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The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,174 ratings  ·  156 reviews
From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind.

Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often,
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Simon Schuster
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David Wineberg
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
No one is ever satisfied with others. Everyone wants others to change. It’s the way of the world, from social programs to closed-minded managers to sales reps to elections. Everyone wants everyone else to see it their way. Jonah Berger tries to bring successful change tactics to this conundrum in The Catalyst. I’m not sure he succeeds. He needs to apply them to me, I guess.

The book is a collection of tactics, assembled in anecdotes. People all over the world try new approaches to old problems, a
Andreia ❤Loves Butterflies & Honeybees❤
If this book could be described in one word, it would be ENLIGHTENING!! 👍It is VERY INTERESTING and can be read by any curious person who wants to understand why people change and also why they do not change!
Here is why I LOVE Nonfiction: 😉 " You mostly LEARN things you did not know before reading a book, and I am very passionate about learning new things!!"

Book Synopsis:

Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organis
Nicole Chinnici
Have you ever wanted to change someone’s mind? Of course you have! The premise for The Catalyst is that pressure or pushing people often doesn’t get them to do what you want. But utilizing catalysts, or change agents, can reduce barriers to help change minds in the toughest situations, and identifies those key barriers and how to mitigate them.

This has an intriguing concept, clear writing, and a straightforward structure. It lays out five barriers to change, and each is the subject of its own c
Amy Bruestle
I won this book from a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

There were parts of this book that were super interesting! Especially the FBI Agent. However, there was a lot of repetition and I sadly found myself bored through most of the book. Thankfully there were entertaining parts mixed in evenly! I think the author had a lot of great information, but I just had a hard time staying captivated through the whole thing.

That being said, I don’t regret reading this, because I do feel like I lear
Nopadol Rompho
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've followed the work of Professor Jonah Berger since his first book. I like this book simply because it is related to how to influence people. If you want to change others' mind but don't know how to do it, you can start reading this book and try to apply it into your situation. Strongly recommended. ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked the psychological tips for better communication. I didn't love the business/marketing speak, although most people who read this will dig that side, I suspect. It gave me a few things to ponder. Thanks to goodreads for the free copy. ...more
The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, by Jonah Berger, is a book about catalysts; ideas that help to ease and assist in changing someones mind. Berger notes that most people are reluctant to experience attempts to change their mind. Advertisements are ignored, canvassers can actually harm electoral chances. Attempts to change the mind of individuals with strong or polarized convictions can actually cause them to trench in or even move farther into their own opinions. Berger notes the trend ...more
Dora Okeyo
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever come across any content on "The Art of Persuasion?" Now, this book right here is 194 pages of intrigues and exploration of the things that bar people from changing. I love how the author explores these barriers to change while focusing on the people, so much so that it's not about the one who wants to change another, but more about getting the other to be open towards changing themselves. I love this.
The author at some point shares that "People are willing to consider different per
Jul 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
As a health psychologist, I found the premise of this book--how to encourage people to change--intriguing. Unfortunately, Berger has little research to support his assertions, he tries to force information into a mnemonic that doesn't fit, and--most surprisingly of all--the writing is atrocious.

You can find a summary of the premise and the mnemonic--REDUCE--elsewhere, and the idea of removing barriers to change is a good one. However, this book is full of anecdotes, hypotheticals, and claims tha
Dan Connors
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books

This book makes a bold claim- how to change anyone's mind. With the divided America that we now live in, it seems impossible to imagine how anyone's mind can be changed on deeply held beliefs and attitudes. Arguments on social media certainly don't seem to be moving the bar in any direction, as sides dig in to the certainty that they and only they are right.

Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and has written several other bestselling b
Max M
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Catalyst is a phenomenal book that covers the psychology and ideology of what constitutes the forces that drive persuasion, action, and ultimately change. This book outlines various researched methods that contribute to changing a person's mind and outlining ways to identify the obstacles that contribute to why the particular person has not changed their mind already.

To learn how to change someone's mind, we must first understand what is stopping them from changing themselves. This book is
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really interested dive into what prevents people from adopting new ideas, and how to nudge them along. (Hint: it's not spewing more facts at them.) Definitely want to revisit these ideas and work on applying them in my negotiations. ...more
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is well written and easy to understand. The examples provided were practical and backed by good research. There was nothing super surprising to me, pretty much human nature. Some spots were repetitive but overall enjoyed the read.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a quick read and provides a good overview of ways to overcome resistance, but the examples and case studies seem very oversimplified.
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger was one of my pre-pandemic book grabs knowing I’d be holed up for awhile. I mean, tough to resist the temptation to become a Svengali, right?

