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The Power of Persuasion: How We're Bought and Sold
     

The Power of Persuasion: How We're Bought and Sold

3.0 1
by Robert Levine
 

"An engaging, highly readable survey of the sophisticated methods of persuasion we encounter in various situations. From television to telemarketing and from self-deception to suicide cults, Levine takes a hard look at all the ways we attempt to persuade each other—and how and why they work (or don't). . . . The next time you wonder what possessed you to pay

Overview

"An engaging, highly readable survey of the sophisticated methods of persuasion we encounter in various situations. From television to telemarketing and from self-deception to suicide cults, Levine takes a hard look at all the ways we attempt to persuade each other—and how and why they work (or don't). . . . The next time you wonder what possessed you to pay $50 for a medallion commemorating the series finale of Friends, you'll know where to turn."
—Slashdot.org

"If you're like most people, you think advertising and marketing work—just not on you. Robert Levine's The Power of Persuasion demonstrates how even the best-educated cynics among us can be victimized by sales pitches."
—The Globe and Mail

"Levine puts [his] analysis in the service of his real mission—to arm the reader against manipulation."
—The Wall Street Journal

"This wonderful book will change the way you think and act in many realms of your life."
—Philip Zimbardo former president, American Psychological Association

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This valuable and nonacademic guide reveals the extent to which we are surrounded by persuasion, and how we can resist. Levine (A Geography of Time), professor of psychology at Cal State Fresno, opens by demonstrating that all of us (including himself) can be persuaded under the right circumstances. He goes on to study financial manipulation and the use of the sense of obligation (which exists in all cultures, even if it is most strongly visible in Japan), and then proceeds to a nuts-and-bolts analysis of salesmanship by describing what he learned and did (and had done to him) as an automobile salesman. He offers an admirably concise and unemotional analysis of the famous Milgram experiment, involving the (claimed) administration of ever-stronger electric shocks to test the impulse to obedience. Inevitably, he moves to cults, the Moonies and the ultimate persuasion horror story, Jonestown. Not so inevitably, he avoids hysteria and demonization, even of Jim Jones, and points out that brute force is required at the extreme end of the persuasion spectrum. Levine's final chapter offers ways of dealing with unwelcome persuasion while remaining part of a society in which some persuasion is part of almost any social interaction. The final results are bout as far as possible from the shrill Hidden Persuaders tradition or the cult deprogrammers who become cult gurus themselves-and quite persuasive about the author's credentials, common sense and ethics. (Mar.) (Publishers Weekly, February 24, 2003)

"an interesting book". (The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2003)

"If you're like most people, you think advertising and marketing work—just not on you. Robert Levine's The Power of Persuasion demonstrates how even the best-educated cynics among us can be victimized by sales pitches." —The Globe and Mail's website, www.globeandmail.com

Publishers Weekly
This valuable and nonacademic guide reveals the extent to which we are surrounded by persuasion, and how we can resist. Levine (A Geography of Time), a professor of psychology at Cal State Fresno, opens by demonstrating that all of us (including himself) can be persuaded under the right circumstances. He goes on to study financial manipulation and the use of the sense of obligation (which exists in all cultures, even if it is most strongly visible in Japan), and then proceeds to a nuts-and-bolts analysis of salesmanship by describing what he learned and did (and had done to him) as an automobile salesman. He offers an admirably concise and unemotional analysis of the famous Milgram experiment, involving the (claimed) administration of ever-stronger electric shocks to test the impulse to obedience. Inevitably, he moves to cults, the Moonies and the ultimate persuasion horror story, Jonestown. Not so inevitably, he avoids hysteria and demonization, even of Jim Jones, and points out that brute force is required at the extreme end of the persuasion spectrum. Levine's final chapter offers ways of dealing with unwelcome persuasion while remaining part of a society in which some persuasion is part of almost any social interaction. The final results are bout as far as possible from the shrill Hidden Persuaders tradition or the cult deprogrammers who become cult gurus themselves-and quite persuasive about the author's credentials, common sense and ethics. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471266341
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
02/21/2003
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.65(h) x 1.06(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"If you read this book, you’ll be privy to the tactics of those who wish to part you from your money, your freedom, your time. How you use this knowledge is up to you."
—Ellen B. Tabor, M.D., Psychiatric Services magazine

"Outstanding and thoroughly engrossing... a must-read survival guide... in the 21st century."
—Harry Reis, Ph.D., Psychology Professor, University of Rochester

"Wonderful book... will change the way you think and act in many realms of your life."
—Philip Zimbardo, President, A.P.A.

"Witty and wise... I couldn't put it down. A great book..."
—David Myers, Hope College, author Intuition: Its Powers and Perils

"Important and very interesting. Both our students and the public should read it."
—Ed Diener, Psychology Department, University of Illinois

Meet the Author

ROBERT LEVINE is Professor and former chairperson of the psychology department at California State University, Fresno. He is the author of the award-winning book A Geography of Time, which has been translated into six languages. Dr. Levine has published articles in Psychology Today, Discover, American Demographics, the New York Times, Utne Reader, and American Scientist. He has received awards for his teaching, research, and writing, including being named California State’s "Outstanding Professor." Dr. Levine serves on boards of professional organizations in the United States, Germany, and Taiwan.

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