Saturday, April 28, 2012

Influence: Science And Practice (5th Edition) By Robert B. Cialdini

Influence: Science and Practice (5th Edition)

Influence: Science And Practice (5th Edition) By Robert B. Cialdini

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Product Description

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request).


Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes." Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the reader of the power of persuasion.


Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1428 in Books
  • Published on: 2008-08-08
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .56" h x 6.08" w x 8.98" l, .81 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 272 pages
Editorial Reviews

Here's what people are saying about the material in INFLUENCE: Science and Practice:

"This marvelous book explains in clear, practical language the ways in which we become persuaded. It offers excellent insights for those who sell, but even more importantly for all of us who negotiate and buy." –ROGER FISHER, Director, Harvard Negotiation Project, Co-author of "Getting to Yes."

"For marketers, it is among the most important books written in the last 10 years." –JOURNAL OF MARKETING RESEARCH

"The best sales tip I ever got was encouragement to read INFLUENCE by Dr. Robert Cialdini. It was so profound and insightful, I read it three times in a row." –GREG RENKER, President, Guthy-Renker

"It would be marvelous reading for students taking Social Psychology." –DAVID MYERS, Hope College

"The book is tremendously entertaining and very popular with students. It makes excellent reading for a Consumer Behavior or Advertising class." –ALAN J. RESNIK, Portland State University

"INFLUENCE should be required reading for all business majors." –JOURNAL OF RETAILING

From the Back Cover

Over 1.5 million copies sold!

What factors cause someone to say yes? And which techniques most effectively use these factors to bring about such compliance? In his bestselling book, Robert Cialdini, former salesperson, fundraiser, and advertiser, and current professor of social psychology, examines the science and practice of persuasion and compliance. Praised for its enjoyable writing, practical suggestions, and scientifically documented content, prior editions have been widely read by business professionals, fundraisers, and those interested in psychology. The new edition includes:

•  twice as many first hand accounts of how the book's principles apply to business and personal lives;

•  updated coverage of popular culture and new technology; and

•  more on how compliance principles work in many cultures.


Here's what people are saying about INFLUENCE: Science and Practice:

"This marvelous book explains in clear, practical language the ways in which we become persuaded. It offers excellent insights for those who sell, but even more importantly for all of us who negotiate and buy."

–ROGER FISHER, Director, Harvard Negotiation Project, Co-author, Getting to Yes


"Bob Cialdini is the most brilliant student of influence and negotiation I've encountered. If everything were on the line in a negotiation, I can't think of anyone I'd rather have advising me."

–TOM PETERS, The Tom Peters Group


"This book is the de facto standard to learn the psychology of persuasion. If you don't read it, I hope you enjoy pounding your head against the wall and throwing away marketing dollars."



"His book should be in every sales and marketing person's briefcase and reread frequently."

–R. CRIAG WILSON, Sr. Vice President, Sales Manager, Northern Trust


Robert B. Cialdini is a well known and influential speaker who gives frequent speeches on The Power of Ethical Influence to such organizations as IBM, the Mayo Clinic, and NATO. He is currently Regents' Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, where he has also been named Graduate Distinguished Research Professor. He is past president of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. He attributes his longstanding interest in the intricacies of social influence to the fact that he was raised in an entirely Italian family, in a predominantly Polish neighborhood, in a historically German city (Milwaukee), in an otherwise rural state.

About the Author

Robert B. Cialdini is Regents' Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, where he has also been named W. P. Carey Distinguished Professor of Marketing.  He has taught at Stanford University and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.  He has been elected president of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.  He is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the Society for Consumer Psychology, the Donald T. Campbell Award for Distinguished Contributions to Social Psychology, and the (inaugural) Peitho Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science of Social Influence. 

            Dr. Cialdini attributes his interest in social influences to the fact that he was raised in an entirely Italian family, in a predominantly Polish neighborhood, in a historically German city (Milwaukee), in an otherwise rural state.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful.
5Great book with ideas that anyone can benefit from.
By Kevin
This was a great book. I come from a technical background, and as most people know engineers are horrible at influencing others. But this book taught me a lot of simple ideas that are applicable in helping to motivate others to my point of view and also how to recognize when others are using these techniques and how to defend against them.

The book has 6 different concepts and it goes into the psychology of each (at a high level), some examples of it, and a few testimonials from readers. It was a quick read and held my attention throughout.

As a side note, in case you are comparing editions. The "Influence Science and Practice" seems to be the most recent version. The "Influence psychology of persuasion" book looks like the same book with an earlier copyright. Skimming through the chapters of both they look like the exact same text, so you probably don't need both.

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful.
5Incredibly Influential, Powerful, and Useful!
By Fr. Charles Erlandson
"Influence" by Robert Cialdini is one of the most wonderful and influential books I've ever read! Other books have been written on the topic, but Cialdini's is the best and most influential of them all.

"Influence" deals with the study of persuasion, compliance, and change - a subject that has application for every area of life. Cialdini presents the latest research on influence in a compelling way, clearly stating the 6 principles of influence and providing wonderful illustrations of each principle from advertising, psychology and other fields. If we understood these 6 principles better, we would be less subject to manipulation from others (for example, the manipulation to buy things we don't need or to buy more than we need). We might, in turn, also be able to understand how to influence others for good.

The 6 principles of influence are:

1. The Rule of Reciprocation: "We should try to repay in kind what another person has provided us."

2. Commitment and Consistency: "Once we make a choice or take a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment."

