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Social Influence Factors- Cialdini

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Why am I reading this for sports marketing? I thought this class was going to be about marketing and not a review of my psychology class. That question and answer is what I originally thought of when I began reading Influence: Science and Practice by Robert B. Cialdini. In my critique I will delineate the reasons why my first impression of the book changed, my evaluation of the positives and negatives of Cialdini's writing, and how the book personally affected me.

My first impression of the book turned out to be drastically wrong. The book turned out to be more about understanding how and why we engage in the relationships we do, and why individuals comply with other's demands. Upon further reading I felt cheated for not knowing this information sooner to prevent, or at least understand why I have acted the way I have. It made me believe that marketing and selling is just a series of tricks companies play on consumers. This conclusion made me realize that marketing, and all business transactions for that matter have to do with relationships and the ability of one person to cognitively control their prospective buyer(s) into getting a yes answer.

Constructively evaluating Influence: Science and Practice produced mixed feelings; with a handful of positive and negative characteristics. On the pro side of things, most of Cialdini's empirical examples were relevant and made me think of instances where I have fallen victim to such practices of compliance. For example, a boy scout came to my family's home and offered his most expensive popcorn and holiday items first for sale. I politely declined, but the boy followed up my denial by offering the cheaper tins of popcorn he had for sale. Unbeknownst of the tactic that was being used in this transaction I reluctantly bought two of the small tins from him. Here the rejection-then-retreat method worked because I would have felt bad not buying anything from him who was making all this effort to go door to door for a fundraiser.

Additionally, the book was very insightful and provided me with valuable information that I will use throughout the course of my business career. I will be able (with some practice) to manipulate people in certain situations and identify instances where someone may be trying to pull a fast one on me (i.e. the expensive = good stereotype while vacationing). I found the validity of his findings very strong due to his participant observation style of research. Cialdini became an undercover agent of sorts to complete what he felt was the most useful investigative tactic. He would pose as a sales trainee for different merchandise and service companies, which allowed him to do unbiased research on that company's compliance strategies. This allowed me to read his arguments with the firm belief that his findings were extremely accurate. On a lighter note, the cartoons that were included as supplemental information were very good. It was appropriate humor because it made a nice connection with everyday life.

Conversely, in my opinion Cialdini wrote some chapters with too many examples illustrating the same point, and often forced his humor to make the book read less like a textbook. For example chapter 2 is 30 pages in length, about 10 pages too long in my opinion. I understood his main point of the chapter after his first empirical example. Although comprehensive, I believe that the chapters felt too drawn out in parts. Also, I did not like the humor he used to make this book read in a Ð''popular' tone. This book was rooted in scientific research, which at times I started feeling his main points were undermined by him trying to make the book an enjoyable Ð''pop culture' read. In my opinion his jokes often



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