This review reads like Robert Cialdini's work:

 A master of persuasion reveals his secret:

First, though, you need to outfit yourself with the basic knowledge, and Mr. Dutton's research suggests there are five key elements, which he wraps up in the acronym SPICE. (His use of quippy anecdotes to begin each chapter, and his instinct for neologisms - the book was published in the U.K. as Flipnosis - illustrate his own canny knack for persuasion.) SPICE stands for Simplicity (that is: don't complicate matters), Perceived self-interest (someone will only be persuaded if they believe what's on offer will benefit them), Incongruity (the tactic, which throws off the target, often takes the form of humour), Confidence, and Empathy. Most of these, of course, are incorporated in the best ads for products, services, and politicians. But they also form the basis of the come-ons of, say, used car salesmen, so Mr. Dutton positions his work as an antidote to unwanted appeals.

"I think the people who read the book will not only learn the tricks of the trade - how to persuade - but they'll also know what to look for when such persuasion is angled at them," he says. "With knowledge comes protection."

The fact that some need that protection more than others - some are more persuadable - has led to a frenzy of scientific research. Neuroscientists are busy trying to read the brain's responses to various persuasive stimuli: Indeed, a study published last month in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience suggested there is a network of regions in the brain that responds to the act of being persuaded by an argument.


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