I place social psychologist Robert B. Cialdini’s 2001 book Influence:Science and Practice in my “Top 5 Practical Reading List”. Dr. Cialdiani studies the psychology of compliance (i.e., uncovering which factors cause a person to say ”yes“ to another’s request). Influence explored what he identifies as the six universal principles of social influence:
- reciprocation (we feel obligated to return favors performed for us),
- authority (we look to experts to show us the way),
- commitment/consistency (we want to act consistently with our commitments and values),
- scarcity (the less available the resource, the more we want it),
- liking (the more we like people, the more we want to say yes to them), and
- social proof (we look to what others do to guide our behavior).
His new book, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, coauthored with Noah J. Goldstein and Steve J. Martin, furthers the discussion with research-based examples of these principles and other psychological factors that are effective persuasion techniques. “Effective persuasion” techniques will help mediators and attorneys alike in their efforts to persuade. It should go without saying but I’ll say it and join Dr. Cialdini’s emphasis that the principles should not be used to manipulate. I’ll be reviewing all 50 strategies reported in Yes!
An introduction provided by his website:
He offers a free subscription toThe Inside Influence Report, a brief monthly report that provides a summary of selected Social Psychology research and how smart businesses can use this science ethically, here at his website.