Most helpful positive review
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and eye-opening book. Buy and Read it!
on November 7, 2003
What are the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person? Which techniques most effectively use these factors to bring about such compliance?
Prof. Cialdini found six such techniques: Reciprocation, Commitment, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity. Author explains why they work, and how to say no to peddlers that want to exploit you using them.
The book is well written, the style is simple, there's ample use of appropriate anecdotes so you can better remember what's most important.
The six techniques are discussed "in terms of their function in the society and in terms of how their enormous force can be commissioned by a compliance professional who deftly incorporates them into requests for purchases, donations, concessions, votes..."; yes, 'votes', so I believe it's an important reason for you, citizen, to learn those six tricks, in your own interest! They exploit our 'automatic behavior patterns' (three pages to explain this, don't worry!), and they make us terribly vulnerable to anyone who does know how they work.
I'll break down how Prof. Cialdini examines the rules, I'll use rule number one, "Reciprocation" as an example.
1 - Definition of the rule: "The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us."
2 - Rationale (why it works and why we, as humans, always stick to it): The development of this behaviour "meant that one person could give something (for example, food, energy, care) to another with confidence that it was not being lost.(...) Sophisticated and coordinated systems of aid, gift giving, defense, and trade became possible, bringing immense benefit to the societies that possessed them."
3 - The rule at work: The Hare Krishna Society began to employ a donation-request procedure that engaged this rule. Before a donation is requested, the target person is given a "gift", say, a flower. The unsuspecting passerby who suddenly finds a flower into his hands is not allowed to give it back. "No, it is our gift to you", says the solicitor, refusing to accept it. Only after the Krishna member has thus brought the force of the reciprocation rule to bear the situation is the target asked to provide a contribution to the society.
4 - Power of the rule: "It is instructive that the reciprocation rule has begun to outlive its usefulness for the Krishnas, not because the rule itself is any less potent socially, but because we have found ways to prevent the Krishnas from using it on us. After once falling victim to their tactic, many travelers are now alert to the presence of (...) solicitors in airports and train stations, adjusting thier paths to avoid an encounter and preparing beforehand to ward off a solicitor's 'gift'. (...) It is a testament to the societal value of reciprocation that we have chosen to fight the Krishnas mostly by seeking to avoid rather than to withstand the force of their gift giving".
5 - How to say no: "If the initial favor turns out to be a device, a trick, an artifice designed specifically to stimulate our compliance with a larger return favor", "here our partner is not a benefactor but a profiteer". "We need only react to it accordingly to be free of its influence. As long as we perceive and define his actions as a compliance device instead of a favor, he no longer has the reciprocation rule as an ally: The rule says that favors are to be met with favors; it does not require that tricks be met with favors".
The advice given in this book works very well. Please learn the six techniques by heart and strive to recognize their use during your everyday life: it is an eye-opening exercise, really worth trying.
If you are an easy mark for the pitches of peddlers and con men of one sort of another, or if you just want to know better how persuasion works, this book is unmissable.
Wonderful book, five stars, go have a copy and read it now!