About the book

We live in a world where proven facts, verifiable data, and actual truths are freely and widely available.

So why are self-confident ignoramuses so often believed?

Why are thoughtful experts so often given the cold shoulder?

And why do people listen to men like Donald Trump?

In this ground-breaking new book Stephen Martin and Joseph Marks identify the powerful, hidden forces that result in some people becoming society's prevailing Messengers while others end up woefully ineffectual or under-represented.

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A powerful, profoundly illuminating exploration of one of the most important subjects of our time. Martin and Marks have a terrific talent for combining evidence and research with lively and vivid writing. Trust these messengers!

— Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University, and author of Conformity.

Messengers is a tour de force on this crucial topic. Thoroughly researched and timely, I can't think of any book that makes such a compelling case for the role and characteristics of the modern day messenger

— Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Engaging, informative and entertaining. It will change the way you think about who you follow and take advice from

— Tali Sharot, University College London, author of The Optimism Bias and The Influential Mind.

Some books help us become better citizens. Others help us perform better at our jobs. This remarkable book does both. An essential read for everyone.

— Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive and A Whole New Mind.

What kind of messenger are you?

Take the Messenger Test




Stephen Martin

Stephen Martin

Stephen Martin is CEO of INFLUENCE AT WORK (UK) and Visiting Professor of Behavioural Science at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is co-author of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week International bestseller Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion, which to date has sold a million copies and has been translated into 26 languages. Steve’s work has featured in broadcast and print media across the world, including BBC TV and Radio, MSNBC, The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Guardian, New York Times and Wired. Over 2 million people read his regular business columns, including his ‘Persuasion’ page in the British Airways inflight magazine.

Joseph Marks

Joseph Marks

Joseph Marks is a doctoral researcher at University College London and visiting researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research looks at people’s perceptions of themselves and how their environment influences their cognition and decisions. He holds a Master’s degree from University College London and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Birmingham. His research with INFLUENCE AT WORK has been applied across a variety of business and public policy settings, including financial regulation, healthcare and public transport.

Media    See more

A short video summary

Messengers: Who we listen to, Who we don't, and Why.

A short video summary
Short videos for each Messenger trait

Messenger Minis

Short videos for each Messenger trait
The Economist

The eyes have it

The Economist
8 September 2019