Author(s): Robert B. CialdiniDownload
Publish: Published December 26th 2006 by HarperBusiness (first published January 1st 1984)
ISBN: ISBN 006124189X (ISBN13: 9780061241895)
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.
Some Reviews: 72,285 ratings 2,748 reviews in Goodreads.com
And the final mark is if it also forces us to think about ourselves, to look inside, to question who we are. A great book reshapes our own actions and conceived notions; it turns us inward and into our tangled minds.
Influence, to its rare credit, accomplishes all three.
It answers the very simple question of how are we persuaded to action?
The answer lie with several factors: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity. Cialdini details each of these considerations with academic studies and real life examples. You’ll recognize some of them like Milgram’s shock experiment and Kitty Genovese’s murder. He does so in an accessible and intuitive way. And in doing so, equips the reader to defend themselves against, “compliance professionals”, and, if so inclined, to wield them ourselves.
The one thing I wish he had discussed more in depth is the influence of the Internet and the democratization of information and authority. But I guess that’s too much to ask for. Those questions unanswered, after all, send me into myself and into the world, searching for the answers to the questions he began to unlock in me.
A powerful book indeed.
Pg. 33-34 – or, more generally, why should it be that small first favors often stimulate larger return favors? One important reason concerns the clearly unpleasant character of the feeling of indebtedness. Most of us find it highly disagreeable to be iota state of obligation. It weighs heavily on us and demands to be removed.
Pg. 52- once we make a choice or take a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision. We simply convince ourselves that we have made the right choice and, no doubt, feel better about our decision.
we all fool ourselves from time to time in order to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have already done or decided. For instance, immediately after casting a ballot, voters believe more strongly that their candidate will win.
Pg. 99- the principle of social proof. This principle states that we determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct (Lun et al., 2007). The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior. We view a behavior as correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.
Pg. 100- Cavett Robert said: “Since 95% of the people are imitators and only 5% initiators, people are persuaded more by the actions of others than by any proof we can offer.”
Take reciprocity, for example. The person trying to sell something – or get people to donate something – gives a small gift, and the rate at which people actually do buy or donate skyrockets. When I get preprinted address labels? I feel guilty for not donating, even though I don’t want them in the first place. Or when I was in LAX and got accosted by some dude with a nametag who gave me directions and then asked for a donation? I totally gave it. Resentfully, but I gave it.
Another big one for me is commitment and consistency. If I make a commitment to buy something, or do something, I will almost always follow through on it, even if I no longer want to and the consequences for not doing so are minor. I don’t want to look like a unreliable flake, even to myself.
He also goes through a lot of other things that influence people, such as social proof (what everyone else is doing), scarcity, authority, etc.
I really enjoyed this. I learned a lot about why I do certain things and how to defend myself against nefarious salespeople who try to convince me to buy stuff I don’t want.
The book first came out in 1984, and was most recently revised in 2007 (though it does not seem that substantive changes were made). My only beef with the 2007 edition is that it contains lots of very 1980s-looking black-and-white photos. Some of them are certainly still relevant, such as ads from that time period, but I would have liked to see newer visuals mixed in with them. That would have better underscored Cialdini’s point that these techniques of persuasion are still widely used today.