Cialdini: Summing Up

This is the last post on Bob Cialdini’s book “Influence” where he describes the six categories of triggers that influence our “auto-response mechanisms”.

These triggers have been around for quite some time and we know that they work. But there is a new factor at work these days that Bob  thinks makes them more effective. That is the enhanced pace and complexity of modern life. John Stuart Mill (who died in 1873)  may have been the last man to have known every bit of knowledge that was available. Now the pace of knowledge acquisition has accelerated to the point where the idea is laughable.  In this setting, we need to take more shortcuts in making decisions without adequate knowledge. So we are more vulnerable to trickery.

Is there a solution? No. The game will continue and we may find ever more nuanced tricks at work. Bob recommends aggressively calling out the tricksters. And — using a tool that was not available to Bob when he first wrote this book back in 1984 — we should use social networking tools to shift the balance of power away from information gatekeepers.


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