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BOOK REVIEW Influence: The Pyschology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

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MJ DeMarco

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INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION BY ROBERT CIALDINI

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PLEASE USE THIS REVIEW FORMAT!

My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars
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Format:
Audible

My thoughts/review:
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Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Key takeaways:
  1. Key takeaway #1
  2. Key takeaway #2
  3. Key takeaway #3
  4. Key takeaway #4
 

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Frank H.

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I am looking forward to reading this book! I studied psychology for my undergraduate studies and counseling for my Master's degree. This book should reinforce some important concepts and assist me with honing my skills. I feel that some of the other fields neglect soft sciences and this could assist me with competing against my business rivals. Looking forward to the perspectives of other community members on here.
 

wordwarrior

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One of my favourite books ever. Cialdini is a master at his craft. What's really interesting is that the author intended for his book to be a *defence* against untoward unethical persuasion tactics and ended up becoming an indispensable asset for *ethical* persuaders.
 

JohnBuffet

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Incredible book! I read it a few years ago, but definitely worth buying. Cialdini talks about a variety of ways regular people, salesmen, marketers, scam artists, etc persuade people and the specific ways in which they do so.

I like how he discusses many specific case studies that show how people respond to a certain situation or stimulus. I learned a lot from these case studies. For example, he discuses a scenario where if you are at the beach and you go into the water and leave your wallet and belongings you are X percent more likely to get your stuff stolen. That is, if you don't ask the person/people next to you to watch over your things. And if you do ask the person/people next to you to watch your belonging they are more likely to feel a responsibility to do something if a robber comes up to your belongings. Cool stuff!
 

River McTasney

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I read the book during my fifth year at college. No going to lie it was a little much for my crazy brain especially during school. It is extremely important knowledge though. I know this has nothing to do with business but probably could be related - I always wondered why they didn’t report to campus on how current students died, until I read this book. Just goes to show how much most of us don’t know about our own psychology and what really backs our decision making.

Also reading this book provides you with a great defense against the Dark Arts of MLM. Ha!
 

Olimac21

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Incredible book, it would be interesting to see how this book changed the way you do business. For example I recognize I read it a long time ago and it served more as a personal/ anti marketing awareness rather than using it as a tool to get things done (both in business and relationships).
 

TreyAllDay

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
:star::star::star::star: :star:

Format:
Paperback

My thoughts/review:
Read this book years ago. Honestly, the principles in this book are crucial to every part of life AND SO important to know because they are always at work whether we know it or not. It applies to how you talk to your spouse and friends, how you design a web page, how you talk about your product, etc. I've read this book at least 3 or 4 times to really nail down the principles.

Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
all of it

Key takeaways:
  1. People's brains selectively filter things all day long and there are ways to influence people subconsciously by changing up the way you present them with information. If you learn these, you can master your relationships with people.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
 

Olimac21

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
I did not find difficult per se, however the examples of the principles sometimes felt a bit repetitive and you start getting used to the AHA moments. For people who are reading it for the first time you also have to consider this book was written in the 80s so was very revolutionary to see the effects of reciprocity, liking or authority when it comes to persuasion while right now if you have read marketing/sales books you have probably heard about those concepts indirectly.
 

River McTasney

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
Like I said in my last post, I read it during my 5th year at college. I’m also far from a grade A student. I got super into but I think a lot so at the time it kind of messed with my head. I think this might have been because I didn’t have something to directly apply the learned knowledge to. To answer your question, I didn’t think it was a hard read. I’m reading his next book Pre-Suasion right now.
 

wordwarrior

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
TBH, it took me a while to get through this book, and I'd put it down for months at a time before picking it up again. This was back when I was just starting to expand my interests beyond IT. Getting through it helped me to look at the world from an entirely different perspective.
 

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Adam VanBuskirk

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I read this book about a month ago. I really enjoyed it and think the author's insight was fantastic, but it was more entertainment than learning for me. Some I already knew, much I didn't, and I could see why sales people would love it. I don't do direct sales though. Of course, the tips do also translate for writing sales copy or list sign ups.
 

luniac

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The influence book has been solid so far, im only 30 pages in.
Lots of interesting stories and food for thought.

made me think already, chapter 2 is about reciprocity.
People immorally take advantage of our hardwired social inbuilt feeling of reciprocity to favors.
Lots of examples like Hare Krishna Cultists forcing you to accept a flower and eliciting a donation. Then when they run out of flowers, one person goes to the garbage cans to collect all the thrown out flowers to reuse!!!
Gifts in the mail for various charities, Amway salepeople giving samples to keep for a day and use freely. Food samples at stores.
All these things trigger a primal response to reciprocate.

