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...
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