Found in 30 comments
by DyslexicAtheist

  - Nassim N. Taleb: Black Swan and Antifragile[0]
  - Robert Cialdini: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion[1]
  - Franklin Foer: World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech[2]
  - Herbert Marcuse: One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society[3]




Original thread
by joekim
Whether or not you have the "right" to be rude, I think the more cordial we are the more we can align around learning through discussion.

If someone is rude to someone who's mistaken that could help them unlearn something, but more likely they will become more entrenched because of consistency principle.

Cialdini talks a lot about consistency principle in his book the "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion"

Original thread
by BeetleB
>It seems to me that the biggest difference is the extent to which the average internet user gets his content from other internet users (reddit, facebook, twitter, etc) instead of designated content creators with reputations to uphold.

This is as old as humanity, and has always been the case for the majority. See the chapter "Social Proof" in the book "Influence":

Original thread
by dano
Check out the classic Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Original thread
by BeetleB
I just gave a presentation at work about how we're ridiculously overeducated on technical skills, and ridiculously undereducated on social dynamics.

I mean, I solved more complex technical problems in my undergrad than I've ever had to in my career.

My suggestion: While you may want to master a technical skill or two, become good at what they don't teach you:

Negotiation skills:

The Coursera course from the University of Michigan is decent, if you don't want to read. But the other course (from Yale?) - I would not recommend that as a starter.

Communication Skills:


(His work is often cited in other books - especially related to negotiations).


Finally, a word of advice. Most of us here on HN have no trouble reading stuff and grasping its content. Internalizing it, though, will take work. So don't run away reading all these books. Pick one topic (e.g. negotiation), and read up on it. Take notes (I forget 80% of what I've read after a few months). And try to practice it.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Just focus on one till you feel you are good at it (perhaps for a year). Then pick another topic.

Original thread
by hvd
For me it was 1.Influence: It talks about how the brain has certain preprogrammed sequences for situations. 2.Predictably Irrational Again about the hidden mechanisms with which we make decisions and our reptile brain.
Original thread
by lettergram
I liked the article, the standard book on the subject is:

I know there are some techniques I use from the book that helped me significantly.

Original thread
by phodo
If anyone is interested, the buckets mentioned are derived from a book by Cialdini (I didn't read the paper to see if properly attributed - probably was) that I read in grad school, and has had an impact on how I think about negotiation, business, marketing, product, etc. It's one of those great books whose lessons you carry with you many years later. Hope you find it useful.

Original thread
by mherdeg
Something about the human instinct to pattern-match compels me to point out that this is the "reciprocity" principle of influence spelled out by Cialdini's 1984 book "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion", .
Original thread
by profquail
Cialdini's book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, is easily one of the most interesting books I've ever read. It's not long and it's an easy read too -- I'd highly recommend reading it:

Original thread
by GFischer
I'm not the OP, and I haven't read these books, but many people swear by:

Influence: the psychology of persuasion, by Robert Cialdini

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

One I HAVE read, and I strongly recommend is How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Also, I've read many people mention a lot about Neuro-Linguistic Programming. I'm usually skeptical of this stuff, but I want to read about it.

I did read "The Game" by Neil Strauss... while it is not something I want to do, it is really intriguing, and he advocates NLP a lot in that book.

And while I'm nerdish/socially awkward, I have a long-term relationship with my girlfriend so I don't "need" to go picking up girls :) .

I look forward to the original poster's list :)

Original thread
by misterbwong
The book INFLUENCE does a good job of categorizing and explaining these factors. Though a lot of it comes off as common sense, I never realized how widespread these tactics were until I read this book. I highly recommend it.

Original thread
by konradb
Biggest set of hustling tips you'll get (not to discount your site, OP):
Original thread
by wallawe
If you've ever read a book called "Influence: The Art of Persuasion" [1] you'll recall a story about a store that sold rocks in New Mexico. The woman who owned the store was trying to offload all of her turquoise during peak tourist season, so she set the price a lot lower than normal. Although this was the most popular sell typically, fewer people started buying thus having the reverse effect of what she wanted. She relocated the stones' showcase to the front and center of the store. Sales plummeted further.

As she left for a short vacation, she left a note for one of her employees to drop the price to half of what it already was, and at least try to make a little bit of money back. But the employee misread the note and accidentally doubled the price of the turquoise. By the time the store owner got back, the rocks had sold out, at DOUBLE the price.

