“The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others” by Tali Sharot— How We Influence Others

Sharot,Tali. “The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others”, Picador, 2018.

How We Influence Others

Amos Lassen

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot presents a research-based inquiry into how we influence those around us, and how understanding the brain can help us change minds for the better. We are given a look at the nature of influence and it is so important since we are all aware that we have a responsibility to affect others in so many ways. However, doing so takes skill and many of what we consider to be instincts are ineffective. This is simply because these are not compatible with how minds function.

Sharot explains how to avoid these pitfalls, and how it becomes stressful when we attempt to change beliefs and actions. Emotion plays a critical role in influence and the weakness of data and the power of curiosity are also important. Sharot makes us totally aware of the complex power of influence, good and bad.

Sharot demonstrates the failings of the human mind to learn from our mistakes while providing a practical series of lessons to overcome those habits. Sharot balances accessibility scientific research as she increases awareness of “the pitfalls of human reasoning, and how to overcome them.” We see that what we believed about influence is incorrect and now we learn the right ways to influence. Everyday, we miss opportunities to influence others because it’s so difficult to shift the attitudes and actions of others.

Sharot isolates factors central to influence and we see that the “smarter a person is, the greater his or her ability to rationalize and reinterpret discordant information, and the greater the polarizing boomerang effect is likely to be.” Emotion tends to overpower reason when it comes to human decision-making.

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