Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion
By Robert Cialdini
This is a fascinating book to read, but with over 500 pages, it’s not for the meek or those who don’t have much time to read.
It has so many pages because it dives deep into each topic it covers.
Reading this book showed me just how easy it is to fall for persuasion tactics when we don’t even know it’s happening.
We say yes so often when we want to say no.
Reciprocity is the most used persuasion tactic, especially when someone offers you a free sample of something in a supermarket, and then asks you about buying one of their products. You feel obligated because they gave you something so you feel you have to do something in return. And they know this, which is why companies use this type of marketing more than any other.
Knowing about the different types of persuasion tactics is helpful so that you can avoid falling for them in life, and it shows you how you can use them in your own marketing.
Influence, isn’t about information, it’s about emotion and how they try and makes feel. Once you understand this, you can see it and not fall for it, which is a game-changer.
One type of marketing to look out for is fake reviews (but that doesn’t include this one, because it’s real). You can tell a fake review for these 3 reasons:
- Lack of detail. It gives more general praise instead of anything specific.
- It contains more first-person pronouns - I and me.
- It contains more verbs than nouns.
Genuine reviews are heavier on nouns.
There are 7 fundamental psychological principles that direct and manipulate human behaviour:
- Social Proof
Even gift giving is a type of manipulation. Marcel Mauss said it is “an obligation to give, and an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay.” It is the obligation to receive that makes the rule of reciprocity so easy to exploit, because if someone offers you something, you feel obligated to accept it.
Consistency is the drive to be and look consistent and is the driving force that often causes us to act in ways contrary to our own interests.
Inconsistency is seen as undesirable. People whose beliefs, words, and deeds don’t match, is considered confused, two faced, or mentally ill.
Commitment to a small decision causes commitment to a bigger decision. E.g., people who agree to sign a petition for a ‘good’ cause, will feel committed to giving a donation too.
There are so many other things I learned from this book. My biggest take-away, is that it’s okay to walk away and not feel obligated to anyone, because it’s okay not to be like them, to not like the same things, to not think they have any authority over me, and to not think I owe them anything.
Especially if it’s someone I don’t know. Like a marketer.
You can read more about Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion at Amazon.com
This review was written on 9th February 2023