The store owner contacted the author of the book, a psychologist (I forget why) and he explained the reasoned this may have happened. Most of her customers were affluent and wealthy tourists who had been under the subconscious impression that you get what you pay for. When they saw high-priced stones, they knew that they were getting quality stones, at least that's what they had been led to believe through years of dealings.

This is why this guy's experiment will work and is a great idea. He is probably no more skilled than many of the hackers on here, but he stands out with his exorbitant price tag and some companies figure, 'hey, you get what you pay for.' This is especially true in the business world. So regardless of the fact he may not be worth it, or may not possess superior abilities, if he is getting the money which I hypothesize he will, more power to him.


Original thread
by dirkdeman
As a PR and communications major I can help you with that. I can recommend these two books: And

Do keep in mind that PR is something different than marketing or advertisement. Those people running around, dropping names and 'generating spin'? That's just a very tiny part of PR. PR is about shaping the public opinion, not just one person's mind.

On a side note, I wrote my thesis on wartime propaganda. I found out that the strongest motivator for people to take action is fear. The fear of losing something, missing out, or a common enemy (think Apple-Android!) is very powerful.

On a second side note, I read another comment about lying. Lying isn't right of course, but there are several degrees of lying. And imagine if know how to sell a lie, how easy it would be to sell righteous truth...

Drop me a line if you need some help or advice. I'm by no means an expert on PR in Silicon Valley, but I know a thing or two about PR.

Original thread
by lpolovets
Category 1:

- Simple Heuristics That Make Use Smart by Gigerenzer, et al. ( I have heard good things about this book but have not read it yet.

Category 2:

- Think Twice by Mauboussin (

- Influence by Cialdini (

Category 3:

- You already mentioned Michalko, but his other book, Thinkertoys, is also very good (

Category 5:

- Switch by the Heath brothers is excellent (

Original thread
by Alex3917
For what it's worth, most of these examples (and more) are in Cialdini's book Influence:

Original thread
by arkitaip
Two great research oriented books on the topic of persuasion and behavior modification are "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" and "White Bears and Other Unwanted Thoughts". Highly recommend them for people looking for more than opinions over overviews.

Original thread
by gruseom
That's interesting, because Cialdini's classic Influence covers this same ground ( Has anyone read both books? I'm curious as to whether Superfreakonomics added anything over Cialdini's treatment.
Original thread
by lhnz
Good point, and I'll add that this book is a good place to get started:
Original thread
by mos1
Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion by Cialdini.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - Violate Them at Your Own Risk!

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to We Usability, by Steve Krug:

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large Scale Web Sites, by Paul Rosenfeld and Peter Morville:

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, by Paco Underhill

And at least one Jakob Nielsen Usability book.

Original thread
by ShabbyDoo
I'm reading this book now but prefer Caldini's _Influence_ ( because it takes a more systematic approach to understanding what persuades others. For example, a chapter is dedicated to "social proof" and relevant experiments showing its power and subtleties are discussed.
Original thread
by gustavo_duarte
If you have never read it, I recommend checking out "The Psychology of Persuasion":

It's a fascinating examination of persuasion. It covers selling, business, cults, authority - a great and practical intro to some of the research and results in the field.

Original thread
by ShabbyDoo
This is the book referenced (no referral fee links, btw):

I've read it and even bought a second copy to lend out. It's that good.

Original thread
by rivo
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

The Definitive Book of Body Language

+1 to How to Win Friends & Influence People

Original thread
by soundsop
For immediate negotiating help, I recommend the book You Can Negotiate Anything:

For longer term and more general help with persuasion tactics (which might be used to get you to agree to a lower offer), I recommend Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini:

You will easily recover the cost of these two books using the knowledge from them.

Original thread
by jkkramer
I would be more inclined to do this if the book is non-technical. When you commit to reading a technical book, you're committing yourself to more than just the time spent reading: you're committing yourself to the time spent applying and fully understanding what you read -- installing tools, tinkering with syntax, coding, and so on. I've got enough of that now.

With non-technical books (literature, history, quality-of-life), most of the time will be invested into actual reading, with a bit of pondering and maybe discussing. We can have a conversation right away, and there's still knowledge and insight to be gained.

Here are some non-technical books I'd like to read:

* How to Read a Book -

* Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion -

* Liar's Poker -

* Growing a Business -

Original thread
by icey
If you're really interested in it, there is a psychology book out there that's actually a great basis for getting started:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini:

It's marketed as a business / marketing book, but it is probably on the book shelf of every one of the magicians / mentalists that this article refers to.

Original thread

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