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BOOK REVIEW Influence: The Pyschology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

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Ernman

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Still working my way through this book but, OMG! To learn why compliance pros have had their way with me all these years is scary. It's fascinating to have this explained based on scientific study and understanding. If I only remember a quarter of this - and put it to work on offense or defensive - it will easily make the purchase price worth it. (is that too many "it" in one sentence?)
 

dknise

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

Format:
Audible

Read it.
Then go read Presuasion.
Then go read Yes!

Bonus points for reading Win Bigly by Scott Adams
 

luniac

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars
:star::star::star::xx: :xx:

Format:
kindle

My thoughts/review:
The book was chore to read. It seriously needs editing to tighten up the chapters. I had to come back to this book several times to finally whittle it down and finish it. It was with a breath of fresh air when i realized that with 50 pages left, the rest was just the bibliography.

It was basically study/story after study/story with footnotes for study references that i HOPE were accurately interpreted by the author.

So basically there's automatic ways in which we sometimes make decisions which are regularly being exploited by nefarious people and organizations.

Like how if a certain bird species hears "cheep cheep" sound that a baby would make, it will trigger an automatic nurturing reactions, even if the source of the sound is an inanimate object.

or how fishermen throw some feed in the water for fish to start fighting over, and then throw empty hooks into the water, and the fish bite on them anyway because they're going crazy fighting over the limited food.

Some things are obvious like how quickly we trust an image of authority, whether its someones Title or Clothing.

Some other things are a bit more hidden, like our urge to reciprocate gifts and be consistent with our past choices when deciding on future choices.

There was some interesting stories, and that's where the book was most engaging.

Regarding protecting yourself though, although the author has somewhat different suggestions for the different automatic ways we falter, it all boils down to slowing down and paying attention.

Basically if you rush through life, you're gonna start automating more and more of your decisions, and that's where you risk getting exploited without realizing it until later.

The author tries to make this whole thing feel like a dilemma, that life is inevitably getting faster and more complicated and that we have to find a balance between constant awareness and going with the flow of automatic decisions.

I personally disagree, screw this pressure to speed up more and more. In my opinion, slowing life down is the way to go, leading to good health and apparently reducing the chance to be swindled lol

Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
The chapter on reciprocation because it had a cool story about Hare Krishna tactics at airports.
They would stop you and hand u a flower as a "gift", and not let u give it back.
This causes an irresistible urge to reciprocate and so most people give a donation.
Afterwards they throw the flower out into the first trash can they see.
Finally after running out of flowers, a Hare Krishna member going to the garbage can and retrieves all the thrown out flowers to start the process again! LOL

There's another cool story about a cult.
Basically there was a small cult that was infiltrated by researchers and documented from the inside.
So this cult was super secretive and declared that on some day will be a huge flood to kill everyone and that 2 weeks before that an alien god will come take away the cult members at midnight.
All this knowledge came spontaneously to the female leader who wrote it down.

When midnight came and nothing happened, people started slowly slowly freaking out. People were in panic and self denial, especially those who sold all their possessions and got fired form their jobs, etc

at about 4AM, the cult leader spontaneously started writing again, saying that the alien decided the flood wont happen because their faith was strong or something LOL
immediately the cult members tried to aggressively recruit more members, a sharp 180 degree change from their previous policy. Unfortunately for them, noone drank the coolaid and so their cult collapsed fast.

There was some psycological explanation for this behavior change that i dont remember lol, but its a cool story.

I also learned about how car salesmen lowball people effectively. So they say a car costs 400 bucks under current average price, so the customer is eager and commits to the purchase.
Then later the salesman "realizes" or "discovers" a "mix up" and the real price is basically 400 bucks more, but he tells the customer "well its the car u wanted anyway right".
This really makes it psychologically hard for the customer to say no cause he felt commited.

Here's another cool story about a car selling hustler. This dude would buy a car for cheap, clean it up a bit, and would put up an ad. he would schedule all potential buyers to come visit at the same time.

So the first person to show up behaves as a typical buyer by checkin out the car and negotiating the price. but as soon as the second customer shows up, all of a sudden the first buyer feels a scarcity mindset and and a sense of competition!
Then when the third customer shows up its even more pressure. Even if the first guy leaves, the second dude is super likely to buy the car cause it feels like he won something precious lol.


