Episode 67 – Jonah Berger M.D. – Invisible Influence


Jonah Berger M.D. is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the recent New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellerContagious: Why Things Catch On.  Dr. Berger has spent over 15 years studying how social influence works and how it drives products and ideas to catch on.  He’s published dozens of articles in top-tier academic journals, consulted for a variety of Fortune 500 companies, and popular outlets like the New York Times andHarvard Business Review often cover his work.

The New York Times bestselling author of Contagious explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat—in this fascinating and groundbreaking work.

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.

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Editorial Reviews on Invisible Influence:

“With great insight, Jonah Berger removes the cloak of invisibility from powerful sources of influence and resolves fascinating mysteries of human behavior.”
—Robert Cialdini, author of Influence“If you want to know what really influences your behavior, read Jonah Berger’s latest eye-opening book, packed with thought-provoking research, memorable stories, and powerful insights. A terrific read!”—William Ury, author of Getting to Yes with Yourself“As he did with Contagious, Jonah Berger takes us deep beneath the surface of things, with mesmerizing results. Invisible Influence is a book with the power to transform the way we see ourselves and our place in the world.”
Arianna Huffington, author of Thrive“Jonah Berger has done it again: Written a fascinating book that brims with ideas and tools for how to think about the world.”
– Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit“From the very first page, this book will change the way you look at yourself—and others. Eye-opening and thoroughly engaging.”
Amy Cuddy, author of Presence“Whether you want to influence others, make smarter decisions, or just better understand the mystery that is human behavior, this book will show you how. A terrific, insightful read.”
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

“Berger offers an engaging guide to the concept of social influence. Berger’s prose is consistently entertaining, applying science to real life in surprising ways and explaining research through narrative. His book fascinates because it opens up the moving parts of a mysterious machine, allowing readers to watch them in action.”
Publishers Weekly

“Berger picks up where his Contagious: Why Things Catch On (2013) left off to explore why we desire what we do—and more, why we act as we do, politically, socially, economically, and emotionally… he does a good job of distilling scientific insights into easily understood object lessons on social psychology.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Jonah continues to be one of the most innovative psychological researchers publishing today. His insights are not only thought provoking and counter-intuitive, he manages to express them in a practical and pragmatic way. I’ll read anything he writes—and use it too.”—Ryan Holiday, author of Trust Me I’m Lying and Growth Hacker Marketing.

Find jonah’s work here: http://jonahberger.com/

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