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Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Paperback – Jul 15 1993

4.7 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews

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Paperback, Jul 15 1993
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; REV edition (July 15 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688128165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688128166
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 189 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #491,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Arguably the best book ever on what is increasingly becoming the science of persuasion. Whether you're a mere consumer or someone weaving the web of persuasion to urge others to buy or vote for your product, this is an essential book for understanding the psychological foundations of marketing. Recommended.


For markters, this book is among the most important books written in the last ten years. (Journal of Mariketing Research)

Influence should be required reading for all business majors. (Journal of Retailing)

This book will strike chords deep in the hearts and psyches of all of us. (Best Sellers Magazine)

The material in Cialdini’s Influence is a proverbial gold mine. (Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Nicholas TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Dec 13 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Attractive candidates in Canadian Federal elections have received 2.5 times as many votes as unattractive candidates, a fact that presumably makes Justin Trudeau rub his hands with glee. Better yet, despite such evidence, 73% of Canadians denied any possibility that physical attractiveness affects their votes. We don’t understand our own biases well, and they make a huge difference to our behaviour. That makes them fascinating and also extremely important.

Cialdini lists 6 factors that influence our behaviour: consistency, reciprocation, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity. These explain why we buy what we do, how we vote, how Chinese POW camps worked, why giving people electric shocks or hazing them to join a group makes them value the group more, how to fundraise, why we say we won, referring to a sports team, while they lost, why banning cleaning products containing phosphates increased how effect people believed them to be, and many, many, many other factors.

Influence has been on my list for a while, and I’ve only just gotten around to reading it. I shouldn’t have taken so long: I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s the best guide to behavioural economics I’ve read, written when behavioural economics wasn’t much more than a dream in the minds of people like Kahneman, Tversky, and Thaler. It’s fascinating and feels almost comprehensive in its discussion of the factors that influence our behaviour, and provides useful, insightful examples and commentary. My only complaint is that each section ends with a discussion of how to avoid the bias, and it does feel a bit out of date: using modern terminology, he basically just advises us to engage system 2 each time. Still, well worth the read, and definitely a classic.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
Why do you buy the things you do? This book shows you the ruthless tactics that marketers use to get you to buy their products. It was a real eye opener.
For example: I used to think that the toys stores were out of stock of their best toys during December, because of huge demand. Now I realize that they are doing this on purpose. Why? Because they know the kids won't forget about this toy and they will come back in January to buy it when they get it "back in stock". Meanwhile during the holiday season their parents have to buy them "something" so they make even more money. So when you see them advertising a new toy in November know that they won't have it in by December because they want to trick you.
Read about many more tricks they are using on you and how you can overcome them by reading this great book.
Zev Saftlas, Author of Motivation That Works: How to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated
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Great book, great research, well written - it is a must own for any compliance professional. If your in sales and you have not read this book buy it now, you will not go wrong. I first tried to avoid buying this book simply because there are so many summaries online, and a lecture by the author on the topic of Influence. However, after I bought this book I was pleased to read all the research put into it. You will enjoy this book!
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This book is primarily about how marketers and sales professional manipulate our minds for their benefits. The topics covered are extensive, including contrast principle, mimic tricks of photuris/blenny, rule for reciprocation, reciprocal concessions (rejection then retreat technique), consistency (willingness to believe in the correctness of a difficult choice, once made), foot in the door technique, committing power of public/written statements, manipulation and exploitation of customers' self image, principle of social proof (draw of the crowd vs pluralistic ignorance when people feel most uncertain and unfamiliar), effect of repeated contact on liking (condition dependent), application of common goals for conflict solving, good cop/bad cop ploy, conditioning and association, the strength of authority pressure, scarcity principle (limited freedom to something makes it more desirable), Romeo and Juliet effect, etc etc. What makes it so outstanding from it's kind is that 1) it's so well written with many vivid examples and few jargons that most readers with no or little psychology background can enjoy it much. 2)In the end of each chapter there's a section named "how to say no", something you seldom find in other psychology book. That's certainly a plus coz knowledge without application amounts to nothing.
In a word, a page turner and a must read particulary for everything in the city jungle.
Remarks: I like the opening adages of some chapters much. To quote some:
Chapter 3 Committment and Consistency: It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. Da Vinci

Chapter 4 Influence: Where all think alike, no one thinks very much. Lippmann

Chapter 5 Liking: The main work of a trial attorney is to make a jury like his client. Darrow

Chapter 7: The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. G.K. Chesterton
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