Robert Cialdini: Influence Book Review


Czech version of Cialdini’s Influence

Why have I decided for this book?
Robert Cialdini did an amazing job with his book – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, no wonder that it is a bestseller in many categories and knowledge from it is used in many departments. I have never been somehow into psychology, it is also because psychology often is a boring theory. But when psychology is combined with some of my favorite interests like e.g. sales, marketing or simply influencing people, so then I have to read that book. Also helps, that it isn’t written in a boring way like school-books, but there are also some tellings around main principles whether there are stories, comparisons for better understanding or author’s experiences from his past. And at the end of every chapter, you will get bonus how to resist the manipulations. This book influenced me so much, that now I think that every activity which happened is possible to explain in the psychological aspect. I don’t often agree with simple explanations of other people and I am trying to find something more behind it. Thanks to this, now I am a better observer, that means that I am noticing more things around me and if they really preoccupy me, I always try to explain why it is so.

I have to say that this book gave me a lot of thoughts for my work and I deeply believe my blog will use them in the future.

What can you expect in the book?
Ok, some words about the book’s content.
In the beginning, author is going to familiarize us with a simple principle of influencing turkey’s behavior, then he adds “Click, whirr” principle thanks to which is influenced behavior of all animals(also people). Although, people’s behavior isn’t easy to influence as it is in the case of the turkey, but we oftentimes find out that we didn’t reach outcome which we expected and we realize, we had been manipulated. I am going to briefly write something about each chapter to make you looking forward to the content of each chapter.

The first part of the chapter is written about how many organizations use reciprocity for manipulating. They are trying to create an impression that you are owed to them so that they will do something for them or give them. And then they will request from them some favor. Also, you will find here explanation why we let ourselves to being manipulated in this way.
The second part is written about how salesmen are able to manipulate us into the buying something what we actually don’t want and that is thanks to the concessions. Thus, firstly I will submit a more expensive offer and after that the cheaper offer. Subsequently, the buyer is manipulated and will take the cheaper offer though he would normally refuse it. You don’t have to use this principle only in the case of money, but also for favors from others.

2.Commitment and Consistency
We can be easily manipulated by that someone indirectly force us to proclaim any statement or attitude to something. And those, who “violate” own statement, are oftentimes perceived in the eyes of others as uncertain or without an opinion. Therefore, we are mostly doing things we don’t want because of our statements, whether on the paper, publicly or both.

3.Social Proof
If we are uncertain about anything, we always decide based on the people around us. Simply, we consider it more correctly. And the more people consider it more correctly, so much more is the thought more correct for us(notice how this is related to the “influence of majority” about which I was writing). This principle is even stronger when we are around people, who have something common with us, especially an age. And finally, understanding of this principle may help you save your life(I am not kidding).
We are more willing to grant and of course we prefer people who are physically attractive, similar or are rewarding us with compliments. In this chapter, you are going to read how to force groups of people to collaborate or even hate each other, and it also explains very good sports fanaticism. And we prefer people who are fighting for us or are on our side, but it can be also used against us.


Another picture of the book translated by Jan Melvil Publishing.

Authorities have a big impact on us. We believe them because they have more information and know what they do. But this can be also used against us. Based on the symbols we decide whether the person is an authority or not. These symbols can be e.g. titles, clothes or trappings.

One of the most used manipulation is a scarcity of something. Salesman induces pressure on us to make a fast decision to buy a product, otherwise we will lose it. That’s why we are more motivated by losing money than get the same amount of money. Scarcity is also related to freedom and here author explains the causes of revolutions or why 2-years old kids and teenagers defy either the authorities or generally the others. And in the end, Cialdini describes how competition because of scarcity causes between customers unusual behavior.

After reading the book I notice that I am also often manipulated, but I am often that manipulator too though I am not realizing it. At the end, I will say it is really difficult to resist manipulations every time, we should have to think about every situation and that’s almost impossible, we are many times in the mode, when we don’t think about current situation.

If you liked Cialdini’s Influence book review and you are interested in this book, you can buy it here:

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