Summary of 7 Secrets of Persuasion

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To understand the art of persuasion, you can turn to cognitive science for guidance in dealing with the unconscious “lizard” mind. Advertising strategist James C. Crimmins investigates the cognitive science behind motivation to show you how to persuade others more effectively. The “automatic” part of the human mind – the lizard brain – affects many decisions. To persuade the lizard to cooperate, learn its language. To be persuasive, help it fulfill its desires. Crimmins explains how to unearth the lizard’s drives and change its expectations so they match the consumer’s experience of your message. Note that the way you convey a message may matter more than the message itself. getAbstract recommends this fascinating overview to marketing professionals and anyone seeking insight into how people think and what motivates them to act.

About the Author

A sociologist and statistician by training, James C. Crimmins, PhD, worked for 27 years as a strategist with Needham, Harper & Steers and DDB Worldwide, working with such brands as Budweiser and McDonald’s. He also taught integrated marketing communication at Northwestern University’s Medill School.



Understanding the “Lizard” Mind

To persuade people, you need to understand how the mind works, whether you’re asking consumers to choose a certain mobile phone, shun junk food or support your candidate. In the past, scientists believed people made choices consciously. However, cognitive science now indicates that the unconscious mind plays a pivotal role in decision making.

People use two different methods of thinking: an almost instinctive approach that remains largely “nonconscious” and a more deliberate “conscious” approach. The nonconscious or “automatic” part of the mind affects many decisions. Experts refer to this aspect of the brain as the “lizard inside.” The conscious mind has limited processing capabilities. The lizard – “automatic, nonconscious mental system” – has almost limitless capabilities. Your unconscious lizard mind could have 25,000 times more capacity than your reflective, conscious mental system.

You use the conscious part of your brain for activities that evolution didn’t prepare you to carry out, such as “dieting, calculus and science.” The lizard does what evolution primed it to do in order to keep you alive, such as ensuring blood...

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    A. A. 11 months ago
    I found the summary practical in concept and agree with the premise of changing behaviors verses changing the way someone thinks.
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    T. A. 12 months ago
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    S. G. 2 years ago
    great read
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    K. L. 4 years ago
    can't wait to read this one
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    D. O. 4 years ago
    looking forward to reading this
  • Avatar
    J. B. 4 years ago
    I found the summary practical in concept and agree with the premise of changing behaviors verses changing the way someone thinks.
  • Avatar
    D. M. 4 years ago
    This is a great read.