The Influential Mind – Tali Sharot Book Summary

The Influential Mind – Tali Sharot | Free Book Summary

The Influential Mind – Tali Sharot

Changing belief patterns.

How we shape our beliefs

Numbers and statistics are necessary and great for exposing the truth, but they’re not enough to change beliefs, and they are almost useless for motivating action.

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The huge amount of information we are receiving today can make us even less sensitive to data because we’ve become accustomed to finding support for anything we want to believe with a simple click of the mouse. Instead, our desires are what shape our beliefs.

How To Change Someone’s Mind

An attempt to change someone’s mind will be successful if it aligns with the core elements that govern how we think:Free book, podcast summaries

  • Prior beliefs
  • Emotion
  • Incentives
  • Agency 
  • Curiosity
  • State of mind
  • Other people.

Evidence Does Not Change Beliefs


While we adore data, the problem with an approach that prioritizes information and logic is that it ignores the core of what makes you and me human: our motives, our fears, our hopes, and our desires.

Data has only a limited capacity to alter the strong opinions of others. Established beliefs can be extremely resistant to change, even when scientific evidence is provided to undermine them.

The Boomerang Effect

This happens when people are presented with information that contradicts their opinion and they come up with altogether new counterarguments that further strengthen their original view.

When you provide someone with new data, they quickly accept evidence that confirms their prior beliefs and assess counterevidence with a critical eye.

Google Is (Always) On Our Side


In today’s world, the ease with which we can find “data” and “evidence” to discredit any opinion—and, at the same time, uncover new information to support our own—is unprecedented.

Paradoxically, then, the wealth of available information makes us more resistant to change because it is so easy to find data that supports our own vision.

Analytical Personalities Tend To Twist Data

The greater your cognitive capacity, the greater your ability to rationalize and interpret information at will and to creatively twist data to fit your opinions.

People with stronger analytic abilities are more likely to twist data at will than people with low reasoning abilities.

The Power Of Common Motivations

Emotion equates the physiological state of the listener with that of the speaker, which makes it more likely that the listener will process incoming information in a similar manner to how the speaker sees it.

Feelings Effect Receptiveness

If I feel happy and you feel sad, we are unlikely to interpret the same story in the same way. But if I can first help you feel as happy as I do, perhaps by sharing a joke, you will be more likely to interpret my message the way I do.

Twitter: The “Amygdala Of The Internet


Tweeting is one of the most emotionally arousing activities you likely engage in on most days. Studies show that tweeting raises your pulse, makes you sweat, and enlarges your pupils—all indicators of arousal.

Relative to just browsing the Web, tweeting and retweeting enhance brain activity indicative of emotional arousal by 75 percent. Simply reading your feed increases your emotional arousal by 65 percent.

The Law Of Approach And Avoidance

It states that we approach those people, items, and events we believe can do us good and avoid those that can do us harm.

In other words, we move toward pleasure and away from pain. 

The difficulty in trying to change people’s behaviour by warning them of the spread of disease, loss of money, weight gain, or global warming is that these are all uncertain future sticks.

Our Relationship With Control

Most people become stressed and anxious when their ability to control their environment is removed.

Control is tightly related to influence. When you alter someone’s beliefs or actions, you are, to some extent, exerting control over that individual.

One way to express control is to make a choice.

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