Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini

Here are my comments on the book:

When it comes to influencing others and becoming more persuasive, what are some tactics that you can employ? In this book Dr. Robert Cialdini, Regents’ Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, outlines several ways to become more influential. In each chapter on reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity, Cialdini addresses the power of these tactics and gives a plethora of anecdotes on their effectiveness. For a more comprehensive list on becoming more influential and persuasive, refer to Charlie Munger’s 25 cognitive biases. Points taken away from the book are:


1. People become more influential when they give a reason even if that reason doesn’t make much sense.A well-known principle of human behaviour says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what they do.


2. We don’t like to be indebted to others and therefore like to reciprocate when something has been given to us or done for us.The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. If a woman does us a favor, we should do her one in return; if a man sends us a birthday present, we should remember his birthday with a gift of our own; if a couple invites us to a party, we should be sure to invite them to one of ours.


3. Upon trying something new, roughly only 5% of people will be the initiators and the 95% will follow. This is where social proof is so effective; most people will follow those who took the plunge.[The principle of social proof] states that one means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behavior. We view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.


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4. We tend to like those more who are very similar to us. This is why mimicking body language and actions of those who we’re trying to influence/persuade is a way of increasing the chances of them liking us.FEW PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT, AS A RULE, we most prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and like. What might be startling to note, however, is that this simple rule is used in hundreds of ways by total strangers to get us to comply with their requests.


5. We unconsciously “know” that things that are less available to us are considered to be more valuable.I have begun to notice its influence over a whole range of my actions. For instance, I routinely will interrupt an interesting face-to-face conversation to answer the ring of an unknown caller. In such a situation, the caller has a compelling feature that my face-to-face partner does not: potential unavailability. If I don’t take the call, I might miss it (and the information it carries) for good. Never mind that the ongoing conversation may be highly engaging or important – much more than I could reasonably expect an average phone call to be. With each unanswered ring, the phone interaction becomes less retrievable. For that reason and for that moment, I want it more than the other.


By Ryan Lee


My rating:
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Check out the book here:
Amazon USA
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK


Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment below on a strategy or a tactic that you use to be more influential/persuasive! Please join my Facebook group here follow my Twitter here like the post, or share it.



  1. I agree with the sales technique!!! I will incorporate this advice when I market my business. Your way of stating this concept is very simple and clear. It can be applied to anything, because you made it easy to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback Gloria. The positive feedback that I receive from others is what fuels me to do what I do :).


  2. […] looking to become more influential or persuasive. However, I personally enjoyed his previous book Influence : The Psychology of Persuasion better as the persuasion strategies outlined in that book are more within your […]


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