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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  135,080 ratings  ·  4,874 reviews
Some people just won't take no for an answer. In "Influence," Dr. Robert Cialdini explains the six psychological principles that drive our powerful impulse to comply to the pressures of others and shows how we can defend ourselves against manipulation (or put the principles to work in our own interest). "Influence" guarantees two things: Readers will never say yes again wh ...more
Paperback, Revised Edition, 336 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Quill (first published 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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Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you. Buy it. Read it. Tru
Always Pouting
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
Sep 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Gina Grone
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
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
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition

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
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

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 s ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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 informati
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
David Rubenstein
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
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:
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 man
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, on-hand, z-b3
I avoided reading this book for a long time because I thought it was a manual for physiological manipulation.

Instead, I find it is an interesting look at the psychology of persuasion. How it works, how it it abused, and how to protect yourself from manipulation.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommend
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 spokespers ...more
Chip Huyen
There are several good passages but unfortunately, the book didn't persuade me. ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Stefan Kanev
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life is busy. We cannot fully analyse every decision we need to make. Instead, we rely on mental shortcuts – "if everybody thinks it's good, then it must be good" and "if we like someone/something, it must be good". Those shortcuts are crucial to functioning – there simply isn't time to stop and think deeply about everything. Most of the time they serve us well. But they can also be exploited, and occasionally, they are. This book is about how people use our mental shortcuts to get us to say "YE ...more
Amir Tesla
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this books familiarize with 6 most conventional and practical domains based on which we most of the time comply with a request that in absence of them we might have declined.

All the domains are strongly backed with scientific researches done by scholars along with couple of examples.

This book can be used in both offensive and defensive manner. Namely you can use the contents to gain the compliance of a subject or notice a party trying to do the same with you.

The contents could be util
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, business
This book again is an evidence of how easily men can manipulate each other, highly recommended for entrepreneurs and influencers.
Vasudhendra Vasudhendra
Author gives details of various techniques which can be used to influence others. It is always difficult to convince another person for an idea or for a sale. This book gives such details. Most of these techniques looks familiar and we might have experienced their power. However the detailed narration, classification and accurate analysis of these techniques makes the book special. Author has given many anecdotes, which makes the book enjoyable. This book is useful for both students of Psycholog ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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