Win Bigly – Scott Adams Book Summary

Win Bigly – Scott Adams | Free Book Summary

Win Bigly – Scott Adams

People are more influenced by visual persuasion, emotion, repetition, and simplicity than they are by details and facts.

The Power of Confidence

  • Confidence is a key factor in persuasion
  • Trump’s confidence, even when unfounded, convinced many people to support him
  • Confidence can be contagious, leading others to become more confident in their own beliefs
  • Being confident in your own beliefs can be more effective

The Persuasion of Win Bigly

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  • In his book, Scott Adams examines how Donald Trump used persuasion techniques, such as pre-suasion and emotional contagion, to win the 2016 election
  • Adams also provides insight into how these techniques can be used by readers in their own lives
  • Trump effectively primed his audience to be receptive to his message by repeatedly speaking about making America great again before discussing specific policies


  • Humans often think they make decisions based on logic, but most decisions are actually based on emotion.
  • The tendency to justify decisions after they are made is called post-rationalization.
  • Some biases that can lead to sub-optimal decision-making include the sunk cost fallacy (continuing to invest in something due to previous investments) and the endowment effect (overvaluing what we have and undervaluing what we don’t).
  • Once aware of these biases, it is possible to make more rational decisions.

Trump’s Media Dominance

  • Trump’s success was due in part to his willingness to say anything, no matter how outrageous.
  • This kept him in the spotlight and ensured constant media coverage, effectively silencing his opponents.
  • In today’s society, the more outrageous and attention-seeking a person is, the more media coverage they will receive.

The Power of Emotional Contagion

  • Trump used emotional contagion, the idea that emotions can be contagious, to his advantage.
  • He was able to tap into people’s fears and emotions to persuade them to support him.
  • By focusing on the emotional impact of his message, Trump was able to bypass people’s logical defenses and appeal directly to their emotions.

The Persuasion Filter

  • Scott Adams suggests using the persuasion filter, a framework for analyzing persuasive messages, to better understand how Trump was able to win over voters.
  1. The persuasion filter consists of four elements:The messenger: Trump’s celebrity status, unconventional appearance, and unconventional behavior all contributed to his appeal as a messenger.
  2. The message: Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” was simple, memorable, and emotionally charged.
  3. The audience: Trump’s message resonated with people who felt left behind by the political establishment and were looking for a change.
  4. The circumstances: The political climate and the media landscape were conducive to Trump’s message and helped him to stand out among his opponents.

Human Decision-Making and Emotion

  • Most decisions are made based on emotion, rather than logic
  • Post-rationalization allows us to justify our choices after the fact
  • Biases such as the sunk cost fallacy and endowment effect can lead to suboptimal decisions
  • Becoming aware of these biases can help to make more rational decisions

The Importance of Being Outrageous

  • In today’s society, the louder and more outrageous a person is, the more attention they will receive
  • Trump’s sensationalist claims and constant media presence silenced his opponents and dominated the media landscape
  • To maintain public attention, Trump had to constantly say outrageous things
  • Trump’s opponents couldn’t compete in the court of public opinion because they were too “normal”

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