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The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  413 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews

A cutting-edge, research-based inquiry into how we influence those around us and how understanding the brain can help us change minds for the better.

In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist Tali Sharot takes us on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence. We all have a duty to affect others—from the classroom to the boardroom to social media. But how skilled are

Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published September 19th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.
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Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thian book is interesting and can be finished in a short time. So to influence others:

1. Find common ground: to convince a parent to let their children receive vaccines, focus on the benefits; no point debunking the myths.

2. Go for the emotion like Donald Trump, not logic or balanced arguments.

3. Use praise and evoke nice outcomes to make people do something; use fear to make people do nothing

4. Tell them a lot of other people have chosen the same thing/ done the same thing

5. We only want to h
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite reads so far this year. We think we know how to influence, but the human brain keeps surprising us. Perhaps it even evolved not to be rational but to be good at motivating others through whatever means works. Maybe we manipulate the facts and re-order them to fit the picture that is simplest, or our favorite, or easiest to follow. Our minds can exhibit some surprising logic, though for good reason. Read this and you'll find new ideas for helping people overcome well-es ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Probably 3.5. Cute pop psych book on social learning and other social influences. The title was kind of misleading though and I’m not really convinced anything new was discussed.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is about how inflexible and irrational human brain can be sometimes. Once we make up our mind about something, it can be extremely difficult to change that opinion, whether it is about a movie, a book or political candidate. Our brain also seeks information that reaffirms our views instead of information that contradicts it. The best way to make somebody change their mind is to present equally valid facts to the contrary instead of attacking their beliefs directly. “When an established ...more
Michael Huang
People can be open-minded initially and then make up their mind and then becoming stubborn with a set opinion. One such example is that of MMR vaccine causing autism. People believe the notion based on research published, but many refuse to change opinion when subsequent research debunked the notion. The best way to persuade them is not to tell them they are wrong, but simply present the new findings (and hope for the best).

Mood can be contagious. After reading positive posts, they are more like
Danny Hadar
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
very interesting research and written in a short and concise way. I wish there were more pictures to understand better the brain side of the explanations and maybe go deeper on some aspects.
Robert Kosara
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology, kindle
How do we make decisions? How are we influenced by information, by beliefs, by others? I was hoping to read some more about recent research here, and there is a bit of it. But much of it is stuff that has been covered elsewhere. I also felt that things were over-embellished and over-explained. Still a good book if you haven't read much in this area so far (Ariely, Kahneman, etc.).
Gary Moreau
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tali Sharot is a cognitive neuroscientist. “I work at the intersection between psychology and neuroscience.” And what an interesting workplace it is. It’s a place reinforced by data and studies and experiments, but which still provides a view of the surrounding landscape we call the human experience.

As the title suggests, this is a book about influence. What is it and how does it work? Some of the answers are logically obvious, but understanding the why behind the what always contributes to bett
Jim Razinha
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-arcs
I got an advance reader's edition of this from the publisher Henry Holt & CO through LibraryThing. I'd read Ms. Sharot's The Optimism Bias five years ago when I had just started a year-long management program and liked what she wrote, so requested the opportunity to read this. Even though this is an advance copy, and I quote from it below, I don't think there will be substantial changes from the final publication.

"You and I share a role." - That's the opening line of the Prologue (in the cop
Linshu Wang
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Notes from influential mind:

Although widely used in politics. Fear is not always the the best strategy for persuasion. It works well when the subject is anxious or weak.

Scientific data is not the best way to convince others to change their mind.
The intelligent individuals are more likely to discredit the data that support the opinions that they disagree with.

Instead of finding data to support the opposite idea so that you can change the mind of people that disagree with you. Focusing on finding
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating insight into how our brains work and how we can influence others, as well as how they influence us. I appreciate Sharot's use of research and stories to present her thesis. Our brains are a powerful organ, and our ability to influence one another is truly fascinating. This was an easy read that left me thinking and pondering for days on end.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
a beautiful book after a long time alter your perception with simple explanation, it was like reading a novel
She taken utmost care in explaining and cautious on every paragraph and every page neatly written and her every ideas supported by experiment
This book will ever stay in my heart
Stephanie Rogers
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is really fascinating - not only for marketers (which is why I picked it up), but for any human being looking to better understand what influences us based on how our brains work. Full of science, research findings and really smart observations, but totally accessible to a broad audience.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
-food for thought regarding my thoughts about the brain
-social responsibility and influence
-searching for expertise instead of weighing everyone's opinion equally
-popular ways of thinking and how they can be alarmingly unfounded
Fred Perry
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Lightweight Pop Science

Anecdotes stand in for data and generalities for prescription in this book. I hoped for guidance and was given cartoons.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine it is 2015. You make a prediction that Donald Trump is going to win the 2016 presidential election because he has a better understanding of how to influence people than Hillary Clinton. Would most people have laughed you out of the room? Maybe in 2015; not in 2018.

This book essentially builds from this premise, using a multitude of research studies to support its thesis on how to influence people.

