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Brain + Society + Science Reads

5 Books | by Ryan Miller

Past Reads
Influence

Influence

Books

The widely adopted, now classic book on influence and persuasion—a major national and international bestseller with more than four million copies sold!In this highly acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Dr. Robert B. Cialdini—the seminal expert in the field of influence and persuasion—explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these principles ethically in business and everyday situations.You’ll learn the six universal principles of influence and how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and, just as importantly, how to defend yourself against dishonest influence attempts:Reciprocation: The internal pull to repay what another person has provided us.Commitment and Consistency: Once we make a choice or take a stand, we work to behave consistently with that commitment in order to justify our decisions.Social Proof: When we are unsure, we look to similar others to provide us with the correct actions to take. And the more, people undertaking that action, the more we consider that action correct.Liking: The propensity to agree with people we like and, just as important, the propensity for others to agree with us, if we like them.Authority: We are more likely to say “yes” to others who are authorities, who carry greater knowledge, experience or expertise.Scarcity: We want more of what is less available or dwindling in availability.Understanding and applying the six principles ethically is cost-free and deceptively easy. Backed by Dr. Cialdini’s 35 years of evidence-based, peer-reviewed scientific research—as well as by a three-year field study on what moves people to change behavior—Influence is a comprehensive guide to using these principles effectively to amplify your ability to change the behavior of others.
The Paradox of Choice

The Paradox of Choice

Books

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.
How We Decide

How We Decide

Books

The first book to use the unexpected discoveries of neuroscience to help us make the best decisions Since Plato, philosophers have described the decision-making process as either rational or emotional: we carefully deliberate, or we "blink" and go with our gut. But as scientists break open the mind's black box with the latest tools of neuroscience, they're discovering that this is not how the mind works. Our best decisions are a finely tuned blend of both feeling and reason--and the precise mix depends on the situation. When buying a house, for example, it's best to let our unconscious mull over the many variables. But when we're picking a stock, intuition often leads us astray. The trick is to determine when to use the different parts of the brain, and to do this, we need to think harder (and smarter) about how we think. Jonah Lehrer arms us with the tools we need, drawing on cutting-edge research as well as the real-world experiences of a wide range of "deciders"--from airplane pilots and hedge fund investors to serial killers and poker players. Lehrer shows how people are taking advantage of the new science to make better television shows, win more football games, and improve military intelligence. His goal is to answer two questions that are of interest to just about anyone, from CEOs to firefighters: How does the human mind make decisions? And how can we make those decisions better?
The Age Curve

The Age Curve

Books

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.
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