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Made You Think

Jan 16, 2018

“It is odd that despite their current widespread use and looming future importance, most of us know very little about our automatic behavior patterns. Perhaps that is so precisely because of the mechanistic, unthinking manner in which they occur. Whatever the reason, it is vital that we clearly recognize one of their properties: They make us terribly vulnerable to anyone who does know how they work.”

In this episode of Made You Think, Neil and I cover Influence by Robert Cialdini. It’s a classic on the art of persuasion and explains the psychology of why people say "yes”. You’ll learn how to become a better persuader, how to market yourself and your ideas, and how to defend against the influences of others.

We cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • The six main influencers and how they work.
  • The psychology behind being influenced and noticing it in your own life.
  • Using the six main influencer techniques to your own advantage.
  • Popular examples of these influencers being used.
  • How to avoid becoming negatively influenced by these techniques.

And much more. Please enjoy, and be sure to grab a copy of Influence!

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our episode on The Psychology of Human Misjudgments by Charlie Munger, to learn about the 25 cognitive biases that negatively affect our thinking and how to effectively watch out for them, as well as our episode on Principles by Ray Dalio, to learn the key principles necessary for getting what you want out of life.

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0:00 - Introductory quote and some information on the book.

4:04 - A bit on how the book is structured, as well as explaining what the six main influencers are.

6:16 - How you can use this book and some other books that mention this book.

8:07 - The first chapter of the six main influencers, reciprocation, and some discussion on this. Also, some examples of this. “When we get something, we feel obligated to give something back.”

17:04 - Some discussion on an excerpt about negotiation from the reciprocation chapter.

21:01 - Wrapping up the reciprocation chapter with how to challenge reciprocity. “If you want to fight reciprocity, define it as a sales device, not a gift.”

25:52 - The chapter on commitment and consistency. Detailing the chapter and what commitment and consistency are.

33:00 - A few examples related to this chapter and some discussion on them.

37:34 - The second example related to the chapter and detailing the psychology that the method used. Also, a bit on getting people used to saying yes to get them to continue agreeing.

41:17 - The physical and effort aspect of commitment and consistency. Also, a bit on cold emailing and cold-calling (and a few tangents). “The more effort that goes into a commitment, the greater the ability that you’ll have to influence the attitude.”

53:00 - The chapter on social proof. A bit on canned laughter, examples of social proof, some discussion on the bystander effect, and tying social proof into evolutionary instincts. (Tangents at 55:08) “Once people see somebody helping, then they all rush to help. But when nobody is helping, nobody does anything.”

1:03:10 - When people are like us, we tend to like them more. An example on this and some following discussion. Also, some thoughts on how suicide reports in the news correlate with increased suicide rates.

1:09:56 - The chapter on liking. A few examples, discussing these examples, and detailing why they work. “When we like people or like something, we attribute more good things to it.”

1:19:55 - Discussing the aspects of getting hooked on a fad and thinking that everything associated with that fad is good. Also, defining natural, organic, free-range, and other terminologies and explaining why they aren’t always clear or fully truthful.

1:25:37 - The chapter on authority. Some examples of authority and discussing how it works. Also, a bit on social proof, fear of going against the grain, cryptocurrency, and stocks. An interesting fact from Cialdini on common medical errors, as well. Always ask: “Is this authority truly an expert?”

1:38:08 - Discussing celebrity endorsements with political candidates and some following tangents.

1:42:35 - The last chapter on scarcity. Various examples, usage with marketing, and a few tangents. “The more scarce something appears, the more we want it.”

1:47:05 - Recognizing scarcity and some discussion on scarcity in general. “Most things are not made better by being scarce.”

1:48:30 - Closing thoughts and discussing the last section of the book on shunning those who use these techniques excessively and in a negative manner.

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