FEATURE19 April 2017

Success begins before you say a word

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Behavioural economics Features Impact

The godfather of influence, Dr Robert Cialdini, has looked at ‘pre-suasion’ and how the moments before we speak can influence people. He talks to Jane Bainbridge

Dr Robert Cialdini made his name as the godfather of influence when he wrote his seminal book Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion, published in 1984. It brought to the forefront the psychology of why people say yes and the principles behind influence.

He has now returned to this area of behavioural science but, this time, by addressing the moments before delivering a message and how to make people more receptive to communications before they encounter them.

So why has Cialdini decided to write this book now – more than 30 years after Influence? 

“It’s the first sole-authored book I’ve done since Influence and – as a sole author – I didn’t want to plant a series of bushes around the tree that Influence had become; I wanted to plant another tree. And that didn’t happen until the idea for Pre-suasion came along. It was complementary to Influence, but different at the same time, ” he says.

With ...