Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion

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Persuasion is something we encounter on a daily basis, not just through advertising, but in every one of our interactions. So it’s interesting to see what can be done better, or even simply to understand our own reactions.

This book presents a series of 50 ‘secrets’ that show how people’s decision making can be affected. The format is nice and straightforward, with short, punchy sections that make it easy to understand.

As with any work relating to people’s behaviour, I tend to take it with a pinch of salt. We’re all individuals, and while we may react in similar ways to certain things, applying the results to everyone is unrealistic.

To be fair to the authors, they do have a chapter on cultural differences, showing how people in different countries react in ways that are sometimes the polar opposite of another. They also have a section at the end with replies from people who have used the book’s wisdom to good effect in real life situations.

I’m not sure if there are citations in the paper version, but obviously there aren’t in an audiobook, so you’re taking the advice without any of what backs it up. The examples from real people at least go some way to alleviate concerns.

I listened to it on audiobook, but I’m thinking I might pick up a physical copy so I can dip into it when I want to recall a technique.

The book is well read by Clive Mantle, who delivers it clearly and in a lively enough way to save it feeling like it’s droning on.

It’s short, and light on detail, but that means the book is quick to get through and can be used as an easy reference. It’s not a textbook, which makes it ideal for getting you thinking about a subject, while leaving you to dig deeper on your own rather than bogging you down. I enjoyed it.

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This was an copy of the book

Reviewed: 7th September 2014