The Best Books On Consumer Psychology

By Frank R. Kardes

The Books I Picked & Why

Influence: Science and Practice

By Robert B. Cialdini

Influence: Science and Practice

Why this book?

Cialdini is one of the greatest influence and persuasion researchers of all time. This book is scientifically grounded, entertaining, and a must read for anyone interested in selling a product, a service, an idea, or even themselves (in a job interview or online dating context). Cialdini demonstrates that consumers are susceptible to six major influence techniques that are particularly effective when consumers are on automatic pilot.


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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

By Robert B. Cialdini

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Why this book?

Another scientifically-grounded but entertaining book by Cialdini. Setting the stage for influence and persuasion requires reducing consumer resistance, increasing consumer receptivity, and expert timing on the part of the influence agent. Cialdini demonstrates that priming techniques and tunnel-vision-based techniques can be surprisingly effective.


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Consumer Behavior

By Maria Cronley, Thomas Cline, Frank R. Kardes

Consumer Behavior

Why this book?

This textbook is scientifically grounded but highly readable. This book offers an information-processing perspective to help us get inside the head of the consumer and to understand how attention, memory, judgment, and inference processes operate in concert to influence consumer decision making. Consumers are frequently unaware of these influences on their thinking and reasoning.


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Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture

By Susan T. Fiske, Shelley E. Taylor

Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture

Why this book?

The new fourth edition of the classic text on cognitive social psychology with many important implications for understanding consumer psychology. The authors are leading researchers and the text is organized using an information processing perspective. The text covers classic social psychological topics, such as person perception, person memory, stereotyping, attitudes and persuasion, causal inference, and decision making. The text is science-based, high level, but also very readable and appropriate for a general audience.


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The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

By Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach

The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

Why this book?

This book focuses on the psychology of decision making, but is highly relevant to consumer decision making. Humankind’s greatest strength is the ability to share knowledge. However, one side effect of this strength is the inability to distinguish between what one knows and what others know. This can lead to a surprisingly large array of decision-making biases and errors. Most of these errors pertain to the overestimation of how much one knows about a topic and the overconfidence that results.


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