Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini

Influence- The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence: Science and Practice is a psychology book that examines the key ways people can be influenced by “Compliance Professionals”. The book’s author, Robert B. Cialdini, Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, explains how the persuasion procedure works and presents the psychology of why people say “yes” and how to apply these understandings.

The main message of the book is that people tend to use “shortcuts” in behavior to make decisions, and scammers, advertisers, and salespeople often take advantage of this trait. Because the use of shortcuts is inevitable, we need to be alert to fully understand and protect ourselves against those tricks.

The book covers six principles of persuasion useful for sales, marketing, and negotiation. Professor Robert Cialdini says certain triggers can influence human decisions almost automatically. The six principles are reciprocity, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

The findings in the book are backed up by numerous empirical studies conducted in the fields of psychology, marketing, economics, anthropology, and social science. The author also worked undercover in many compliance fields such as car sales and door-to-door sales.

Useful Takeaways:

  • Reciprocity – We’re likely to return the favor when we receive something from others.
  • Consistency – Once we’ve committed to something, we usually conform to that commitment.
  • Social proof – We are heavily influenced by the actions of others.
  • Liking – We are more likely to comply with requests from people we like.
  • Authority – We are more likely to comply with requests from people in positions of authority.
  • Scarcity – We place a higher value on things that are scarce or limited in availability.

What I Liked

Everything – this is a must read business and life book for anyone. Even if you don’t plan on wielding influence, it is very useful to understand how influence works.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – great read.

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