Notes from my key learnings:
1. Use fear rather than hope when you would like people to do
Jim Robles
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars! An easy enjoyable read that explains our foibles in terms of neurology and evolution. I found this one in:

Guns and the Soul of America
David Brooks OCT. 6, 2017

"If you are an avid Twitter user, beware: tweeting is one of the most emotionally arousing activities you likely engage in on most days. Forget exercise - studies show that tweeting raises your pulse, makes you sweat, and enlarges your pupils - all indicators of a
Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer)
The new book from TED speaker and author of The Optimism Bias, Tali Sharot, The Influential Mind challenges the wisdom of the crowd.

We've all butted heads with a friend, a partner, or work colleague.  Whether it's changing the way a presentation should be run or deciding where your children should go to school, your mind is made up and whoever is in opposition is just plain wrong. Even if facts come to light which completely flies in the face of your opinion, you find a way to justify your posit
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The Influential Mind" explains to us, through behavioral science, how illogical humans really are. We say that we're truly logical beings who use higher though to make our own, individual, decisions (not being influenced by anyone or anything else). Well, that's mostly wrong. Try to convince someone to think from a different perspective by using peer-reviewed journals, charts, graphs, loads of very scientific and convincing data? Nope, won't budge them, not at all (well, sometimes, but mostly n ...more
Breakaway Reviewers
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An in-depth investigation of the mechanisms of the brain, involved in influencing others.

The author is an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience and is the founder and director of the Affective Brain Lab at University College London.

It is part of being human that we strive to influence others, whether it is encouraging a love of reading in children or inciting a population to rise up against oppression. As such this is a major area for a study into how we shape those influences, both good
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Review of the Audiobook

Published by Macmillan Audio in 2017.
Read by Xe Sands.
Duration: 5 hours, 24 minutes.

Tali Sharot has written an interesting little book about our brains and the way they work. Clearly, she is an expert with a PhD in psychology and neuroscience, but she has that rare talent of being able to make the complicated seem pretty basic using real life examples.

If you've ever had an online argument, you know the frustration of doing research to show your opponent that t
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: social-science
TIMind gives a thoughtful storyline, backed up with up-to-recent studies deciphering why it is that we are more guided by our emotional attachment to ideas and perceptions rather than our deciphering of the logic of a given choice. I appreciate how Sharot confirms the magnets of emotion we are drawn to thus providing us the safe haven of the tribe or our most optimistic perception of ourselves. It describes well our current polarization - where, once we attach our selfhood to a given "idol" myth ...more
Laurent Franckx
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Pop psychology books have been around for a while. In the last 20 years, Steven Pinker and Daniel Kahneman have set a new standard, writing books for a general public that were well grounded in scientific research. Dan Ariely has even succeeded in adding a light touch to it all, without compromising on the quality.
This book by Tali Sharot builds further on this success. The book covers a series of topics, which are mostly loosely linked, but supposedly have "influencing others" as common them.
Carlos Amador
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are some books you want to keep to yourself because the level of information they provide has the chance to have such a huge impact - I debated the merits of reviewing this or leaving this section blank. In the end the people that would be hungry for this knowledge will find it one way or another.

I quite literally devoured the knowledge contained within and went through the book twice with a third time likely in the upcoming weekend.

Not a hard read and the concepts are easy to understand
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
In this book seven critical factors that impact how we make personal decisions or how well we succeed in our attempt to influence others are discussed. They are prior beliefs, emotion, incentives, agency (control), curiosity, state of mind, and other people. These factors are clearly presented. I did not see it as showing me how to manipulate others to see things my way. It seemed to be more of a guide to awareness of influences on my own thinking and an encouragement to present my thoughts in a ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating look at how prior beliefs, emotion, incentives, agency (control), curiosity, state of mind, and other people impact personal decisions and attempts to persuade others. The main theme focuses on perceptions and interpretations, direct and indirectly. There are numerous examples of language, expressions, and action that support how instincts and emotions help the brain make sense of and will remember what is happening. A brain map shows different areas apply to cognitive func ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
This book really opened my appetite for psychology books with its attempt to convey the main factors that influence our decisions/beliefs/actions like: others' opinion, positive vs negative rewards, the feeling of control, stress and so much more.

I also like how it cracks down on biases: how they are formed and maintained.

Read this book if you want to be aware of what influences us, and how can we overcome some of our natural tendencies. I think awareness is the first step to improving anything,
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I persuade for a living--most of the time trying to persuade judges of what the law is. This book is a fascinating compilation of neuroscience and psychology research for the lay person about how and why we so often go about persuasion in the wrong way. You may think you're immune from all those things that cloud the judgments of others, but the fact of the matter is we all have the same holes, just in different places. This is going on my shelf and may will change the way I write briefs and arg ...more
Christina Widmann
Im ersten Teil geht es darum, wie wir andere beeinflussen können. Im zweiten darum, wie wir uns ständig gegenseitig beeinflussen. Alles verständlich geschrieben und sauber wissenschaftlich belegt. Ein faszinierendes Buch.
Erklärt unter anderem, warum die Sternchen-Bewertungen auf Goodreads und Amazon so unzuverlässig sind.
Ausführliche Rezension:
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Tali Sharot is a Wellcome Trust fellow and principle investigator at the Cognitive Perceptual and Brain Science Division at University College London. Her research on the neuroscience of optimism, emotion, memory and decision making has been published in top scientific journals including Nature and Nature Neuroscience, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Bost ...more
More about Tali Sharot

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