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Publisher's Summary

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 listener 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.

©2001 Robert Cialdini (P)2012 Robert Cialdini

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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This book will change the way you see the world.

Would you listen to Influence again? Why?

Yes! The psychological features explored and exposed by Cialdini run far deeper than I first realized. While most of the material can trigger the "thats common sense I already knew that response", it becomes surreal when you start recognizing these features in yourself and your environment (part of the book even covers the "I already knew that" reaction)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Influence?

When social psychologist Leon Festinger infiltrated the "seekers" doomsday cult in the 1950's to observe their reactions when the world didn't end as predicted.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author describing how he himself succumbed to a very persuasive saleswoman.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was shocked to realize the same psychology that underpins why sitcom laugh tracks work is the same as what reinforces religious belief through proselytizing.

Any additional comments?

This book will seem benign and trivial to the faint of heart and mind..... to those with the courage to see the psychology in themselves first and then in others will.... "see the matrix". It runs a lot deeper than first glance affords.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Great content silly audio book errors

Great book. Odd avoidable errors with the editing, repeated content (wait they just read that) and "insert next CD (what???). Cheap publishing moves, corners cut.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Classical

I always wanted to read Robert Cialdini's Influence but my credits were short. Then, at an Audible's sale I saw the book and bought it. And I was glad I did. Despite the book being "old"- published in 1984, and many other books were based on its instructions, Influence is still fresh. Reciprocity, Commitment &Consistency, Social proof, Authority, Liking and Scarcity still work! And very well indeed. The narrator, Lloyd James, fits perfectly with the book.
Read or listen to this book, and thank Cialdini for this masterpiece.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Minor edit would be nice

The only thing that was annoying was the "continued on the next cd". A short edit would be nice when the recording was moved from a cd to the audible format.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Cheesy, dated and badly narrated - but fun

‘Influence’ has the feel of one of those awful self-help books teaching you how to win the rat race and get the better of all your colleagues at work. It reveals all the tricks that door-to-door salespeople and used car lot predators will use on you to persuade you to part with your money.

A good salesperson will use all the weapons in this armoury: Reciprocity, Commitment & Consistency, Social proof, Authority, Liking and Scarcity. When you hear the excellent (but dated) anecdotes about how these tricks are used in scam situations such as Tupperware Parties, you’ll recognise that you’ve probably succumbed to some of these yourself in the past. Although, I have to say, that some of them I would definitely have been wise to before this listen.

He discusses canned laughter: I’m sure anyone with half a brain finds canned laughter sickeningly intrusive and crass, and that this device does NOT make the programme funnier, and you’d probably feel it has the opposite effect. But apparently research shows that when people listen to episodes of the same show, randomised to be with or without the canned laughter track, they report that it was funnier with the canned laughter. Apparently, even though it is annoying, you just can’t help finding it funny because of the ‘social proof’ suggested by the laughter track.

This concept is also apparently responsible for the following disturbing phenomenon: After a high profile suicide appears in a major news story, there is commonly an increase in car and air crashes - and statistically these involve a higher rate of fatalities than usual. The answer? Apparently people who were on the verge of suicide hear about the high profile suicide and this ‘social proof’ persuades them that suicide is the right thing to do – and they go out and crash their vehicles in the most deadly way they can.

The book is full of tid-bits and pop psychology such as this. Its datedness makes it seem a bit comical at times. The narrator has a good ‘dramatic’ voice but his word emphasis is distractingly terrible and the phrase ‘please insert the next CD’ crops up every 30 minutes or so. But if you don’t get too hung up on these flaws then the book is a good entertaining listen.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Very insightful

I think for anyone that wants to learn sales and marketing, you should buy this immediately and promise yourself to read it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Critical info for life

Filled with critical information if you are in sales, marketing, or any kind of business, or just want to know why you buy things you don't think you want. Excellent narration too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Read book to learn how people can scam you

This book would stand out more if it was titled "How People Can Scam You." It is filled with useful information about tactics that manipulate you into agreeing to or buying something you normally wouldn't have if it weren't for the tactics. The author cites studies that demonstrated these tactics work. The author also provides dramatized stories so you can see how the tactics are applied in different situations. People are familiar with many of the advertisers' tactics, such as posing an attractive model next to a car or using celebrity spokespersons to promote their product. Despite knowing it's a tactic, people are still persuaded by it. Advertisers still continue to do that because they can see it increases sales. This book provides many examples of these manipulation tactics and explains why they work. By reading this book, you'll become more conscious of how others (salespersons, politicians, and businesspersons) may be trying to manipulate you.

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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The narrator failure

I haven't finished reading yet but couldn't wait for the end to rate because of narrator's poor reading skills. He just stops in the middle of sentences for no reason and waits like 2 seconds to continue again. It completely ruins my focus on the sentence. I hear two meaningless unfinished sentences instead of one complete sentence almost all the time. I'd recommend buying a hard copy of the book instead.

