Posted by: CJ | April 1, 2009

But I want to be an artist!

I spent awhile last week reading Yes!:50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. I didn’t like it, for several reasons.

At first, the most annoying problem was the structure. It’s written like a daily devotional, with 50 short several page chapters. I hated that. It eliminated all sense of flow and contintuity. And it sacrificed overarching ideas in favor of cute examples. I am clearly not a member of the intended audience.

The other issue snuck up on me over time. The book says its methods are scientific. What they really mean is the effectiveness of the methods were evaluated based on the responses of large numbers of people. This necessarily limits the methods discussed to things that can affect large numbers of people independently. So the methods were the sorts of things marketers, teachers, administrators, managers, and advertising people would love.

The book does not cater to 1-on-1 or small group situations, nor did they cater to persuading unique individuals. As a member of the science wing of ivory tower academia everyone I interact with in a normal day is a unique inidividual. So not particularly helpful for my daily life. Apparently such situations are still more in the realm of art than science.


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