I'm thinkin about how would i use this knowledge in a non exploitative way, but that seems like an oxymoron.

I think the intent is what matters. I can tell a woman she's attractive not ONLY because i wanna get in her pants, but because it feels good to say something nice to her as well lol
Its a win win that way.

How many people can say they did something for someone without TRULY expecting anything in return. That's strength of character.
 
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LinorCG

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The book has been in my Kindle list for quite sometime now.

Thanks for the reviews I'll start reading and share my inputs.
 

Olimac21

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I read this book about a month ago. I really enjoyed it and think the author's insight was fantastic, but it was more entertainment than learning for me. Some I already knew, much I didn't, and I could see why sales people would love it. I don't do direct sales though. Of course, the tips do also translate for writing sales copy or list sign ups.
You can apply influence and sales to everything you do though. I like asking myself " how this information relates to my current challenges" when I am reading something that is not obviously related to my reality.
 

GPM

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
I have read this book in print, ebook and listened on audible. It is far and away one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I found it to be an easy read.

The book even has amazing parenting advice. A full review from myself will be forthcoming
 

SquatchMan

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
I found it difficult too, but I muscled through and finished it because it came highly recommended. There is lots of value in the book.
 

Jakeeck

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Been reading it since I saw it at the top of this site.

One thing that really stood out to me is the part about how if you put an unattractive person next to an attractive person, that attractive person is perceived as more attractive than they actually are. Then it said something about how they showed them super attractive people and it lowered their perceived attractiveness of their partner.

Then I was thinking... damn. That's why social media is destroying everyone. Not only does it make people unhappy in their relationships, but this is why everyone is so unhappy with themselves. They see things way more attractive than what they have (looks, money, lifestyle, etc) and then they perceive what they have as worse than they did BEFORE they started peeking at that plastic Instagram model. They destroy their happiness by subconsciously comparing themselves to others' things.

And most are completely unaware of it. And even most people who are aware of it will still indulge in some social media thinking "I know I can't compare myself to others", but I think the damage is being done whether you acknowledge that or not.

Motivates me to stop looking at external sources and slowly build the life that I really want -- no outside influence.

Easier said than done :D
 

ApparentHorizon

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
:star::star::star::star: :star:

Format:
Kindle

My thoughts/review:
This book is a landing page outline. Look all around you. Social proof, authority, scarcity...

While many psychology studies today are lacking in credibility or even accurate data. Cialdini has sifted through the garbage and brought us modern online marketing.

Probably the most striking revelation is how we're all influenced by these tactics on a daily basis. Even when we can point them out while we're reading a sales pitch.

Jordan Belfort, and I'm not putting these 2 in the same bucket, had a interesting line. Paraphrasing: "When someone hits all of the points in their sales pitch. I just have to buy. I'm the easiest sell, it's the darnedest thing."

On the flip side it exposes people who try to manipulate you. Often coming off robotic and disingenuous. Have you ever had someone try to touch your shoulder or hand you a piece of chocolate, when neither of you see eye to eye?

Least favorite section:
I read Influence long ago, so I may be remembering this from Pre-Suasion (which is a great follow up read).

In an interview, he addresses possible critics saying, "Isn't this book just teaching people how to manipulate others?" To which he replied, "It's actually giving people the tools they need to spot bad actors, and to not get taken advantage of."

Something was off in the way he said it.

Similar to a Susan Orman interview I heard long ago. When asked, "Don't most people lose money in the stock market?" She comes back with, "It's possible that everyone makes money, because you can buy a stock and you sell it when it goes up. Then someone else buys it, and it can go up for them too." Which is a skewed version of reality, since most people sell at a loss.

Conclusion:
While it's packed with multiple tactics you can employ. The mark of a good book isn't to give you a step by step guide to an end goal. Rather to open up your mind, and help you connect the world around you.

Key takeaways:
  1. Commitment and Consistency. You can hack your own brain to become who you want to, by labeling yourself. A fake it till you make it, without the flashy lambo instagram nonsense.
  2. Give stuff away. This one is tricky for most people since they usually expect something in return.
  3. Protect yourself against bad actors
 

lludwig

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5/5 stars.

The internet marketers go-to book.

A must-read book for anyone who does marketing.

