The Psychology of Influence: Theory, research and practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Psychology of Influence

Theory, research and practice, 1st Edition

By Joop van der Pligt, Michael Vliek


250 pages

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pub: 2016-10-21
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Whether it’s our choice of a new car or what we think about our neighbours, our opinions and attitudes are a way of negotiating the world around us. The Psychology of Influence explores how these preferences and behaviours are influenced and affected by the messages we receive in daily life. From consumer choices to political, lifestyle and financial decisions, the book examines how and why we may be influenced by a range of sources, from written text and television to social media and interpersonal communication.

In a field that has fascinated scholars since Plato, the book addresses the key questions across cognitive, social and emotional domains:

  • When do arguments become persuasive?
  • What influence do role models have?
  • What role do simple rules of thumb, social norms or emotions play?
  • Which behaviours are difficult to influence, and why?

Covering topics from attraction, prejudice and discrimination to reward, punishment and unconscious bias, The Psychology of Influence will be invaluable reading for students and researchers across a range of areas within applied and social psychology, as well as those in political science, communications, marketing and business and management.

Table of Contents

List of figures List of tables List of boxes Preface 1. Influence: definition, history and a model 2. Attitudes and behaviour 3. Persuasion through argumentation 4. Cognitive heuristics 5. Social heuristics 6. Emotions and influence 7. Punishment and reward 8. Automatic influences on attitudes and behaviour 9. Social norms and social comparison 10. Modification of complex behaviour: from intentions to action 11. Back to the future Glossary Index

About the Authors

Joop van der Pligt was a Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests pertained to attitudes, perceived risk and affect in relation to decision making. He died in 2015, when this book was almost complete.

Michael Vliek is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. His current research interests lie on the intersection of group behaviour and emotions.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Consumer Behavior
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Advocacy
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology