Short Book Summaries

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion | Robert B. Cialdini

There are six principles of persuasion. One should give before asking because we are wired for reciprocity and will feel obligated to return sacrifice. An exaggerated, anchoring price option (not outlandish) will allow for a series of reciprocal concessions to a final price. When something is in scarcity, we want it more. Be wary of trivial requests (the foot-in-the-door technique) as they can shape our self-image and lead to compliance as we form new self-images to act with consistency by adhering to them. Social proof is powerful. We value consensus. The more people who believe an idea is correct, the more correct that idea will be. Cooperation, familiarity and repeated contact, when associated with pleasantness, leads to liking. We have very positive reactions to compliments, making us susceptible to authority. We live by shortcuts (we want the most for least, we are loss averse) that can be exploited by these methods of persuasion and Cialdini calls for us to be suspicious of “those individuals who falsify, counterfeit, or misrepresent the evidence that naturally cues our shortcut responses.”

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