We all think we’re a good judge of people and aren’t easily influenced, but numerous studies have shown this isn’t true. We’re likely to be more patient if the car in front that doesn’t move when a traffic light turns green is executive, and we’re more likely to listen to Ian Botham tell us how to survive a nuclear attack than a scientist or someone from the military.
Messengers, by journalist Stephen Martin and psychologist Joseph Marks, discusses who influences us most, and why. The personal attributes of a messenger, as with a leader, aren’t particularly surprising (socio-economic position, competence, dominance, attractiveness, warmth, vulnerability, trustworthiness and finally charisma) but the book explores each of these, with plenty of examples from scientific studies.
An interesting book, full of anecdotes and case studies, well worth a read.