The Influential Mind by Tali Sharot

I don’t watch a lot of news. That doesn’t mean I am not informed, I just get my news from other forms. I don’t watch news of television because most of the time I only see a lot of debating. Now there is nothing specifically wrong with debating, in fact I believe when I debate a topic I learn more about that topic. However, here is one thing you never see at the end of a debate: someone changing their mind or someone telling their opponent they are right.


The simple answer: it takes a lot for us to change our mind. Now that doesn’t me we are not gullible or easily fooled or manipulated. That actually happens all the time, but takes a handful of factors to influence our brains.

For example, if you have a strong conviction on gun control (or the lack thereof), there is no journal article or set of data I can give you the will convince you otherwise. There is just more to us humans that cold facts. We are controlled by our prior beliefs, emotions, incentives, independence, curiosity, well-being and others.

I like to think of myself as a rational, education man, but when time and time again I give way to superstitions, habits, and internet ads; not because I am weak, but because I am human.

The Influential Mind covers all these aspects of influence. This is not the best book concerning this concept, but it is still pretty good. I picked this book up after hearing the author speak on a few podcasts. If you have read other books concerning choice or human influential behavior, then you probably have heard of this book already.