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Robert Cialdini

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Robert Cialdini
Robert Cialdini at ZURICH.MINDS in 2012
Born (1945-04-27) April 27, 1945 (age 79)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (BS)
University of North Carolina (PhD)

Robert Beno Cialdini (born April 27, 1945) is an American psychologist. He is the Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and was a visiting professor of marketing, business and psychology at Stanford University.[1][2]



Cialdini received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee[3] in June 1967. He then went on to Graduate studies in Social Psychology at the University of North Carolina and earned his PhD in June 1970 and received postgraduate training in social psychology at Columbia University. He has held visiting scholar appointments at Ohio State University, the University of California, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University. Currently, Cialdini is Regents' Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.[4]



Cialdini wrote the 1984 book on persuasion and marketing, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It was based on three "undercover" years applying for and training at used car dealerships, fund-raising organizations, and telemarketing firms to observe real-life situations of persuasion. He found that influence is based on six key principles: reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, liking, scarcity.[5] In 2016 he proposed a seventh principle. He called it the unity principle. The more we identify ourselves with others, the more we are influenced by these others.[6]

The book has sold over five million copies and has been translated into 41 languages.[7] It has been listed on the New York Times Best Seller list and Fortune lists it in their "75 Smartest Business Books".[8] It is mentioned in 50 Psychology Classics.[9][10]

One of Cialdini's other books, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, was a New York Times Bestseller; and another of his books, The Small BIG: Small changes that spark a big influence, was a Times Book of the year.[11] In 2016, Cialdini published Pre-suasion, which became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.[12]

The Robert B. Cialdini prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology is named after him in honor of psychological research that demonstrates societal relevance using field methods.[13] He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in April 2019.[14]



Cialdini was hired alongside many other behavioral scientists for the Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2012.[15] He also advised in the early stages of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016.[16][17]

Selected publications

  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (William Morrow e Company, 1984), ISBN 0688128165
  • Influence: Science and Practice (Allyn & Bacon, 2000), ISBN 978-0321011473
  • Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive with Noah J. Goldstein and Steve J. Martin (Simon and Schuster, 2008), ISBN 978-1416570967.
  • The Small BIG: Small changes that spark a big influence with Steve J. Martin and Noah J. Goldstein (Grand Central Publishing, 2014), ISBN 978-1455584253
  • Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (Simon & Schuster, 2016), ISBN 978-1501109799


  1. ^ University, Arizona State. "ASU Staff Directory: Robert Cialdini". ASU.EDU. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  2. ^ University, Stanford. "ASU Staff Directory: Bob Cialdini". Stanford.EDU. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "Award Recipients | Alumni". Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  4. ^ Cialdini, Robert. "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Robert Cialdini Bureau Friendly. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  5. ^ Cialdini, Robert (2009). Influence: Science and Practice. Boston, MA: Pearson Education. ISBN 978-0-205-60999-4.
  6. ^ Cialdini, R. B. (2016). Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1501109799.
  7. ^ Josephson, Brady (April 22, 2015). "6 Principles of Influence You Can Use For Your Cause". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  8. ^ Useem, Jerry (March 21, 2005). "The Smartest Books We Know – March 21, 2005". Money.cnn.com. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  9. ^ Schaefer, Mark (2012). Return On Influence. McGraw-Hill.
  10. ^ Butler-Bowdon, Tom (2010). 50 Psychology Classics. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-85788-386-2. Retrieved June 29, 2015.
  11. ^ The New York Times (4 October 2008). "New York Times Best Seller List October, 2008". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persu…". Goodreads. Retrieved 2023-05-15.
  13. ^ "Cialdini Prize". SPSP.
  14. ^ "2019 NAS Election". National Academy of Sciences. April 30, 2019.
  15. ^ Carey, Benedict (November 12, 2012). "Academic 'Dream Team' Helped Obama's Effort". The New York Times.
  16. ^ "How to persuade people (hint: not by telling them they're stupid)". the Guardian. March 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Kellaway, Lucy (6 September 2016). "Persuasion tactics fit for a presidential campaign: Psychologist and business book author Robert Cialdini on how to sway people". FT.com. The Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 15 October 2019. I rang Mr Cialdini to ask if he was helping Mrs Clinton, what he did in the moment before he replied struck me as unusually important. This amounted to a longish pause, and an intake of breath. Very slowly he said: 'It's my policy not to speak about any campaign that's ongoing. The emotions are too deep.'

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