Wednesday, July 09, 2014


I have just finished reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasionby Dr. Robert Cialdini. I picked up this book after hearing it talked about on Radio 4 a good read picked by Daniel Finkelstein, Associate Editor, columnist and leader writer for The Times, was also an adviser to John Major and William Hague.

In Influence Cialdini writes about the power of persuasion. Using examples drawn both from his own life and psychological studies he examines some common themes which lead us to be manipulated (or to manipulate). Each chapter is about a particular method including;
  • Reciprocation
  • Commitment
  • Social Proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity 
Each method is a unique example of how people in groups or as individuals react in certain circumstances. He gives specific example of how marketeers use this tactics, sometimes they do so even sub consciously to make us buy, buy more or give references. He also tells us how we can realise when specific methods are being used on us and to say no. I find it quite hard going their are a lot of psychological terms. It was however incredibly rewarding illustrating perfectly moments I have exactly felt. The chapter on commitment and consistency was particularly interesting to me as I have certainly been taken in. Hoisted by my own words by a clever salesman, getting me to commit and have my own words used against me, so much so I felt like I could not back out of the sale.

I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in marketing, or wow has ever felt powerless to salesmen or charity people.

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