Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior by Nick Kolenda

With a background in marketing and psychology, Nick Kolenda has been a professional mind reader for over 10 years now.

With a background in marketing and psychology, Nick Kolenda has been a professional mind reader for over 10 years now. In this book, Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior, he reveals his secrets to influencing human behavior and ultimately deriving a specific action/result from someone.

This was a really fun and engaging read with mini exercises presented throughout that further drove Nick’s points home. I would recommend this book to all of my friends, as the principles learned can be applied in so many situations in life. Please listen to my full review of the book below!


  1. This sounds like a cool read! I thought it was interesting how you talked about Kolenda using techniques to get the consumer to think about certain things. That’s such an important asset when it comes to the actual ad, but in the original qualitative research stage, it’s probably not as helpful because you want to know everything the consumer is thinking without influence of the brand

  2. Kolenda’s background in mind reading is unique to parallel with consumer behavior, as the ultimate goal is to understand internal motivations. I do, however, find ethics at question with his ability to manipulate consumer’s unconscious. As marketers, we should be able to develop strategic communication that does not manipulate consumers. If that strategic communication is not successful, then it’s probably a larger problem that mind reading cannot solve.

  3. This book sounds like it would be confusing to read, because I feel the same way as you and consider my methods and decisions to be more ethical than unethical. I like the relation of persuasion as the author was describing to a magician letting you see what they want you to see. It was a great visual in following along with the book!

  4. I liked the part where you touched on how people develop a positive outcome when presented with something repeatedly. You can hear a song for the first time and hate it, but once it keeps playing over and over again on the radio, you begin to warm up to it. This correlates with brands and the repetition of seeing a brand over and over again. Psychology is very important when it comes to advertising.

  5. I actually read this book too and I found it EXTREMELY interesting! Nick Kolenda provided many interesting insights into the human mind and how to influence human behavior. His 7-step persuasion process, METHODS, allows users to influence people’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior in nearly any situation. Though this may seem unethical, I find it to be very thought-provoking as we as marketers have the ability to change people’s perceptions on certain topics.

  6. I can understand Kolanda’s method and how many would see it as unethical. The line between manipulation vs persuasion can vary person to person. I believe that more testing and replication of his method should be done to see if it is truly effective. Once proven, then we can jump into the ethics of the method itself.

  7. Kolenda’s 7 steps are interesting, but claiming his argument is neither ethical nor unethical inherently, but dependent on how one applies his method raises a red flag for me. I think if your method has the potential to be manipulative or “unethical”, then what are the scenarios when it can be used for good? and for bad? What exactly changes in the way one markets with this method? If someone has the power to manipulate someone, it seems like they’d be doing so even if they thought it was persuasion.

  8. Kolenda’s distinction between manipulation and persuasion is an important one to make. As advertising majors, we have to go into the industry understanding that much of the work done by advertisers can be seen as unethical, and more controversial than ever because of data collection from companies like Google and Facebook. It is important that, like Kolenda said, we understand that the same tools of persuasion can be used ethically and unethically depending on the situation.

  9. I think Nick’s book is probably very insightful as he takes a psychological approach on marketing and advertising. The act of persuasion is key to advertising. The familiarity principle can be useful to advertisers and thinking of how they can place ads in ways that consumers become familiar with them, and ultimately persuaded towards their brand.

  10. I’m really interested in the Psychology behind marketing and advertising so this book review really sparked an interest in me. I found the comparison between persuasion and manipulation to be really interesting. There’s so much conflict with marketing/advertising being unethical, but I like that he says it’s how you use it that determines if it’s ethical or not. This intrigues me as I’d like to hear more about the applications that make it ethical vs. not. I definitely am interested in reading this book now.

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