More than likely at least one of the techniques was used on you when buying something.
 

JohnCee

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
I found it easy (and engaging). This is one of the best books out there on business/marketing/social psychology. I'm thinking I'll revisit it when I finish Unscripted.
 

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ADayattheRoxbury

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INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION BY ROBERT CIALDINI
I've read parts of it and used some of the methods in my moments that I'm not exactly proud of in my younger years (used to think I was a pick-up idiot.) but the methods did work. Going to go find it and give the pages a twirl!
 

MetalGear

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
:star::star::star::star::star:

Format:
Audible, Kindle, and Book

My thoughts/review:
I read this book years ago and it is a timeless classic in the sales, marketing, and psychology section of my bookshelf.

The concepts that Dr. Cialdini share are powerful. However, my one big realization after reading this ten years ago is that if a person or organization "engineers" and uses these principles in an overly contrived way, they become counterproductive.

Seth Godin covered this well in his book All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World. The concepts combined with authenticity are infinitely powerful.

Besides using these tools and techniques as a means of marketing, savvy entrepreneurs can make better decisions by stepping outside of themselves to spot their own cognitive biases. Be careful with paralysis analysis though...hah.


Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
Chapter 4 - Social Proof
Chapter 7 - Scarcity

Key takeaways:
  1. Scarcity - "The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost." - G.K. Chesterton
  2. Social Proof - "Where all think alike, no one thinks very much." - Walter Lippmann
  3. Commitment and Consistency can be positive or negative
    1. Trusting the process vs continuing down a bad path via sunk cost fallacy
 

Mircea Toma

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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars
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Format:
Paperback (in my native language, maybe this is why I rate it 4 out of 5)

My thoughts/review:
A really good book that introduces you into the world of persuasion and offers you a perspective into how famous charismatic leaders succeeded in manipulating their crowds into their favor. The book also gives you some advice and tools on how to persuade people. I really recommend it for entrepreneurs and maybe for everyone who would love to interact with humans on a deeper level.

I picked it up because I find myself as a timid person, and that always sucked on persuading people to do something. We always need to improve, right?

Favorite (or least favorite) chapter
:
I think this will be subjective. I find chapter 2, chapter 6 and 7 most appealing because I am weak into those domains of my life, or I lack the knowledge.

Key takeaways:
  1. "Making compliments to a person makes you more appealing"
  2. "People are more eager to do business or to buy something from someone who they like"
  3. "If many people believe an idea, it's clearly a real idea"
 

Walter Hay

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I hope the reading of this book helps forum members understand that manipulation of the emotions for financial gain has been going on for generations.

There would hardly be any moderate to large advertising agency that doesn't employ psychologists full time. Many large corporations do also, and some even employ psychiatrists.

If you are selling anything, whether goods or services, you need to understand marketing psychology.

Forget about the idea of listing the qualities and usefulness of your product or service by bullet points. Although they might be useful, they are rarely the triggers to buy. People are far more likely to buy as a result of their emotional response than as a result of the advertised virtues of the product.

When people are looking to buy something they pull a set of blinkers over their eyes, and only see what they want to see. Self deception is a common outcome.

The old cynic in me says "Give them what they want".

Walter
 

Ernman

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I think I tried reading this book several years ago and found the reading difficult, like Nassim Taleb or "Good to Great" by Collins. Maybe I'm mistaken... for those who read it, is it easy reading? I'd like to give it a try again.
Thank God for Audible. I've been listening to it during my hour and half drive every morning and evening. So far, I'm finding it very interesting and an easy listen. Just realized that leaving my job is going to put a real hurt on my reading plan.
 

Frank H.

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Same here! I enjoy listening to my audiobooks when commuting because I get to observe the beautiful scenery and surroundings. Sometimes I feel that the iPhone is a terrible invention, and other times I feel it is a $35k masterpiece (in 90s value). iPhones have a ton of value for their price if they are harnessed correctly and you put the right content in your feeds. By the way, what chapter are you on?
 

Ernman

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By the way, what chapter are you on?
Just started listening Monday, so not too far into the book yet. Just learned about offer and retreat...that sneaky Boy Scout. :)
 

Frank H.

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Yeah, whoever came up with that Boy Scout script is clever. I'm currently on Chapter Two, intending to finish the book soon. My favorite part in the book is when he talks about the "automatic tapes" that we have in our mind and are unaware of. Another interesting cognitive bias is that many people perceive expensive items as being good. Good listen so far.
 

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