Anyways there's many more stories and anecdotes in this book. Im starting to see the formula for these mainstream books. Atomic habits had the same approach, cite some studies here and there and fill the book with stories.
That shit is easy to do, i can write a book myself like that LOL

Key takeaways:
  1. if u rush through life, u gonna start behaving more automatically to triggers like an animal.
  2. Paying attention is the antidote to most tricks.

Looking forward to the next first Non Mainstream book we'll read.
 

Chng

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
:star::star::star::star::xx:
Format:
Paperback
My thoughts/review:
I read this book a few years ago in high school and thought it was a very mind-blowing read. The thought that people could be manipulated so easily surprised me. However, after reading it a second time now 4 years later, I found the ideas in the book seem to be the same ones described in other books, just repackaged with some different anecdotes. This does not diminish the importance of the ideas presented, but after reading some marketing books like Breakthrough Advertising and Tested Advertising Methods, I feel that there are other books that better show these principles in action and how you can apply them (rather than defend against them as Cialdini intends with his book). If you don't have the time to finish reading this book, you could just read the titles of the 6 chapters and basically get the gist off all the information without the longwinded discussion.
  1. Reciprocity- People return favors and concessions.
  2. Commitment/Consistency- We value people who are consistent with their values and we expect people to commit when they say so.
  3. Social Proof- Fancy way of saying that we value people, products, and ideas more if more people value it.
  4. Authority- We tend to outsource our decision making to authority figures, even people who are only faking it(ex: using a title or donning a costume).
  5. Liking- People do thing for people they like (One example that really struck me though was that a car salesman was able to get more customers to buy his cars because he sent them greeting cards in the male. Wow. Liking is powerful stuff)
  6. Scarcity- People value things that are scarce (Plate-spinning, gold prices, deadlines). Also ties into the idea of losing something or missing out on something.
Favorite Chapters:
2. Commitment/ Consistency:
We will go to great lengths to be consistent with our view of ourselves. So much that we feel pain from attacks against our egos and cognitive dissonance. And so great is that pain that we will do a lot to avoid it even if it disadvantageous to us. One striking example is when people decide to support a charitable cause by signing a petition or responding to survey, they change their perception of themselves to be more charitable. So strong is their newfound image of themselves, that they could be convinced have a huge ugly billboard posted in front of their house to spread awareness for an UNRELATED cause. Crazy. Another trick that I found especially crafty is asking how the person is doing before going on to main objective for the conversation. Most people will respond with something along the lines of "I'm doing well" and by doing so they view themselves as a more empathetic and agreeable person. After all, I'm feeling well, so I'd feel bad if I just ignore this person's request. It astounds me how effective it is because we say it out of habit.(NOTE: Does not work if you say I hope you're feeling well. The person must admit it to himself by saying it himself)

4. Authority:
We differ to authority a lot. We let them do a lot of our decision-making without fact checking because it is much easier to let them handle the difficult thinking. You can see that with the electric shock experiment conducted where test subjects followed orders by a researcher to continue shocking another person even past "dangerous" levels as the person was screaming in pain.

But what really got me thinking is more about dressing in the guise of authority. Specifically fashion brands. We know that the doctor's white coat, the police officers blue uniform, and the businessman's crisp business suit all evoke authority that us commonfolks respond to subconsciously and that conmen take advantage of. That's important stuff, but nothing you'd be able to surmise on your own.

But what about brands and authority. I'm talking about people wearing adidas or supreme. People have become breathing advertisements of these brands which give a sort of guise of authority and credibility. Moreover, Cialdini also reported in his book that we respond more favorably to people dressed the same as us, so adidas bros will see other adidas bros as more authoritative and credible. I initially wanted to invest in a better fashion sense (like streetwear), but now I'm having second thoughts. Do I really want to be a posterboard for a brand? Even if everybody thinks it is more authoritative? Maybe, I should stop giving a f*ck and rock boardshorts and flip flops like MJ. :playful:

Key Takeaways:
This book is definitely an interesting read, but I feel that there are many more books that are better in regards to applying the ideas. Some of the ideas are obvious and others just same stuff you read in many other sources like PUA and marketting just repackaged.

Overall, I would like some more recommendations for books to read.
 
