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Clifford Nass and Corina Yen

The Man Who Lied to His Laptop

Computers are not living beings right? Well according to the results described in The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships by Clifford Nass and Corina Yen, it seems that people often behave as if they were - as if computers are people too.

Nass found that our behaviour towards other people could be used to predict how we interact with other people, and he successfully used this idea advising on the design of computer software. However, that's just the introduction to the book. When considering whether computer software should go in for a bit of flattery, Nass found a dearth of studies on the topic. That's when he realised he could turn the computer/person link around, and use computers as perfect confederates in experiments on how people behave. The results of these experiments form the main part of the book. There are chapters on Praise and Criticism, Personality, Team building, Emotion and Persuasion, and often the results go against what is commonly believed.

From the title you might expect this book to contain amusing anecdotes on how people anthropomorphize their computers - it doesn't. Rather it's a mine of information on how people interact with others, based on rigorous studies rather than anecdotes. info
Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 1617230014
Salesrank: 1379351
Published: 2010 Current
Amazon price $50.75
Marketplace:New from $6.97:Used from $1.99
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Hardcover 256 pages  
ISBN: 1617230014
Salesrank: 1732537
Weight:0.8 lbs
Published: 2010 CURRENT
Marketplace:New from £15.57:Used from £0.01
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Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 1617230014
Salesrank: 1456016
Weight:0.8 lbs
Published: 2010 Current
Amazon price CDN$ 45.30
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 22.79:Used from CDN$ 2.01
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Product Description
Counterintuitive insights about building successful relationships- based on research into human-computer interaction.

Books like Predictably Irrational and Sway have revolutionized how we view human behavior. Now, Stanford professor Clifford Nass has discovered a set of rules for effective human relationships, drawn from an unlikely source: his study of our interactions with computers.

Based on his decades of research, Nass demonstrates that-although we might deny it-we treat computers and other devices like people: we empathize with them, argue with them, form bonds with them. We even lie to them to protect their feelings.

This fundamental revelation has led to groundbreaking research on how people should behave with one another. Nass's research shows that:
  • Mixing criticism and praise is a wildly ineffective method of evaluation
  • Flattery works-even when the recipient knows it's fake
  • Introverts and extroverts are each best at selling to one of their own

Nass's discoveries provide nothing less than a new blueprint for successful human relationships.