark making you think of Nike, but in the areas of public policy or related fields it's more difficult to conceive.

The part that was of interest is trying to open research with something that grabs the r
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not that revolutionary to be honest. There's a lot of things that are already known by a lot of people - psychologists and behavioral economists. So instead, author will call these actions pre-suasionary and that's supposed to change the whole thing. I get it, the author reads a lot, studies a lot and teaches a lot. Does that give him a right to name actions pre-suasions just because he wants to? Ehhhh, not in my book.
Oh and the lenght of referrences and notes is amazing as well (that's primaril
Jozef Melichár
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Cialdini is real expert in his area but somehow I think he's boring as a person or at least as a writer. ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazing research-based guide to the visuals, thoughts and acts that exert massive impact on our subsequent decisions.
Jay Medenwaldt
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm often asked for recommendations for books on apologetic and evangelism methods. There are some good books out there, but none that really focus on the psychological science of persuasion. So when asked, I recommend the book Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini (Pronounced chal-dee-nee), who is also the author of this book. Now that I've read Pre-Suasion, I recommend reading the two back-to-back. This one is just as great as Influence.

This book is somewhat of a sequel to Influen
Sonya Dutta Choudhury
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Robert Cialdini writes brilliantly on Persuasion and the psychology of Influence. His first book called Persuasion has become something of a cult - this one , almost 15 years after his first, carries on his fascinating thesis. Besides being professor of psychology at Arizona University, Cialdini has also ' worked undercover in several professions that persuade - like car sales and insurance. He's observed first hand what works and what doesn't . And then gone on to explain , in wonderfully writt ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was not an easy book to work through, not because the subject was difficult or the writing style was obtuse or bad; rather, I had a very difficult time believing the premise, that people are so susceptible to influence that they can be easily manipulated simply by priming them with stimuli -pictures, music, etc. - designed to create feelings of affinity and therefore cause them to behave in a way that the actor desires.

I bought this book after reading about it Scott Adams' blog. I'd been im
Johnny Malloy
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Robert Cialdini's latest book brings the subtle, almost subliminal concept of *context* to the foreground in a concise and enlightening way. Cialdini, well known for establishing his six key principles of influence, develops these same concepts further by examining the contexts within which these influential moments happen. Specifically, that the contexts / conditions can be carefully constructed with purpose ahead of time, leading to more effective influence or "pre-suasion" as he calls it.

Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Full of information to such an extent, I expect to read it again.
Library of
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Read this book a couple of years ago and recently re-read my notes and made a quick summary of what I thought was the most interesting parts of the book.

Robert Cialdini is the psychologist who in 1984 wrote the legendary book called Influence. Cialdini’s second “solo book”, Pre-Suasion, was released in 2016 and provides a new understanding of effective persuasion. The new big idea is that it’s not the message itself, but rather what happened before the me
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
The “embedded reporter program”of the war in Iraq was the product of a joint decision by US officials and major media bureau chiefs to place reporters directly within combat units—to eat, sleep, and travel with them—during the course of military operations. Although the exact numbers vary depending on the source, at the program’s height, between six hundred and seven hundred media representatives had the kind of access to the hostilities that had been denied them by US decision makers in the 199 ...more
Tõnu Vahtra
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book had some interesting new facts. For example everybody knows the Pavlov's experiments but this fact is not so known that he could not reproduce them with other observers present because learned habits are overridden and focus shifts when there is radically new information in the environment (survival instincts kick in). There were a lot of examples about different priming methods and how to act in specific situations to get the desired reactions. Cialdini also discussed the damage from ...more
Sagar Acharya
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always valued competence way more than professionalism. Since quite some time, I've never tried to present myself better, but just in an original way to others(assuming they'll question me with things they don't understand) with seldom any success. This books made me think quite in the opposite direction to that attitude.

It started off with the concept that creating the moment where people are ready to accept your pitch (be it of a product, convincing, dating nature) is extremely more impor
Shawn  Stone
Cialdin’s seminal text “Influence” found its way onto the shelves of everyone from educators, salespeople, politicians and would be pickup artists looking to hone their levels of strategic communication. This follow-up builds on his classic primer with the contention that the receptivity and “stickiness” of one’s message can be significantly enhanced by establishing a number of psychological preconditions.

I didn’t expect much from this book, but it’s definitely a useful addition to further impr
Vanessa Princessa
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

Absoultely. Fucking. Amazing.

The key message in this book:

Pre-suasion is the art of priming someone to do something by executing certain directive actions, or uttering certain directive sentences, before the actual moment when that person has to make a decision. This is pre-suasion: setting the stage and putting the pieces into place, thus getting people to say, or do, what you want.

Actionable advice:

Invite consumers to give advice instead of an opinion.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book more than I did.

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t bad, and I learned some new things. But I expected it to be a totally immersing and fascinating read, like The Chemistry Between Us or So You Want to Talk About Race, and it just didn’t grab my attention to that level.

The crux of this book is this:

“The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion–the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it.” (P4)

Robert Cialdini then g
Abhishek Mishra
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a useful book written in a tone slightly less conversational than say, Gladwell. It nevertheless packs simple but profound insights. You'll have several "Oh I always thought so and it's right!" moments.

If your line of work is Marketing/Advertising/Communication, you'd need to have a plan to retain and actually use the insights from this book. You can choose to highlight or note down the insights that you find most useful. Since I was reading a library copy and mostly during commute, I t
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book starts with a central assumption (which it spends a lot of time proving) that people can be primed with messages which makes them react more favorably to something later.

Assuming you buy that idea (I was pretty convinced), the author spends the rest of the book detailing various strategies to preemptively influence others prior to their actual decision-making moment. The strategies largely draw on his prior work on Influence, and I find them compelling. He also added another principle
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent insight into how to persuade better. It's easy to read, has a good account of example stories to illustrate the principles. Some stories seem to be a little too anecdotal and not fully scientifically shown to be casual like said. Similarly there's a sign of bias such as there aren't no alternative explanations of why something worked nor has the author played the devil's advocate to himself to find possible cases when these principles would fail to yield success even if applied well. S ...more
Nuno Miguel
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: productivity
Absolutely unmissable book. Robert Cialdini is the master of Influence and a distinct reference in the field. The conclusion i get from this excellent work is that we're, almost continually, being played. It's astounding the sheer number of sources of Influence with an agenda over us, and their worrisome impact. Cialdini does us a service not only raising the awareness of these, sometimes not so ethically correct, tactics, counterbalancing their effectiveness, but also to make them work in our f ...more
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book on persuasion. It breaks down what it is and how to PRE-suade effectively. The book ends with ways it can happen in a negative fashion, such as pyramid schemes.

I went away having learned great ways to influence and persuade to accomplish goals I have for myself. I also now see how others try to persuade me.

This gives me a great insight into interactions I have every day.
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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 cop

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  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
34 likes · 10 comments
“people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.79” 14 likes
“There's a critical insight in all this for those of us who want to learn to be more influential. The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion - the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. To persuade optimally, then, it's necessary to pre-suade optimally. But how?

In part, the answer involves an essential but poorly appreciated tenet of all communication: what we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next.”
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