Cialdini Persuasion

Cialdini Persuasion

Overview of Cialdini Persuasion Techniques

Cialdini Persuasion TechniquesThis blog entry briefly reviews the effects of using Dr. Robert Cialdini’s tools of influence. Dr. Cialdini has completed over 30 years of research in the psychology of influence. He holds an international reputation as the psychological expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and influence. His most well known book entitled, Influence: Science and Practice, was based on decades of research focused on the logic and mechanics behind influencing others in the business world. The book suggests 6 specific tools that may be employed to influence others. Below are all 6 of Cialdini’s tools with a short description of each:

1. Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take…and Take

o This deeply embedded social rule is what makes one feel obligated to repay someone who has provided us with a gift, favor, or concession.

2. Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind

o Most people act in consistent ways because it is valued by society, provides a beneficial approach to daily life, and simplifies adjusting to a new process by relying on past decisions.

3. Social Proof: Truths Are Us

o One important method people use to make decisions is looking to see what others are doing or believing in that arena. This is even more heavily relied upon in situations of uncertainty or when the individual believes that the others being observed are similar to themselves.

4. Liking: The Friendly Thief

o People like to buy from other people they know and like. Physical attractiveness, similarity, and familiarity are three levers that can be employed to increase this “liking” factor.

5. Authority: Directed Deference

o There is a very strong pressure in our society to comply with authority. Three specific triggers that Cialdini believes are specifically effective include titles, clothing, and automobiles.

6. Scarcity: The Rule of the Few

o More value is assigned to those messages or items that are scarce, censored, or hard to obtain. Messages that are restricted or hard to get makes people want to receive them more and the information comes across as more persuasive. This principle of influence works best when something is newly scarce and the individual is competing with others for it.

Cialdini, Robert B., Influence: Science and Practice 4th Edition Copyright 2001 by Allyn & Bacon. See also

More about Dr. Cialdini can be found on his website at

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