Review of You Have More Influence Than You Think by Vanessa Bohns

In You Have More Influence Than You Think, Vanessa Bohns explores how much social influence we all really have. The clue is in the subtitle of the book “how we underestimate our power of persuasion, and why it matters”. You could call it a superpower that we don’t even realise we have.

Conversely, we all think other people notice much more than they really do, especially when we are wearing an “embarrassing” t-shirt (known as the “spotlight effect”). This underestimation is only because we are very self-conscious in some situations, whereas in most normal situations we underestimate the attention we get.

Vanessa Bohns points out how often we can achieve a result just by asking (the “because effect” is encapsulated in the famous photocopier experiment). Likewise, she explains why when other people ask us for something we find it so hard to say no.

This is a great read on social psychology and an empowering book that will make you think differently about how you interact with other people.

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