Couple of Book Recommendations

I’ve recently read a couple of good books that I thought I’d blog about in case you are interested. Yes, these are Amazon Associate links but hopefully you won’t begrudge me that – the books are very good and I’m sure that many of you will enjoy them if you haven’t read them already.

First up is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I bought this book pretty much based on its front cover and after reading the first few pages of it. It turned out not to be exactly what I thought it was but that was fine actually. I thought it was going to be about HOW to persuade people to do stuff – this is not something I particularly wanted to do (I used to sell computer systems for a living, so I’ve been there done that!) but I was nevertheless interested in this topic. What the book was really about was a whole load of scientific studies that showed how “compliance practitioners”, as the author calls them, e.g. car salesmen and telesales people etc, use special tricks that they know work on pretty much everyone because we’ve evolved to be susceptible to them. The tricks are described well with some fascinating studies to back them up. Then the author describes some possible techniques for not being caught out by these tricks the next time you find yourself the subject of them. What’s quite funny is at the end the author reveals himself to be a bit obsessive in his “war” against compliance practitioners and advises you to refute them and try to take them down – I’d advise him to chill out a bit though 🙂 Anyway it was a good book that I blasted through in a couple of days of lounging around at the weekend.

Next up I read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a very well known book that I’d been meaning to read for a while ever since reading another of his books called Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking which was fascinating. The Tipping Point talks about how epidemics occur (viral, social, fashion etc) when they reach a certain “tipping point” and what factors influence that. Certain kinds of people seem to be vital in turning something small into an epidemic and other factors such as “stickiness” play a big part too. I found the book really interesting from a marketing point of view just as well as general interest. Again he cites many scientific studies, some of which overlapped with the Persuasion book that I just read which was fluky (flukey?). One section about the rise and fall of crime in New York during the 1990s also reminded me of another great book that I read last year called Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, which is definitely worth checking out. You can probably find the older unrevised version for cheaper if you are interested. Malcolm Gladwell also writes in a very easy manner to read (I also blasted through this book over the last weekend) and I’m looking forward to reading his new book (which is sitting in my To Read pile) – I’ll report back on it later.

Well, that’s it for now, I hope that you find my recommendations useful. If you have any recommendations for me, please add them to the comments. I’m building up a pretty big recommendation list at the moment but if the same book keeps on cropping up, I’ll make sure I get it ASAP!

One Response to “Couple of Book Recommendations”

  1. Grey Alien Games » Blog Archive » Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar Says:

    […] fascinating from a psychological point of view, especially as I’ve just read a book on the psychology of persuasion and another on […]