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Editor reviews

Understanding our psychology is made easy with the fascinating audiobook Influence: Science and Practice, written by well-known author and Professor of Psychology Robert B. Cialdini and narrated by Lloyd James. In complete and unabridged 5th Edition, this book is an intriguing look at why people say ‘yes’ and what makes us vulnerable to other’s requests. Hear the six psychological categories that lead us to be persuaded. Written in prose, this book is easy to read with the information memorable. It is the perfect tool for training in sales and marketing roles. Available now from Audible.

Summary

Influence: Science and Practice is an examination of the psychology of compliance (i.e. uncovering which factors cause a person to say "yes" to another's request).

Written in a narrative style combined with scholarly research, Cialdini combines evidence from experimental work with the techniques and strategies he gathered while working as a salesperson, fundraiser, advertiser, and in other positions inside organizations that commonly use compliance tactics to get us to say "yes." Widely used in classes, as well as sold to people operating successfully in the business world, the eagerly awaited revision of Influence reminds the listener of the power of persuasion.

Cialdini organizes compliance techniques into six categories based on psychological principles that direct human behavior: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.

©2001 Robert Cialdini (P)2012 Robert Cialdini

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Interesting but flaws in recording

Liked the book and the content. Some of the stories seem to labour the points. There were a couple of instances in the recording where it would repeat itself.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good but long & repetitive

If there's an abridged version, listen to that. If you like drawn out explanations, reinforced argument - listen to this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Spoilt alittle by Audible being lazy

Very informative book overall. Enjoyed but couldn't help but wonder why Audible didn't bother to remove "end of cd 1....2....etc " prompts! Otherwise I would recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Paradigm Shift

This book much like Selfish gene will change they way you view the world - for the better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow - this is such a good book.

Where does Influence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Amongst the best, I will have to listen again as it covers so much about what we do and how easily we are influenced.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but didn't, it would have been too much.

Any additional comments?

Everyone should read this, if we all understood why/how humans behave in certain circumstances we would all be much better people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A decent listen

What did you like most about Influence?

An interesting topic, presented pretty well.

What did you like best about this story?

Some of the insights were interesting and of use

What does Lloyd James bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Not a lot really, it's hardly something that benefits from a voice actor

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, far too long for that (13 hours nearly?!)

Any additional comments?

It's very US-centric, but the examples hold well for western culture and he does reference the differences in Eastern cultures a few times.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrian
  • NSW, Australia
  • 11-11-14

Starts slow but EXCELLENT audio book

I really struggled for the first hour or so as many of the examples regarding sales, advertising and marketing are somewhat obvious these days. Really starts to hot up half way through and couldn't stop listening from that point on. Enjoyable and educational. Excellent book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Says nothing new - drab delivery

Unfortunately this is one of those academic, 'scientifically proven' books that regurgitates the obvious and paints every human interaction as a string of malevolent manipulation. Advances in understanding game-theory and tit-for-tat trade offs goes a long way to explaining most of the examples in the book. I couldn't make it all the way through ... its too sensationalist. repetitive, dry and not particularly convincing.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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More about psychology of shortcuts rather than how to be influencing

I'd say it's More a book about psychology of shortcuts rather than how to be influencing yourself .

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recommended by Charlie Munger

Book was recommended by Charlie Munger's vice president of Berkshire Hathaway and it a fantastic read it took to long to get around to listening to this book as it is full of things which I was unaware of

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Profile Image for Dubito Ergo Sum
  • Dubito Ergo Sum
  • 18-02-15

This book will change the way you see the world.

Would you listen to Influence again? Why?

Yes! The psychological features explored and exposed by Cialdini run far deeper than I first realized. While most of the material can trigger the "thats common sense I already knew that response", it becomes surreal when you start recognizing these features in yourself and your environment (part of the book even covers the "I already knew that" reaction)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Influence?

When social psychologist Leon Festinger infiltrated the "seekers" doomsday cult in the 1950's to observe their reactions when the world didn't end as predicted.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author describing how he himself succumbed to a very persuasive saleswoman.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was shocked to realize the same psychology that underpins why sitcom laugh tracks work is the same as what reinforces religious belief through proselytizing.

Any additional comments?

