top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid de Souza

The Forbidden Keys to Persuasion - 80/20 Summary

Updated: Feb 20, 2022


Mental Models from the book:

'The Forbidden Keys to Persuasion' can be summarised into 11 mental models:

1. Algorithms
  • Even though we consider ourselves rational animals we are rationalizing animals. Experts say that over 99% of our behavior is simply the result of conditioned responses.

2. Attentional Bias
  • Use incongruity theory to gain people's attention.

  • Physical needs are the foundation of Maslow's pyramid and can take priority over our safety. Mental engagement can override them. For Example, We can be starving hungry and then something distracts us and we don't notice the hunger.

3. Authority
  • Lawyers use jargon that we don't understand. If we do not understand the problem we are at their mercy.

4. Commitment & Consistency Bias
  • It relieves discomfort when you can show people there is a pattern.

5. Denial
  • Don't ask people what they want. For example, most people would say they want more positive news on TV. Men say that they want an intelligent woman but would rather have an attractive one.

6. Desires
  • People all have similar psychological needs:

    1. They need to feel needed

    2. They need a sense of hope when dealing with a difficult situation

    3. They need a scapegoat

    4. They need to be noticed and understood

    5. They need to know things others (and they) aren't supposed to know. Ask a favor, make people feel important. Share a secret. Make a confession

    6. They need to be right. The instance someone feels like they are trying to be changed they feel they are "wrong" and resist.

    7. They need a sense of power. Give people a limited set of options that you decide

7. Ecosystems
  • Groups are maintained and strengthened by focusing their member's attention on another rival group.

8. Ego
  • When we forgo judgment and instead entertain the idea that people’s actions make sense given their own sense of mortality and their own interpretation of reality, we are well on the way to understanding them.

9. Emotions
  • Those who give us the greatest sense of power gain more loyalty than those who demand it.

10. Multiplying by Zero
  • Play games you can't lose by having multiple ways you can win. An ad that has the opportunity to include partners' products which will improve the relationship, even if the ad does not work.

11. Resistance/Attentional Bias
  • People resist unwelcome attempts to persuade them. People can't resist what they do not notice.

12. The Ikea Effect
  • People sometimes doubt what they are told but they never doubt what they conclude.

13. Trust
  • People who set our minds at ease because we think the world can be understood are label makers. Example: The doctor who is able to describe what is going on in your body.


Mental Model Mind Maps:

Mind maps can help you to remember the most important parts of a book. Signup to my newsletter below to get a free mindmap of this book:

1,203 views0 comments


Get Mind Maps of the Mental Models from the Best Books:

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page