Elwood J. Bergman

If You Ever Get Close to a Human, and Human Behavior…


I’m currently pursuing a career in sales. This is a big change for me, so I’ve been guzzling audiobooks and podcasts about behavior and decision-making. Here’s a few I came across which I think will help anyone, regardless of your occupation.

Influence: Science and practice. This revision of his book published in 1984 is a classic in psychology. Using six principles, Cialdini explains why people make decisions which, on the surface, don’t make any sense. I cannot recommend this book enough. This PDF sums it up pretty well. As a humorous aside, those who have read Montague Summers‘s books on witches might notice a similarity to Robert Cialdini’s book on “compliance practitioners.”

Hidden Brain is a podcast about the quirks of the human mind, usually including recent events and scientific research. I will begin an episode thinking I know everything Shankar Vedantam is going to tell me from the title and description. I always finish surprised by the perspective I’ve gained. Along the way, he manages to tell a few interesting stories, too. This is one of the best podcasts out there, in my opinion. To start, try

Freakonomics is a book you might have read. The same people also make a podcast, which is great! This is how I first became interested in behavioral economics. They are not all How-to’s, but there was a series that may particularly interest you:

Udo J. Keppler‘s illustration of Charles W. Fairbanks as a teddy bear, 1907.