This book will seem benign and trivial to the faint of heart and mind..... to those with the courage to see the psychology in themselves first and then in others will.... "see the matrix". It runs a lot deeper than first glance affords.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Woodgies
  • 30-04-15

Great content silly audio book errors

Great book. Odd avoidable errors with the editing, repeated content (wait they just read that) and "insert next CD (what???). Cheap publishing moves, corners cut.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for ANDRÉ
  • ANDRÉ
  • 10-04-15

Classical

I always wanted to read Robert Cialdini's Influence but my credits were short. Then, at an Audible's sale I saw the book and bought it. And I was glad I did. Despite the book being "old"- published in 1984, and many other books were based on its instructions, Influence is still fresh. Reciprocity, Commitment &Consistency, Social proof, Authority, Liking and Scarcity still work! And very well indeed. The narrator, Lloyd James, fits perfectly with the book.
Read or listen to this book, and thank Cialdini for this masterpiece.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Amos Brumble
  • 20-03-15

Minor edit would be nice

The only thing that was annoying was the "continued on the next cd". A short edit would be nice when the recording was moved from a cd to the audible format.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 18-03-16

Cheesy, dated and badly narrated - but fun

‘Influence’ has the feel of one of those awful self-help books teaching you how to win the rat race and get the better of all your colleagues at work. It reveals all the tricks that door-to-door salespeople and used car lot predators will use on you to persuade you to part with your money.

A good salesperson will use all the weapons in this armoury: Reciprocity, Commitment & Consistency, Social proof, Authority, Liking and Scarcity. When you hear the excellent (but dated) anecdotes about how these tricks are used in scam situations such as Tupperware Parties, you’ll recognise that you’ve probably succumbed to some of these yourself in the past. Although, I have to say, that some of them I would definitely have been wise to before this listen.

He discusses canned laughter: I’m sure anyone with half a brain finds canned laughter sickeningly intrusive and crass, and that this device does NOT make the programme funnier, and you’d probably feel it has the opposite effect. But apparently research shows that when people listen to episodes of the same show, randomised to be with or without the canned laughter track, they report that it was funnier with the canned laughter. Apparently, even though it is annoying, you just can’t help finding it funny because of the ‘social proof’ suggested by the laughter track.

This concept is also apparently responsible for the following disturbing phenomenon: After a high profile suicide appears in a major news story, there is commonly an increase in car and air crashes - and statistically these involve a higher rate of fatalities than usual. The answer? Apparently people who were on the verge of suicide hear about the high profile suicide and this ‘social proof’ persuades them that suicide is the right thing to do – and they go out and crash their vehicles in the most deadly way they can.

The book is full of tid-bits and pop psychology such as this. Its datedness makes it seem a bit comical at times. The narrator has a good ‘dramatic’ voice but his word emphasis is distractingly terrible and the phrase ‘please insert the next CD’ crops up every 30 minutes or so. But if you don’t get too hung up on these flaws then the book is a good entertaining listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben Osborne
  • 23-04-15

Very insightful

I think for anyone that wants to learn sales and marketing, you should buy this immediately and promise yourself to read it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Mark L. Widawer
  • Mark L. Widawer
  • 08-03-15

Critical info for life

Filled with critical information if you are in sales, marketing, or any kind of business, or just want to know why you buy things you don't think you want. Excellent narration too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 24-03-15

This book may save you life

An excellent book about how we are influenced and directed into decisions. There is one part though that may be a life saver. A good listen.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 10-04-15

Read book to learn how people can scam you

This book would stand out more if it was titled "How People Can Scam You." It is filled with useful information about tactics that manipulate you into agreeing to or buying something you normally wouldn't have if it weren't for the tactics. The author cites studies that demonstrated these tactics work. The author also provides dramatized stories so you can see how the tactics are applied in different situations. People are familiar with many of the advertisers' tactics, such as posing an attractive model next to a car or using celebrity spokespersons to promote their product. Despite knowing it's a tactic, people are still persuaded by it. Advertisers still continue to do that because they can see it increases sales. This book provides many examples of these manipulation tactics and explains why they work. By reading this book, you'll become more conscious of how others (salespersons, politicians, and businesspersons) may be trying to manipulate you.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaan
  • 20-01-15

The narrator failure

I haven't finished reading yet but couldn't wait for the end to rate because of narrator's poor reading skills. He just stops in the middle of sentences for no reason and waits like 2 seconds to continue again. It completely ruins my focus on the sentence. I hear two meaningless unfinished sentences instead of one complete sentence almost all the time. I'd recommend buying a hard copy of the book instead.

30 of 38 people found this review helpful