Summary of Influence - by Robert Cialdini - The Psychology of Persuasion Revised Edition - A Comprehensive Summary
Publisher: Ben Business Group LLC
Summary of Influence
Influence, a classic book, written by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, explains the psychology of persuasion. Though this book focuses on the persuasion tactics of marketing and sales organizations, the principles it puts forth apply to all persuasion situations. Influence tries to explain the psychology of why people say “yes” and gives practical guidelines on how to apply these findings in daily life situations.
Dr. Cialdini received his graduate and postgraduate training from the University of North Carolina and Columbia University. He is considered to be one of the top experts in the field of the study of influence and persuasion. This book is a result of his thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research. He even did a three-year long experiment in which he took on several roles to test his theories. His motivation for studying this behavior was that he had gotten tired of being taken advantage of everywhere he went. He wanted to know why he, a reasonably intelligent man, was so susceptible to sales pressures. He presents his ideas asking his readers to “learn what people are doing to try to exploit you so you won’t fall for it.”
Dr. Cialdini relies on two main sources for his conclusions: social experiments and advice from compliance professionals. As a researcher, he used the participant observer approach and participated in the activity he wished to observe – as a potential employee or trainee. Drawing from his extensive research in the field of social psychology, this book explores six “rules of thumb,” or principles, of persuasion. Although there are thousands of different tactics that compliance practitioners employ to produce an affirmative response, according to Cialdini, the majority fall within six basic categories which he terms “weapons of influence.” Each of these categories is governed by a fundamental psychological principle that directs human behavior and forms the basis of a chapter in the book.
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