Influence (1984) explains in detail the fundamental principles of persuasion. How do you get people to say yes? How do other people get you to say yes? How are you manipulated by sleek salesmen, clever marketing folks and sneaky confidence tricksters? These blinks will help you understand the psychology behind their techniques, enabling you to unleash your own persuasive powers, while also defending against their tactics of manipulation.
Give and Take offers a breath of fresh air to traditional theories of what it takes to be successful. Backed by ground-breaking research, Give and Take demonstrates how giving more to others, rather than competing against them, may be the secret to profound success and fulfillment.
Snakes in Suits (2006) examines what happens when a psychopath doesn’t wind up in jail, but instead puts on a suit and gets a job. The book outlines the tactics these predators use, how they damage companies and how you can protect yourself.
You Are Not So Smart (2011) explores the many different ways we have of deluding ourselves. By delving into a wide range of psychological research, the author challenges the notion that we are logical, rational beings who see the world as it really is and makes a case that we mislead ourselves every single day, for better and for worse.
The Charisma Myth (2013) defies the popular notion that charisma is inherited, arguing instead that everyone can cultivate their own charisma, and in doing so can have a more positive attitude, find more success, and handle obstacles more successfully.
Using wide-ranging examples of charismatic people, from state leaders to CEOs to employees, the book also outlines the different styles of charisma and how to practice demonstrating each, and offers some useful tools and exercises with which to improve their psychological well-being.
Spy the Lie reveals the typical strategies that liars use to try to deceive you, as well as the tools to help you detect them. This book draws on field-tested methods for lie detection developed by former CIA officers, which helps to spot the signs of a lie and ask the right questions to uncover the truth.
We often swallow scientific-sounding language used in advertisements or on the news without any further thought. But if we analyze it a little, we often find that it’s merely pseudoscience. Bad Science shows us that this bogus science can lead to serious misunderstandings, injustice and even death.
In Mindwise, author Nicholas Epley looks at our ability to read the minds of other people, arguing that we believe ourselves to be far more adept at “mind reading” than we actually are. He reveals the common mistakes we make when trying to figure out what other people feel or want, and provides an entirely new perspective on how to handle both your own stereotypes and those of other people.
Think Like A Freak is a blueprint for thinking unconventionally and creatively. It demonstrates the benefits of letting go of conventional wisdoms, and teaches you to dig deeper to find out how things really work. By learning to think like a "freak", you’ll gain access to an entirely new way of solving problems and making sense of the world.
The Prince is a 16th century guide on how to be an autocratic leader of a country. It explains why ends like glory and power always justify even brutal means for princes. Thanks to this book, the word “Machiavellian” came to mean using deceit and cunning to one’s advantage.
The Upside of Your Dark Side looks into the darkest depths of the human psyche, only to discover that the painful emotions that we often wish we could just make go away – anger, anxiety, guilt – are sometimes the key to our success. Backed by many fascinating scientific studies, The Upside of Your Dark Side makes it clear that psychological health means wholeness rather than happiness.
The Small BIG offers 52 examples on how minor changes in your behavior can make you more confident and successful when it comes to negotiating with and persuading others. Those who read this book will be able to draw value from the examples and make significant improvements to their persuasion style.
You Are Now Less Dumb provides thought-provoking studies and examples on how our brains often misguide us. It also enlightens readers with tips on how to uncover these unfounded beliefs and find out what’s actually happening in and around us.
The True Believer (1951), published in the aftermath of World War II, is an exploration of mass movements and the means by which they attract followers. These blinks will take you on a walk through history – showing how, under certain circumstances, be they right or wrong, anyone can become a true believer.
59 seconds (2010) lays out some handy tips and insights backed by scientific research. Apply them today, and experience the change you want in your life.
Social Engineering (2011) reveals the secret methods hackers and con artists use to manipulate their targets and scam their victims. The book provides detailed step-by-step depictions of how criminals plan a scheme, and gives you all the tools you need to prevent yourself from being duped.
Out of Character (2011), introduces a more flexible idea about character that goes beyond the classic dichotomy of the saint and the sinner. These blinks use psychological experiments to demonstrate how many of the traits we consider fixed are prone to influence by outside events, often in surprising ways.
In The Upside of Irrationality (2011), Dan Ariely uses behavioral economics to show us why we behave irrationally, how it affects our decision-making processes, and what we can do to make better choices.
In Sheep’s Clothing (1996) reveals the aggressive, undercover agenda of manipulative individuals, whose covert tactics would otherwise remain hidden. These blinks offers you tools to become aware of, prepare for and deal with the tricks used by manipulative colleagues, family members and friends.
