Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion was an international bestseller when it was first published 25 years ago.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, social psychologist, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, president of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, and the recipient of a number of scientific research awards, has updated and revised the book and just published a brand-new edition.

Bob is a charming guest and the definitive expert on the psychology of persuasion and why it behooves us to understand how the mind works. 

Turns out that it’s terribly easy to mislead people who don’t know how to pay attention to it.

In this episode, Bob shares his insights on the seven principles of the psychology of persuasion, which are:

  • reciprocity
  • liking
  • social proof
  • authority
  • scarcity
  • commitment and consistency
  • unity

He also talks about the cost of mental shortcuts. Bob writes, “I have become impressed by evidence indicating that the form and pace of modern life is not allowing us to make fully thoughtful decisions, even on many personally relevant topics. Sometimes the issues may be so complicated, the time so tight, the distractions so intrusive, the emotional arousal so strong, or the mental fatigue so deep that we are in no cognitive condition to operate mindfully. Important topic or not, we have to take the shortcut.”

Bob also uses this quote from Mother Teresa to describe one of his principles: “If we have no peace, it’s because we have forgotten that we belong to one another.”

The good news about our minds is that we can learn to manage them, as it were. To think with more conscious awareness, to feel with more empathy and compassion, and to act with more self-confidence.

It’s a powerful message that’s more timely than ever in these chronically fraught times.

Dr. Robert Cialdini’s website here

Dr. Melanie Harth’s website here

download Part 1 here