June Book of the Month: Influence by Robert Cialdini

“There is a group of people who know very well where the weapons of automatic influence lie and employ them regularly and expertly to get what they want. They go from social encounter to social encounter requesting others to comply with their wishes; their frequency of success is dazzling.” - Robert Cialdini


This month I'm reading (well, listening to... via the audible app) a book that came highly recommended to me: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

What does this psychology book have to do with personal finance?

Well, actually, quite a lot. By knowing your own psychology, you can have a better defense against those who want to use these "weapons of influence" against you. These could be:

  • Advertisers selling you things you don't need
  • Charities you wouldn't otherwise support trying to guilt you into donating
  • Politicians trying to get you to vote against your own values and interests
  • Scammers of all types
  • Manipulative relationships

I would say that the biggest threat is advertisers, who have incredible skills at getting us to buy things we don't need. 


As we read, let's consider these questions and discuss:

  1. How have you been influenced in the past? What would you do differently if you had a re-do?
  2. Look at the nearest advertisement. Which of the six principles is it trying to use on you?
  3. How do you act differently in moments of scarcity? Going forward, is there anything you'd like to remember during those times?
  4. Are there any behaviors that your peer group normalizes, that you would find ridiculous without them?
Answer any (or all) of these questions in the comments, or make up your own! I'm looking forward to your responses! Feel free to tweet at me @moneywithmeow ; use the hashtag #meowbookclub.

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