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luniac

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suggesting this book for the list:
51UwoCnZnuL.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AYEYFQG/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20
 

MJ DeMarco

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Any more reviews before we move on to another book?
 

Whiterose

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
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Format: eBook

My thoughts/review:
Very good and useful book.
It opens your eyes to simple manipulations you've seen and most likely experienced yourself many times but wasn't aware of. I recommend it to anyone who takes care of himself/herself because this book is going to expand your horizons and change your viewpoints in many matters.

Favorite chapter:
Every one of them is special and every one explains different concepts which most of the people (including me) took for granted and never gave a second thought before reading this book. They pretty much differ from each other, but every chapter has it's takeaways and I strongly encourage everyone to read them all!

Instead of a favorite chapter I'll give you 2 stories from this book which I remember frequently:

1. (Expensive = good is not always the case):
Dr. Cialdini tells us of a jewel store who was only able to sell unsold merchandise when they doubled the price by mistake instead of halving them.

2. (Sometimes not questioning the authority can lead to a catastrophe or in this case it can have thousands of people laughing over):
A typical authority figure is a doctor. A doctor left a note for the nurse on how to cure a patient's ear infection. A right ear infection, to be precise. The note said to administer the ear drops in abbreviated form. Such as: "Place in R ear." The nurse administered the ear drops in the anus. Neither she nor the patient said anything.

Key takeaways:
  1. "It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end." - Leonardo da Vinci

    There are many more takeaways but many were mentioned in the previous reviews.
 
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Walter Hay

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1. (Expensive = good is not always the case):
Dr. Cialdini tells us of a jewel store who was only able to sell unsold merchandise when they doubled the price by mistake instead of halving them.
This is not a book review, but I wanted to reinforce this point made by @Whiterose.

My billionaire friend, a very successful businessman who made his fortune largely as a result of his sales skills, decided to sell his Rolls Royce. He was sick of having it vandalized by envious no-hopers when he parked it in a public place.

Being a super salesman, he advertised it himself, seeing no good reason to pay the dealer for doing what should be a breeze for him.

Wanting to be rid of it, he advertised a very low price. No takers.

He reduced the price by $5,000. Still no takers.

After reducing it yet again without success, he handed it over to his Rolls Royce dealer, who sold it quickly. They added a huge amount on to his original price, and that higher price was what sold it.

Walter
 
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Manfern

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Very old book, scientific writing and aim for clueless people who've been taken advantage of, so I think it's better books out there for sure:)

This is not a book review, but I wanted to reinforce this point made by @Whiterose.

My billionaire friend, a very successful businessman who made his fortune largely as a result of his sales skills, decided to sell his Rolls Royce. He was sick of having it vandalized by envious no-hopers when he parked it in a public place.

Being a super salesman, he advertised it himself, seeing no good reason to pay the dealer for doing what should be a breeze for him.

Wanting to be rid of it, he advertised a very low price. No takers.

He reduced the price by $5,000. Still no takers.

After reducing it yet again without success, he handed it over to his Rolls Royce dealer, who sold it quickly. They added a huge amount on to his original price, and that higher price was what sold it.

Walter
I think price makes it stand out, when you are looking at products with same price it's hard to choose,
on other hand when price higher it's grabs attention fast and person get curious why is that - it should be because of higher value, so it will be more useful. This is more about information and books.

With luxurious items it's more about prestige and status, so item can't be cheap.
 

Walter Hay

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Very old book, scientific writing and aim for clueless people who've been taken advantage of, so I think it's better books out there for sure:)


I think price makes it stand out, when you are looking at products with same price it's hard to choose,
on other hand when price higher it's grabs attention fast and person get curious why is that - it should be because of higher value, so it will be more useful. This is more about information and books.

With luxurious items it's more about prestige and status, so item can't be cheap.
In my Labels That Exploit book I include the story of a perfume being launched during the Great Depression. It was priced at an insanely high amount and it sold very fast to wealthy women who wanted to display it in their bathrooms so that their dinner guests would see it on their visits to the bathroom.

The packaging was bland, but the extremely high price paid shouted: "I am RICH", when countless millions were starving.

Walter
 

Makko

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Awesome reviews! Have this book but never got to reading it.

There are so many books out there it can be overwhelming which ones are actually practical for whatever business we are in.
 

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