The author is a psychologist specialised in the psychology of compliance. This book grew out of his field study of infiltrating the compliance professional workforce (sales operators, fund raisers, recruiters, advertisers, etc) as an under-covered researcher in a three year period. It also contains many anecdotes of the author, famous historical events, and research studies (there is a more than 16 pages bibliography).
He summarized six basic principles of all the tactics. Here is a brief summary of them.
- Reciprocation: when a small favor is given, even if it’s uninvited, the feeling of obligation arises.
- Consistency: after taking an initial stand, one has the luxury to stop thinking any more.
- Social proof: monkey see, monkey do, especially when uncertain
- Liking: people are more compliant to the ones they like
- Authority: people are more compliant to authorities, or even symbols of authority
- Scarcity: the idea of potential loss scares us
There are many interesting examples in the book for these principles. Even better, the author provided strategies to defend oneself to each of them.
Overall, it is a very pleasant read to kill some free time.