Presidential Lies. Mass hysteria on Twitter. The surprising success of Brexit campaigners. In his revelatory book Messengers, Joseph Marks explains how the most infuriating phenomena of the modern age can be traced back to who’s delivering the message—and why they are believed, oftentimes regardless of the data. Thoroughly researched, frighteningly timely, and psychologically gripping, Messengers is a profound exploration of influence, trust, and leadership.
“Some books help us become better citizens. Others help us perform better at our jobs. This remarkable book somehow manages to do both. Messengers is an essential read for everyone.”— Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive
We live in a world where proven facts are available at our fingertips—yet ignorant pseudo-pundits are continually believed, often over the thoughtful experts backed up by hard data. Why? Psychological scientist Joseph Marks argues that in our increasingly uncertain world, factors like social connectedness and financial prestige are becoming more and more important in determining who we trust. In Messengers: Who we Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why, Marks and his co-author Steve Martin explain what the implications are when we fail to separate the messenger from the message—for politics, business, and community—and what we can do about it.
Marks is a visiting lecturer at the University of London, and a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an Associate Consultant for Influence at Work (UK)—an organization that helps companies become more effective at persuasion—his research has been applied across a variety of business and public policy settings, including financial regulation, healthcare, and public transport. Marks’ work has also been published in academic journals and featured in The New York Times andThe Guardian. He is also a guest contributor for Psychology Today. Marks holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Birmingham and a Master’s degree in Social Cognition from University College London.