Synopses & Reviews
A fascinating exploration of the powerful forces that shape who we choose to listen to and believe, why talented and qualified people are ignored, and how these "messengers" influence society.
We live in a world where proven facts, verifiable data, and actual truths are freely and widely available. Why, then, are self-confident ignoramuses so often believed? Why are thoughtful experts frequently given the cold shoulder? And why do irrelevant details such as a person's height, relative wealth, or Facebook photo influence whether or not we trust what they are saying?
In this ground breaking forensic look into influence, Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks brilliantly demonstrate that we increasingly fail to separate the idea being communicated from the person conveying it. The messenger-who we believe either because of their socio-economic position/dominance/physical attractiveness or their trustworthiness/vulnerability/charisma-becomes more important than the message itself.
With fascinating accounts from business, politics, medicine, the arts, and popular entertainment, Martin and Marks establish key traits and features of the world's messengers, who not only have an enormous influence on what we think and believe, but ultimately influence who we are and who we are becoming.
In the age of fake news, understanding who we trust and why is essential in explaining everything from leadership to power to our daily relationships. -Sinan Aral
We live in a world where proven facts and verifiable data are freely and widely available. Why, then, are self-confident ignoramuses so often believed over thoughtful experts? And why do seemingly irrelevant details such as a person's appearance or financial status influence whether or not we trust what they are saying, regardless of their wisdom or foolishness?
Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks compellingly explain how in our uncertain and ambiguous world, the messenger is increasingly the message. We frequently fail, they argue, to separate the idea being communicated from the person conveying it, explaining why the status or connectedness of the messenger has become more important than the message itself.
Messengers influence business, politics, local communities, and our broader society. And Martin and Marks reveal the forces behind the most infuriating phenomena of our modern era, such as belief in fake news and how presidents can hawk misinformation and flagrant lies yet remain.