Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior

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Here, though, the lock-picking is substituted for human manipulation. To sum up this book in a single phrase, I would call it a more academic Influence. For a true academic understanding of persuasion, though, this book is fantastic. Here, Sally Hogshead explains how elements such as storytelling and modelling hold such a powerful influence, and she leaves readers with practical game plans to captivate attention.

It straddles statistics, persuasion, and psychology, and through clear writing, addresses what could be an incredibly boring topic for some readers the application of statistics and how they affect you and turns it into a really easy read. I approached this book expecting to slowly crawl through it, but there are a ton of great examples and Fung does an enviable job of using stories to get his points across. Two things to consider: the book is a very easy read; studies are not cited in-depth and the content can be easily consumed.

This book is not an easy read. That being said, it is a rewarding one if you can make it through. Du Plessis makes compelling arguments and often delves into philosophical territories—not for the faint of heart, to be certain! However, this is incredibly sharp coverage of the intersection between neuroscience and advertising.

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This is one of those intriguing crosses between understanding marketing to utilize it for your entrepreneurial endeavors and simply understanding how brands try to persuade you. I wish Lindstrom had done a bit more analysis on each study, as he seems to just take each at face value. That being said, the studies cited are genuinely interesting and very revealing in how easy it is for marketers to trick us for shame!

This is a methodical, academic approach to answering questions like why cigarettes are so addictive. Though the book is pitched as a guide to understanding the nature of addiction, one will walk away with a general understanding of persuasion and habit-forming products. There is another book by Lindstrom called Buyology that often comes highly recommended when discussing books of this ilk, but I would say that you should skip that book and get this one instead.

Pradeep creates a great overview of the emerging neuromarketing space and does so with a lot of good concrete examples. I enjoyed that specifically because many books simply cite the research at hand; as a guy who regularly reads research papers, I appreciate the exposure to new research, but I could have just read it myself. This book focuses on the findings from the legendary Stanford prison experiment. If that research has fascinated you in any way, you need to check this book out. It essentially offers an inside look at much of the data from the study, including transcripts.

The last chapter is also quite intriguing for those familiar with the experiment: the author outlines a program intended to build resistance to mind-control strategies. If you are unfamiliar with the study, it was meant to test whether or not people would obey authority even when they were asked to do something that they knew was wrong in this case, shocking other participants, or at least believing they were.

It details many accounts of participants showing signs of severe distress, yet continuing on with the applied shocks as actors in another room pretending to be other subjects screamed in pain. I found this book really fascinating in its singular focus on character and the psychology of how external events impact it.

As for practicality, I would say this book is another one of those books that is about understanding, and through this understanding there are some practical applications to be had. The rest of the book is exceptional.

Principles of Persuasion

Turns out that middle option wasn't that useless after all -- it gave students a frame of reference for how "good" the combo deal was and enticed them to pay more for that deal. So if you're looking to increase conversions on a landing page with two options, you might want to add a third. It could help increase the conversion rate of the option you'd ultimately want people to take.

This psychology principle goes back to the simple formula of supply and demand: The more rare the opportunity, content, or product is, the more valuable it is. But if you want to properly use this principle, you need to be careful how you word it. Check out this post from Nir and Far for a deeper explanation on why that distinction is important. I'll probably even buy them. For marketers, anchoring is important to know -- especially if you're ever running a sale.

You might even explain how much of a percentage off your customers will receive with the sale. Image credit: Express. Ever heard about a product and then start seeing it everywhere you look? Suddenly you see ads for the product every time you watch TV. And when you go to the grocery store, you happen to walk down the aisle and spot it. And alllllll of your friends all have the product. The second process, confirmation bias, reassures you that each sighting is further proof of your impression that the thing has gained overnight omnipresence. Once someone starts noticing your brand aka clicking around on your website , you'll want to help them start seeing you "everywhere.

So when you attend a session on how to blog for your business, you're most likely going to remember details like "Have another person edit your work," not "Send a Google Doc three business days ahead of time to a peer so they can edit your work. Don't forget to use Track Changes so you know what you missed! They called this the "verbatim effect. To begin with, people are spending less and less time actually reading online. According to data from Chartbeat , more than half of your visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on your site.

I'd recommend spending even more time than you already are on perfecting your headline. Not only should it be search- and sharing-friendly, but it should also accurately describe what's in your article.

Methods of Persuasion

If you've done the work, you should appear in the search results. If you need some help writing compelling headline copy, check out this post on our blog. People have a limited amount of space in their short-term memory. In fact, most people can only remember seven pieces of information plus or minus two pieces in any given situation at a time.

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To cope, most people tend to cluster similar pieces of information together. For example, if you had a whole grocery list of random items, most people would tend to mentally group items into certain categories dairy, grain, meat, etc. So when you're creating content, keep clustering in mind. How can you design and lay out your content to increase memory retention? Loss aversion means pretty much exactly what it sounds like: Once someone has something, they realllllly don't like to lose it.

Then, they were asked to make a choice, they were give two options: If they were given an object, they could trade their objects, or if they were given nothing, they could choose one of the two items. The result?


After that time period is up, that feature could be removed unless you upgrade to becoming a paying customer. While you certainly have to be careful how you play to this psychological need, loss aversion is a very important concept for every marketer to know.


What other psychology studies and concepts do you swear by? Share your favorites in the comments. Originally published Jun 11, AM, updated August 09 Contact Us. Investors Investor Relations.

The Power of Persuasion: 6 Ways to Get Your Way | Psychology Today

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