There are two fundamental books that Dr Robert Cialdini has written: Influence
. So far I have read only the first book, originally published in 1984. The second book is on my reading list.
While my opinion hardly counts after all the compliments expressed by Munger (he sent copies of the book to all his children and gave Cialdini Berkshire stock as a gift), I still want to say that the book was an eye-opener for me, even though I read quite a few books on psychology already. While many of the points look too obvious to take them seriously, my future experience with social media (Twitter
in particular) has proven the value of Cialdini's work. I also encourage readers not to be disturbed by seemingly outdated references to past marketing practices. The book was written before smartphones or Instagram were created.
However, I think all the social media platforms have been built on the principles discussed in the book.
In fact, I was left with a sad feeling after reading it as it became quite obvious that humans can be so easily persuaded into doing stuff they do not rationally want to do and from that perspective our mind is actually not that complex as we sometimes think.
The book is a must-read for anyone involved in marketing, especially on social media. That may be relevant even for early-stage portfolio managers willing to raise more capital and convince future investors to put money into their funds. It also helps investors to improve their decision-making process by highlighting all the weaknesses in our process. I plan to introduce the six principles of influence discussed by Cialdini into my Checklist to be sure my thinking is not influenced by forces outside of my control and is based as much on facts and logic as possible.