Brain + Society + Science Reads
5 Books | by Ryan Miller
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success. Some images that appeared in the print edition of this book are unavailable in the electronic edition due to rights reasons.
The Paradox of Choice
Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions—both big and small—have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented. As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice—the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish—becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse. By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives? The primary obstacle is a conflict that's built into our brains, say Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the critically acclaimed bestseller Made to Stick. Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by two different systems - the rational mind and the emotional mind - that compete for control. The rational mind wants a great beach body; the emotional mind wants that Oreo cookie. The rational mind wants to change something at work; the emotional mind loves the comfort of the existing routine. This tension can doom a change effort - but if it is overcome, change can come quickly. In Switch, the Heaths show how everyday people - employees and managers, parents and nurses - have united both minds and, as a result, achieved dramatic results: - The lowly medical interns who managed to defeat an entrenched, decades-old medical practice that was endangering patients - The home-organizing guru who developed a simple technique for overcoming the dread of housekeeping - The manager who transformed a lackadaisical customer-support team into service zealots by removing a standard tool of customer service In a compelling, story-driven narrative, the Heaths bring together decades of counterintuitive research in psychology, sociology, and other fields to shed new light on how we can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.
How We Decide
Offers a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making--and how it can help us make better choices.
The Age Curve
For years, marketers have held on to unwavering beliefs that have dictated how they market to their consumers. But the hard truth is that the changes we see in marketing and business are based on one undeniable factor—the size of the generations we are selling to. As each generation ages, what they buy and how much they buy will change. Each product and service has a “best customer” that sustains a business. As these customers grow up, the smartest marketers will stay ahead of them—and their money. In The Age Curve, marketing guru Kenneth Gronbach shows executives and entrepreneurs how to anticipate this wave of predictable demand and ride it to success. Gronbach reveals how our largest generations, the Baby Boomers and Generation Y, are redefining how we market and how businesses can anticipate their needs more effectively. Complete with entertaining examples of companies like Apple who have perfected their strategies for building a loyal customer base, as well as those who haven’t (Levi Strauss and Honda Motorcycle), this book will show readers: • how to determine their best customers • how successful companies are earning the loyalty of Generation Y and cultivating allegiance to their products for years to come • why Generation X is a much less valuable market than any of us have been led to believe • and much more Both shocking and compelling, The Age Curve will change the way companies look at their customers and how they market to them.