Influence by Robert Cialdini [Infographic + Summary]

Applied Psychology, Social Psychology / Monday, April 22nd, 2019

By reading this summary of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, you will discover how to influence people.

About the author

Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career researching the science of influence earning him an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation. You can find more information on his personal website.

The author of the book is a famous researcher in Social Psychology, here in his book, he aimed to present the factors that shape human persuasion.

About the book

The book is classified in Social Psychology because it gives us insightful knowledge in group and individual behaviour. The release date was on 1984 and the book contains 336 pages (at its current version). It scores 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with 2,080 reviews (on April 23, 2019).

Key quote from the book

“Although there are thousands of different tactics that compliance practitioners employ to produce yes, the majority fall within six basic categories. Each of these categories is governed by a fundamental psychological principle that directs human behavior and, in so doing, gives the tactics their power.”

Robert Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Influence Infographic:

This infographic present you the key insights from Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion book by Robert Cialdini.

Infographic of INFLUENCE by Robert Cialdini book summary. The description follows in the blog post.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Influence Summary:

The 6 principles of persuasion

The six principles of persuasion are the pillar to which we are influenced in our daily lives. As Cialdini states, there is a ton of techniques but few principles that directs human behaviour.

It will not be wrong to state that gaining yes from another person is dependent upon the factors of skills and persuasion abilities. Persuasion is a very common and general trait of human beings as humans like to persuade others upon their point of views and all. It has been commonly observed that many people are not able to implement the factor of persuasion in the right way. If you are also facing an issue in this regard and want to improve your ability of how to influence others, Influence by Robert B. Cialdini is the perfect solution for you.

Make sure that you have the answer to the question of why. You may consider why as the push or motivation of your task as it will enable you to put in the best effort.

This psychology book covers the discussion on the six main aspects that lead to the successful implementation of persuasion:


We are inclined to accept requests from someone that already helped us in the past. We know that the world is a place of give and take. It’s a very simple fact that can lead you to the success of persuasion. You should keep in mind why the person standing right in front of you should say yes to your offer if you are not offering anything in return? So, you should have something that would be granted as the return to the favour of yes by the person.

Example: If any person has helped you in your bad times, you would for sure eagerly help that person in his or her bad times respectively. Isn’t so?


Asking to someone to do something for you will make him more inclined to do something for you immediately after. To explain it a little bit more, the act that someone accepts to do something for us, locks his identity and the expectations that we have toward his behavior. This will push him to do others things to stay consistent with his previous actions of accepting to perform a behavior.

Example: Asking a stranger to tell you the time right before asking for money, increase your likelihood to get money.

Social proof

Knowing what others do in uncertain situations guide us to know what is the best behaviour to perform. Even if others are doing bad things. Many times, our response is driven by the social environment. But we do not notice.

Example: Has it ever happened that you went to the restaurant with your friends and you do not know what to drink? But your friends order a cappuccino, you would also go with the cup of cappuccino.


It is a general observation that we intend to put in more efforts for the people will like. We want to make sure that we are putting in our ultimate energy for the tasks that are centered upon the people who hold special places in our lives. There are five main factors that define the aspect of liking:

  • Physical attractiveness:

With no doubt, our brain is inclined towards the visual appealing. Sometimes we want to do the task for that specific person because of the relationship of visual attractiveness.

  • Shared circles:

At times two individuals can hold the shared circles of interest. So, we prefer to surround ourselves with the people who are more like us in certain aspects and we want to do more for them.

  • Compliments or appreciation:

It is human nature that he/she wants to be appreciated for the effort he/she makes in some task. So, we prefer the task that will come with the seasoning of appreciation from someone, whether in the form of words or in the form of reward.

  • Contact:

We hold a different level of contact and affiliation with different people according to relationships or circumstances. We like to establish a contact or association with those people/things who lift us up and are a source of pride.

  • Association or conditioning:

Our mind has the capability to associate individuals according to the type of information they rotate among others. At times, we categorize the person as a negative or positive, according to the ideas he/she speaks about.

Example:You are more persuaded by the ideas of your friends as compared to strangers. And, so is the case about you persuading them;


Respect and authority (titles) are the factors that decide the level of persuasion. We are more intended to believe in the ideas and talks of a person who holds a specific level of authority or title in terms of his/her profession and personality.

Example: In any company, the subordinates have to follow the instruction of the higher authorities. A nurse will go for the set of instructions provided by the doctor. Won’t she?


Last but not least, as a human, we are inclined towards the things that are less in number because of our fear to lose them. It is a key factor in the aspect of persuasion.

Example: Isn’t that last slice of pizza yummier and more appealing than the pizza as a whole?


So, if you want to polish your ability of persuasion, you just have to take into consideration of the above mentioned six key points. Are you ready to persuade others and enhance yourself in terms of business, relationships and a lot more? If yes, then the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini is waiting for you, go get it!

To discover in the book

  1. Attaining the “Yes” from the others.
  2. Implementing the law of reciprocation.
  3. Counter-act these principles,
  4. Interesting illustrative stories,
  5. Interesting illustrative research experiments,
  6. A better understanding of human behaviour.

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