Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

By: Robert B. Cialdini

The idea of utilizing psychology to influence or persuade others to doing what you want is not new, and those not born with this innate ability often seek out instructors or programs to help them develop this skill for themselves. There are many resources that cater to teaching people how to influence others, but very few approach it from the viewpoint of protecting people from the influence of others. First published over three decades ago, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion has become a staple in the field of psychology and Fortune places it on its list of the “75 Smartest Business Books.”

In this book, Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D discusses what he calls “weapons of persuasion.” They are six universal principles that are so effective, they can be used to influence a person to happily perform actions for others. Actions that can be irrational or go entirely against that person’s own self-interests. Cialdini’s main focus is to have the reader understand that it is more important to protect oneself from influence than learning how to influence others. This involves vigilance in social interactions, honing one’s intuition, and utilizing other methods to prevent one from succumbing to manipulation or unwanted influence.