And while I don’t consider myself a mover and shaker type, Berger’s book can be applied to non-business relationships as well. Berger’s organization of chapters and methodical data driven approaches make the book palatable. Reactance deals with people’s resistance to change, endowment deals with how
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: selfhelp
I'm a sucker for these kind of books, so I reserved this at the library as soon as I read the blurb.

Unfortunately it was a disappointment. The description promises that there will be new ideas but instead:
(1) The suggestions are insultingly simplistic

(2) The book reads as if it was heavily padded in order to reach a certain length. There are entire 40 page chapters which could be easily replaced by 5 pages.

(3) Most importantly: It doesn't say anything that hasn't been said in other, better books
Kathy Cowie
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
to be reviewed in the March-April issue of Global Business and Organizational Excellence.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Insightful well-paced narrative.

Offers 5 principles of roadblocks that prevent change:
1. Reactance: when pushed, people push back. Listen actively to what people need.
2. Endowment: people dislike change. Brexit advocates turned the impetus to remain in status quo on its head by using loss aversion in their slogan “take back control”.
3. Distance: don’t activate people’s innate anti-persuasion systems. When trying to change someone’s mind, there is a small zone of acceptance and anything further
Nov 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
The book starts bad. A story of a bad drug dealer. Like they all are, right? And the wizard who got him out. How? By being a Catalyst. How do we know that? Because Berger told us.

And than story after story it goes lower and lower. Berger is a simple mind who loves his government and believes every governmental act is done for the good of the sheep. I kept failing to see the catalyst, in this bad set of short fairy tales, but the benevolent arm of the Big Brother that comes to save the day.

So how
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
In chemistry, the purpose of a catalyst is simple: to reduce the energy needed for a reaction. In his third book, marketing consultant and professor Jonah Berger applies this concept to his world of marketing and persuasion. The titular “Catalyst” is a person who changes minds not by overloading with facts and figures, but by removing roadblocks and breaking down the barriers to change.

Berger prescribes his recipe for inciting change through acronym: REDUCE—reduce Reactance, ease Endowment, shri
Mala Ashok
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
While the title of this book, "Catalyst" intrigued me, the subtitle, "How to change anyone's mind," didn't. I thought to myself that I didn't want to change anyone's mind! But, I got hooked to the book right in the introduction where the author, Jonah Berger gives the example of a hostage situation. According to him in the hands of a skilled hostage negotiator, nine out of time the hostage taker comes out by himself and he comes out just because someone asks. The author gives us the mnemonic of ...more
Neal Obermeyer
May 11, 2021 rated it liked it
Engaging and intriguing, even if it follows the pop-science formula of oversimplifying human behavior. Often doesn’t account for obvious counter examples, and presumes full knowledge of what contributed to case studies’ behavior changes, but as a thought-starter on how to influence change, it does well.
Robert Sparrenberger
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. It goes into reasons and explanations for changing a persons mind. It’s applicable at home and at work. The explanations were interesting and as I read I found myself considering the state of the world currently and how they might apply.

A pop science kind of book. Worth a look.
Nabeel Nasir
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very important read for understanding how to change human behavior. This can be applied in so many different contexts, and the author provides examples and case studies of his methods in action.

In short, the author's advice in changing someone's mind involves:
1) Reducing REACTANCE
3) Shrinking DISTANCE
4) Alleviating UNCERTAINTY
Ben Rogers
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this one. Not as inspiring as Jonah's other books.

Still I enjoyed a bunch of it. Freemium!

Jan 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Quite informative book for anyone who is interested in understanding how behaviour change happens.
Shannon Wise
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you have a job where you need agreement. If you are tired of arguing with relatives over the same things. If you just want to know how to sway people without pushing. Read this book. It has completely changed the way I'm going to deal with people.

Jonah Berger gives you tools to use to get people to say yes. He also explains why people tend to say no to new things. It provides solid tools and techniques to bridge gaps without making people angry. He gives you a road map to overcome even the m
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, psychology
This book has a straight forward answer on how to change anyone’s mind. The concepts are really well explained and enough examples are provided to strengthen the ideas.

I also like that the book is written in an easy to understand manner. It is not too informal but also not too academic. It is just right.

I also appreciate that the concepts are well researched. Readers can see the citation of other materials on which this book is based.

More importantly this book is timeless.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Well written and easy to understand, however, the material covered is nothing groundbreaking.
Deedi Brown (DeediReads)
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
All my reviews live at

The Catalyst is a helpful, well-researched book about lowering the barriers of resistance in people’s minds. There were some really good nuggets in there that I will probably use quite often.

For you if: You like big idea nonfiction and work in marketing, non-profit work, politics, or another industry where you are trying to persuade.

I was drawn to The Catalyst mostly because Jonah Berger wrote it. I really liked his
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Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and bestselling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.

Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on. He’s published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals,

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