3. Social Proof: "We determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct."

4. Liking: "We most prefer to say yes to the requests of people we know and like."

5. Authority - we have a deep-seated sense of duty to authority

6. Scarcity - something is more valuable when it is less available

I find that in my own life, these 6 principles are remarkably powerful and have the ability to explain a lot of the behavior I observe as a father, teacher, and priest. We would all benefit from memorizing and mastering these six principles. They are simple but extremely powerful. My daughter read this book when she was 14 or 15, and I had to wrestle with her to get it back because she loved it so much! I only hope she doesn't begin using the principles against me!

One of the best parts of the book is the wonderful examples of each principle that Cialdini provides. An experiment to demonstrate the principle of authority, conducted by Stanley Milgram, is the classic example. In this experiment, two volunteers show up to help with an experiment, purportedly to test the effect of punishment on learning and memory. A researcher in a lab coat with a clipboard explains the experiment to the volunteers and that one is to take the role of the Teacher, who will administer increasingly higher levels of electric shock to the other volunteer, the Learner. Every time the Learner got a question incorrect, the Teacher was to administer a higher level of shock. However, the real experiment was to test how willing the Teacher was to administer pain to the innocent Learner, who was not really another volunteer but an actor pretending to be in increasing stages of pain. The results shocked everyone, for Milgram discovered that about two-thirds of the subjects were willing to administer the highest level of electric shock. The reason? Their deep-seated duty to authority.

Influence is filled with many such fascinating and useful examples of how our lives are influenced by others. I highly recommend the book to all readers, for influence is something common to us all, for good or for evil.

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful.
5Each edition sells
By Tony DeFrancisco
Isn't it amazing how each new edition of this great book sells even better than the previous one? And it does so for for one reason, the information works.

"Influence" by Robert Cialdini teaches us the basics of how people are influenced. It breaks influence into six key factors:
1. Reciprocation
2. Consistency and Commitment
3. Social Proof
4. Authority
5. Liking (the person who is trying to influence us)
6. Scarcity

Each of the above points is detailed in a chapter. Academic studies and examples are given in a very engaging fashion. Some of the studies are for the birds. For example, mother turkeys, who are known to be caring parents (as far as birds go), tend to respond only to the "cheep-cheep" sound of their chicks.

Hearing the cheep-cheep, the mother turkey coddles and cares for the young turkey chick. It is a short-cut response that nature has given turkeys to know how to behave. It tends to work well in nature. But, tricky scientists recorded the cheep-cheep sound and placed the recording into a stuffed Polecat, the natural enemy of the turkey, and found that the mother turkeys adopted the stuffed polecat. Coddled it and cared for it.

That was quite amazing, as the usual response of a mother turkey to a stuffed Polecat without the cheep-cheep recording is an outright assault on the Polecat. This reflexive behavior tends to work most of the time, but sometimes is inappropriate. The mother turkey is responding in what Cialdini refers to as a "click, whir" method. Once some reactor sets off a signal (click), the mother turkey plays its own internal tape (whir) which signifies the appropriate response.

Only, sometimes, the response is not appropriate. And, some predators have learned the mimic strategy to trick their prey. Now, this may be useful if your goal is to be adopted by a turkey (or maybe its something that could protect you from a wild turkey attack!), you say, but how does this apply to me?

The answer is that people themselves have "click, whir" behavior. Because people wish to avoid the work of making decisions, they have internal tapes they run which tell them how to respond under various conditions. Most of the time our internal tapes are appropriate. But, sometimes, they are not. And some human predators have learned to exploit our "click, whir" behavior. Often, these predators come in the form of salespeople.

Cialdini discusses how to say "No" to each of these six influence factors by being aware of how influence works and reading your internal gut feeling.

This book is excellent reading for anyone who wants to learn how to influence others. Job hunters, managers, and marketers will benefit from reading this book. Although I do not suggest you try to use this knowledge in a devious way, knowing how to approach asking for a request is useful. Investors can benefit also.

For example, "social proof" states that we often look to others to determine what is correct behavior in a situation. We most look to others to deem what is correct in times of uncertainty. This can lead to "pluralistic ignorance." Everyone is assuming that the other guy knows what he is doing and we follow. Manias and gross overvaluation of publicly-traded stocks come to mind. And, this is why publishers of bestselling books are quick to point out "Over 1 million copies sold!" on their book covers. One million readers can't be wrong, can they?

In an attempt to avoid the hard work of thinking, we follow the herd off the cliff, blindly assuming where everyone else is going must be safe. As stated in "Influence" 95% of people are followers and only 5% of people are leaders.

Often, we are most likely to follow "experts." This is the authority factor above. We tend to believe and follow anyone who we assume is an expert. However, following experts can also lead to problems.

"Influence" points out that about 10% of medication administered by hospitals may be in error. This is a serious problem and can obviously lead to death.

Why is it that hospitals have such a problem with errors in medication? Despite the training and knowledge of R.N.'s, they tend to unquestioningly follow the instructions of the doctors. Even if the instructions don't make sense.

Cialdini tells the story of a man who complained of an earache. He had an ear infection and the doctor prescribed eardrops for him. On the prescription, the doctor wrote, "Place drops in R ear." As the doctor was in a hurry, he abbreviated "Right" with R.

Sure enough, the trained nurse obediently followed the instructions and placed the required number of drops in the patient's anus. Neither the patient nor the nurse questioned the instructions, as they came from an authority.

Cialdini's website also has great information. I couldn't stop reading. I learned that the brain waves of most people engaged in difficult thinking mirrors the brain activity of having your hand thrust in ice-cold water.

Even if you never feel the need to be adopted by a mother turkey, maybe Cialdini's "Influence" will keep eardrops out of your anus, help keep you from buying things you later regret, and help you understand how influence works. I highly recommend this book.


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