- [-] Other Available FormatsOur PriceNew & Used MarketplaceInvisible Influence (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio$29.99
If you're like most people, you think that your choices and behaviors are driven by your individual, personal tastes, and opinions. You wear a certain jacket because you liked the way it looked. You picked a particular career because you found it interesting. The notion that our choices are driven by our own personal thoughts and opinions is patently obvious. Right? Wrong.
Without our realizing it, other people's behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous occasion. Even strangers have a startling impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we're told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same in both cases).
But social influence doesn't just lead us to do the same things as others. In some cases we conform, or imitate others around us. But in other cases we diverge, or avoid particular choices or behaviors because other people are doing them. We stop listening to a band because they go mainstream. We skip buying the minivan because we don't want to look like a soccer mom.
In his surprising and compelling Invisible Influence, Jonah Berger integrates research and thinking from business, psychology, and social science to focus on the subtle, invisible influences behind our choices as individuals. By understanding how social influence works, we can decide when to resist and when to embrace it--and how we can use this knowledge to make better-informed decisions and exercise more control over our own behavior.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Expanding on the ideas explored in his 2013 bestseller, Contagious, Berger offers an engaging guide to the concept of social influence. He examines how opposing categories of socially motivated behavior—imitation and differentiation—combine to create complex cultural patterns. He shows, for example, the imperceptible communal nudges behind baby-naming trends, racial achievement gaps, and group decision-making at work. Though Berger teaches marketing, his book appeals to readers beyond the M.B.A.s. Ultimately, the focus is on applied psychology. “We like things that are moderately similar,” he says, “blending the allure of novelty with the comfort of the familiar.” Some of his points are familiar from Psychology 101: familiarity increases attraction, stereotypes are shortcuts used to process new information. But unlike the writing in the average psych textbook, Berger’s prose is consistently entertaining, applying science to real life in surprising ways and explaining research through narrative. He can be repetitive, and his stylistic brevity becomes distracting: sentence fragments are overused. Still, it makes for good retention. Social influence is an intricate subject, but Berger simplifies without patronizing. His book fascinates because it opens up the moving parts of a mysterious machine, allowing readers to watch them in action. (June)