I recently came across a book titled ‘Influencing Human Behavior’ by Harry A Overstreet.

In the foreword he writes: ‘The following chapters are the substance of a course of lectures given last year at the New School for Social Research in New York City. It came as a petition for a course indicating how human behavior can actually be changed in the light of the new knowledge gained through psychology.’

The chapters in part one are titled:

1. The Key Problem: Capturing the Attention
2. The Appeal to Wants
3. The Problem of Vividness
4. The Psychology of Effective Speaking
5. The Psychology of Effective Writing
6. Crossing the Interest Deadline
7. Making Ideas Stick

Straight away, on the first page of chapter one, Harry gets to the nub of the issue: ‘What we attend to controls our behavior. What we can get others to attend to controls their behavior’.

If, like me, you’re always seeking to understand how people behave and how to (ethically and appropriately) influence them to behave differently (better, more appropriately), then I bet you’re halfway to Amazon to order a copy. I have good news, it’s in stock, you can get the book delivered in a few days.

Which is quite extraordinary given it was first published in 1925.

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