PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 June, 2010, 12:00am

by Kevin Dutton
William Heinemann HK$204

When rock band Oasis were forced to cancel a concert, mid-gig, they promised a refund to the 70,000-strong crowd. That would have cost them more than a million pounds. Their solution? The brothers sent out personally signed cheques, which most fans kept as mementos. A drunk clambered onto a bus, couldn't find a seat and shouted at an Afro-Caribbean man: 'Get up, you fat black nigger bastard!' 'You calling me fat?' said the man. Their fellow passengers burst out laughing and the offender disembarked. Anecdotes such as these make Flipnosis an invaluable read about persuasion. Kevin Dutton deserves full marks for coming up with the concept, although he should have kept his analyses to a minimum: many of the explanations are trite. Some are also obvious, such as the power of a baby's special cry to elicit attention. Some are not so obvious: the reason for not pricing a flat in round numbers is that potential buyers will then knock off a round number in their negotiations. And some are ingenious: at the last World Cup, German police kept referring to English football fans as the best in the world. Their reverse psychology worked.