Phishing for Phools (2015) reveals the ways in which modern free-market systems, so often praised as the epitome of rational exchange, are fueled instead by willful deceit, with the goal of pushing you to act against your self-interest.
Thank You for Arguing (2013) is a guide to the art of rhetoric. These blinks explain what rhetoric really is, how persuasion works and how to win a debate by drawing on in-depth research, anecdotes and theories from the great orators of history.
Games People Play (1964) explores the fascinating and bizarre world of psychological games, where players unconsciously manipulate each other into acting in alienating and self-destructive ways. Eric Berne dissects the hidden dynamics beneath the games people play – and shows how to escape from them and find true intimacy.
Emotional Blackmail (1997) helps us understand, identify, confront and remedy manipulation in our closest relationships. These blinks are filled with insightful explanations about the true nature of toxic relationships and provide you with the tools you need to break out of this vicious cycle.
Talking to Crazy (2015) acknowledges that each person has the potential to be a little crazy, giving into irrational behavior when the mood strikes. These blinks offer sound advice on how to empathize and communicate with a person in “crazy mode” so you can keep yourself from going off the deep end, too.
We live in a society that pushes us to fear what’s out there. Risk (2008) delves into the psychological and sociological reasons why fear is so deeply rooted in modern times, and why the world isn’t really as bad as we’re made to think it is.
Nonsense (2015) is all about ambiguity and the effect it has on our lives. We encounter situations we don’t understand all the time, both in regular daily life and in extreme situations like natural disasters. These blinks outline the widespread effects, both negative and positive, that this nonsense has on our behavior, and why it’s so important to understand it.
The Confidence Game (2016) reveals exactly how con artists can strike it rich by taking advantage of some major flaws in human nature. Find out why people believe incredibly unlikely stories and ignore incriminating evidence, and discover how basic human trust and optimism can be used to a con artist’s advantage.
Irresistible (2017) shows how dangerously dependent we’ve become on the smartphones, tablets, video games and social platforms that we’ve surrounded ourselves with. Is our attachment to these devices strictly related to the convenience they provide? Or have we actually grown addicted to the psychological rewards they offer?
Lawyers, Liars and the Art of Storytelling (2016) reveals the unexpected relationship between screenwriting and the art of presenting a legal case. These are two disciplines that both rely on great storytelling skills and effective rhetoric. So with the aid of real-life examples and tips people in television and film, you’ll find out how you can use the art of storytelling to craft compelling cases that will keep the courtroom riveted.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“I love all the quirks and oddities of human behavior showcased in these blinks, they make for great conversation!”
– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist
Experiments With People (2003) is a survey of social psychology throughout the twentieth century, and everything we have come to learn from it. These blinks will teach you about yourself, the hidden sides of human nature, why we make the choices we do and how altruistic humans really are.
Stick with It (2017) offers sensible advice that you can start using today to make positive changes in your life. Drawing from real-world case studies and the latest behavioral research, author Sean Young provides a thorough and rational plan for how you can combat your bad habits and follow through on your dreams and goals.
Political Tribes (2018) is an insightful study of one of today’s most pressing issues: tribalism. From postwar Iraq to Chavez’s Venezuela and Trump’s America, political life has become increasingly polarized. That’s a problem. Once people stop trying to understand each other and retreat into the safety of their own tribes, conflict becomes inevitable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Amy Chua argues that foreign and domestic policy can defuse tensions as long as those policies are based on a sound understanding of tribalism.
Skin in the Game (2018) explores the ways in which our interactions with others are secretly influenced by risk and symmetry. By drawing on ideas from the field of probability, and applying them to everyday scenarios, Taleb reveals unexpected and often dazzling insights about what really makes society tick.
Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies (2015) is an introduction to the basic principles behind NLP. If you’ve ever struggled to say what’s on your mind, NLP may be of use to you. Discover the human traits that can keep us from understanding each other and the helpful methods that can lead to clear and effective communication.
Captivate (2017) is your guide to human behavior and social success. Whether you’re trying to connect with others at home, at work or out in the world, Van Edwards set about breaking down the mechanics of how to capture people’s attention and engage in meaningful interaction.
The Laws of Human Nature (2018) takes an in-depth look at the many aspects of the human condition that often go overlooked or unacknowledged. As author Robert Greene explains, we are all a bit narcissistic, irrational, short-sighted and prone to compulsive and aggressive behavior. But once we accept and start to understand these aspects of human nature, we can begin to control and even benefit from them.
I’m Judging You (2016) provides a uniquely humorous take on all the ways modern society can produce annoying, absurd and downright terrible people. Whether it’s misusing hashtags on social media or being an unbearable sexist monster, author Luvvie Ajayi is ready to call out their awfulness and provide readers with some pointers on how to avoid her judgemental wrath.