34 of 42 people found this review helpful

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great book!

this is a great book, I would highly recommend it to anyone in sales or marketing, or just looking to better understand how advertising and sales works.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Saba
  • 02-12-15

Interesting but flaws in recording

Liked the book and the content. Some of the stories seem to labour the points. There were a couple of instances in the recording where it would repeat itself.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • SII WOM
  • 03-19-16

Good but long & repetitive

If there's an abridged version, listen to that. If you like drawn out explanations, reinforced argument - listen to this.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrian
  • 11-11-14

Starts slow but EXCELLENT audio book

I really struggled for the first hour or so as many of the examples regarding sales, advertising and marketing are somewhat obvious these days. Really starts to hot up half way through and couldn't stop listening from that point on. Enjoyable and educational. Excellent book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-03-18

Very well written.

All most impossible to put down once you start listening.. Narration is perfect.. You need to listen to it a couple of times

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Big BoBo
  • 07-15-16

Spoilt alittle by Audible being lazy

Very informative book overall. Enjoyed but couldn't help but wonder why Audible didn't bother to remove "end of cd 1....2....etc " prompts! Otherwise I would recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tanvir Arafat
  • 06-05-16

Paradigm Shift

This book much like Selfish gene will change they way you view the world - for the better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KathyJean
  • 03-07-16

Wow - this is such a good book.

Where does Influence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Amongst the best, I will have to listen again as it covers so much about what we do and how easily we are influenced.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but didn't, it would have been too much.

Any additional comments?

Everyone should read this, if we all understood why/how humans behave in certain circumstances we would all be much better people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Icewraithuk
  • 12-03-14

A decent listen

What did you like most about Influence?

An interesting topic, presented pretty well.

What did you like best about this story?

Some of the insights were interesting and of use

What does Lloyd James bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Not a lot really, it's hardly something that benefits from a voice actor

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, far too long for that (13 hours nearly?!)

Any additional comments?

It's very US-centric, but the examples hold well for western culture and he does reference the differences in Eastern cultures a few times.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrian Shaw
  • 11-11-14

Says nothing new - drab delivery

Unfortunately this is one of those academic, 'scientifically proven' books that regurgitates the obvious and paints every human interaction as a string of malevolent manipulation. Advances in understanding game-theory and tit-for-tat trade offs goes a long way to explaining most of the examples in the book. I couldn't make it all the way through ... its too sensationalist. repetitive, dry and not particularly convincing.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Garageiste
  • 10-30-18

interesting and useful

A slow start and I initially thought the author was labouring his point but I'm pleased I persevered because this was a fascinating. must read/listen

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  • Andrew M
  • 11-20-15

Excellent content but a bit dry and heavy

Excellent information. Very informative. However it's slow going. I've since heard that there's another version, subtitled The Psychology of Persuasion, which is better, however it's not available on Audible, at least not in Australia.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Stefan
  • 08-20-15

Lazy conversion.

Still has the end of CD messages in the audio. it's a great book, such a shame audible phoned this one in.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • MICHAEL WATKINS
  • 04-10-15

Good book.

Extremely informative and useful information that can easily be applied in a practical manner to every day life and circumstances.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 03-04-15

Lacking

Distinct lack of science and practical ways to use influence. Lots of the wording was designed to make the reader believe what the author was writing rather than have the facts stand on their own two legs.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-27-18

Insightful book!! Definitely worth listening to.

The book is dated but I loved the psychology concepts covered. They are all things that you can intuitively know to be true and become self evident once you are aware of them.

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  • jaise
  • 06-07-17

very interesting and worth a listen to

wasn't my favourite of all time as some of the explanations seemed to drag on a bit as though filling in time. Presentation was in a nice tone which in fact distracted at times.

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  • Carsten Primdal
  • 10-05-16

Very interesting

Would you listen to Influence again? Why?

I will most definitely listen again.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, on the contrary, I think the listener can benefit from listening to it in chunks. Listening in one sitting is too much, and it would be difficult to digest all the content in just one sitting.

Any additional comments?

My only negative comment is that I don't understand why they didn't edit out the parts where the narrator says: "This is the end of DVD #X, continue listening on DVD #Y". To me, it seems careless not to edit it out. Firstly because it makes it sound dated, and secondly because it can't be that difficult to edit it out.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ali
  • 09-15-16

enjoyed this

looking at everything now with a new set of eyes. thank you for providing this book

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  • Roan
  • 08-08-16

Pseudo science at best

The problem with this book is that it was written too long ago and many examples would not be applicable anymore. Societal values and morals have changed and though the book has been updated through the years, many examples are now outdated and irrelevant. I would suggest a complete rewrite with much more recent studies as the basis for qualification of the arguments.

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  • Rob
  • 06-09-16

engaging

this is the most impressive research paper I've ever heard. The principles are clearly articulated and the anecdotal evidence is both pertinent and easy to follow. The examples stretch over the period 1950 to 1979 but, despite the age, lose nothing in their relevance to the lessons being delivered.