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Influence PDF Summary

6 min read ⌚ 

Do you want to find out which are the most effective techniques that create compliance? Or what are the factors that makes a person say yes to another person? What stands behind the persuasion mechanism? Which are its triggers?

Jump from curiosity to knowledge and start reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. We’ve pulled the main ideas in the book summary below.

With over 30 years of research into the science of influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini has earned an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. His 1984 book, Influence, nowadays a classic of the genre, has sold over two million copies and has been translated into twenty-six languages.


INSIGHTFUL / INFLUENCE

There are six universal principles that determine if people will change behavior: reciprocity, commitment, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.


Robert Cialdini began to do research into the psychology of compliance in his role as an experimental social psychologist. With Influence his purpose was to find out which psychological principles influence the tendency to comply with a request. In order to do that, he observed, from the inside, the techniques and strategies most commonly and effectively used by compliance practitioners by spending three “undercover” years training at used car dealerships, fund-raising organizations, and telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion.

The book is divided into 7 chapters plus an epilogue and explores the main principles and weapons of influence. Although there are thousands of different tactics that compliance practitioners employ to produce yes, the majority fall within six basic categories. Each of these categories is governed by a fundamental psychological principle that directs human behavior and, in so doing, gives the tactics their power.

The book is organized around these six principles, one for each chapter. The principles are consistency, reciprocation, social proof, authority, liking, and scarcity. One by one is discussed in terms of its function in society and in terms of how its powerful force can be summoned by compliance professionals.

I personally loved the way each principle is examined by its ability to produce a distinct kind of automatic, mindless compliance from people. A willingness to say yes without thinking first.

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