Robert Cialdini, a Psychology Professor at Arizona Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Robert Cialdini, a psychology professor at Arizona State University, applies his technical background to the task of explaining in everyday terms a subject that impacts all of us: persuasion, and the psychological principles that make it work. Sales professionals are a natural audience for this book; they will find in it the explicit theory and scientific research behind what they have already been doing for years by instinct and trial-and-error. For the rest of us, this book is a powerful defense against those manipulators who seek to exploit our psychological vulnerabilities to get us to comply with their desires.

Cialdini's basic theoretical perspective is that, to deal with a complex world, our brains have automatized responses to various phenomena. In the long-run and in general, these mental mechanisms are practical tools, enabling us to live in society harmoniously and to make decisions quickly and with minimal effort. In specific cases, however, they can misfire, leading to bad decisions. Hence our vulnerability to people who know how these mechanisms work when we do not.

After introducing his subject, the author tackles six of these "weapons of influence" in six chapters. He first explains what they are and how they are used, utilizing personal anecdotes, scientific studies and vivid real life examples to make his case. Much of this is fascinating stuff. For example, according to Cialdini, some of the very techniques advertisers and salespeople use today were used during the Korean War to seduce American POWs into collaborating with their Chinese captors. And the Hare Krishna Society, its fundraising efforts in the 1960s frought with public relations problems, owed its…

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