Super Thinking (2019) is a conceptual toolkit designed to help you cut through complexity and make better decisions. Drawing on insights from fields as varied as biology and economics, entrepreneur Gabriel Weinberg and statistician Lauren McCann present the “mental models” used by today’s top problem-solvers and decision-makers. But this isn’t a dry academic treatise on logic: apply these models to your personal and professional conundrums and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a super thinker in your own right!
Talking to Strangers (2019) is a powerful exploration of how little we know about the people we don’t know. It explores how we misjudge and misunderstand strangers, sometimes with terrible consequences, making a powerful case for more tolerance and patience in our dealings with others.
In these blinks, you’ll learn
Loserthink (2019) looks at the various ways in which we fall victim to unproductive thinking habits. Drawing upon history, psychology, global affairs, and business to reveal the pitfalls of such habits, these blinks will sharpen your thinking in an increasingly irrational world.
Messengers (2019) is a fascinating exploration of why we listen to, follow, or believe in some people but not others. It explains why thoughtful experts are sometimes ignored in favor of confident blowhards. And it reveals why apparently irrelevant details, like the color of someone’s lipstick or the roundness of their face, can make a huge difference to how we respond to them.
The Power of Bad (2019) is a thorough exploration of the outsized influence negativity has in our personal lives and our society. Based on well-researched insights from social psychology, political science, and economics, it unpacks how this “negativity bias” came about and what we can do to overcome it.
The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit (2021) uses real-world examples to help you build critical thinking habits – which will enable you to recognize and resist all the false information that pervades society.
Surrounded By Narcissists (2022) is a guide to recognizing narcissists and understanding how they operate. Erikson suggests simple, effective methods for dealing with any narcissists you know, whether it’s your partner, a relative, someone you work with, or possibly all three – you may be surrounded.
The Secret History (1992) is the gripping tale of a group of Classics students at a New England college who are involved in the murder of a classmate. The novel explores the complex relationships between the friends, and the impact the incident has on their lives.
Collective Illusions (2022) explores the idea of conformity bias: how it shapes our decisions for better or worse, and how we can overcome this behavior and even use it for good.
Adult Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (2022) explores the ramifications of having a narcissistic parent, and what you as an adult can do to release yourself from your mother’s toxic hold. Its toolkit will help you manage the difficult feelings that come with being raised by a narcissist – like self-doubt, shame, and anxiety – so that you can start living on your own terms.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go (2015) is a comprehensive survival guide for those in a relationship with a narcissist. Dr. Ramani breaks down what narcissism is, highlights the red flags to look out for, and offers two concrete roadmaps – one for deciding to stay, and one for deciding to go.
If You Tell (2019) details the story of Michelle “Shelly” Knotek, the mother of three daughters who subjected her family to an ongoing nightmare of abuse and torture. Those who got close to Shelly had a way of succumbing to her methods of manipulation and control. For some, it meant their death.
Propaganda (1928) is a plain-speaking and unashamed defense of the techniques of political and social manipulation. Far from being a dark art practiced by despots and dictators, Bernays suggests that propaganda instead plays an essential and necessary role in the life of modern democracies. Not everyone agrees, of course, but nearly 100 years later the enduring influence of Bernays’s arguments is reason enough to engage with them.
Flipnosis (2010) looks at the role of persuasion in our lives, and the social and biological underpinnings that allow some people to quickly and successfully encourage and convince those around them. By examining the science and looking at real-world master persuaders – from magicians and advertisers to criminals and psychopaths – you too can tap into the art of persuasion.
Exactly What to Say (2017) is designed to provide you with the key phrases and words to make your conversations count and bring you success. It contains magic words. Words that are heard and interpreted by the subconscious mind. Words which will help you get the results you want.
Gaslighting (2018) is an illuminating guide in the obscure world of emotional manipulation. It reveals how to identify and break free from the devastating impact of gaslighting, so you can regain control of your life and restore your sense of self.
The Uses of Delusions (2022) ventures into the intriguing realm of irrational beliefs and delusions, highlighting their essential role in shaping our lives and detailing how these misconceptions surprisingly confer benefits. These beneficial delusions serve as crucial contributors to our happiness, relationships and even survival, constructing a compelling narrative about the paradoxical power of irrationality.
The Highly Sensitive Person’s Guide to Dealing with Toxic People (2020) sheds light on why empathetic individuals tend to attract those with toxic personalities and harmful behaviors. It provides a practical guide to recognizing, mitigating, and recovering from the manipulative tactics of toxic people.