Sunday, July 18, 2004

The Psychology of Persuasion: often the classics are still best Books: Influence (rev) : The Psychology of Persuasion

I came to this book via a ciruitious route. I'd been interested in a recently published text on marketing, but reviewer comments favored this 1983 text (revised in the early 1990s). I've not read it all, but my sampling has been rewarding. I recognize much of the material from my cognitive science studies @ 1994, but it's very elegantly presented and placed into a corporate context. The author is a student of con artists and manipulators of every stripe, and he regales us with all the tricks of the trade.

I consider myself a hard case (of course everyone does), but I can see how I've fallen for a few of the tricks here. Of course one might say I was paying for entertainment rather than for nothing, but the line is subtle.

The scary thing is that this represents the state of marketing in the 1990s. Since then we've begun to deploy functional MRI scans in marketing research. What hope do we chumps have?

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