Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

Latest Articles:  Stopping the Black Swan Can You Become a New Person?

A major business decision based on the popular vote.

Lots of minds, instead of just yours. At first glance it appears there would be some sense to the notion. Crowds make Bad Decisions Kevin Hogan

What could possibly go wrong?

A book called The Wisdom of Crowds, talks about the idea that groups are going to make better decisions than individuals. And of course in an era where a title or headline is taken to be the entire book or program, people are inclined to believe it.

It’s simply going to get you the result of what a crowd would do. Sometimes the crowd is average. That is definitely the tendency when you collect a bunch of people together in a group.

But the reality is, the more people in a group the lower the IQ and the elimination of resistance in thinking on the part of the group. In other words, critical thinking is out the door. Could it be more creative? Yes and I’ve written on that subject elsewhere in  But even in this context, more often than not the “creative inputs” don’t yield better results than an individual prepared for the task.

Groups are a bit like the nonconscious mind. People’s behavior changes dramatically in groups and there are huge  advantages to collecting people together for all kinds of reasons. It can be an emotionally bonding experience for example to be part of a big group. It can be very validating.  But what is not present is the desire to think and solve because groups cause humans to let their guard down and feel safe.  That’s great for a concert and not so great when trying to make good decisions.

The reality is that without conscious mind information, the only decisions that are made well and quickly are those when a person has volumes of experience. In all other areas, decisions made without information and based on emotion and intuition are met with total failure.

Similarly there are almost no situations where groups can do a better job at thinking than individuals. We tend to get very dumb indeed.

The classic 1950s research by Social Psychologists Solomon Asch, and Morton Deutsch and Harold Gerard introduced the idea of normative social influence, which refers to people’s tendency to give public responses that allow them to fit in with others, even when they privately              dSocial Influence Creates Mistakes Kevin Hoganisagree. In Asch’s study, which involved a simple and very obvious correct answer about the length of some lines,  three of four subjects at some point conformed to a group answer that defied their own perceptions,  because they figured that surely all the others couldn’t wrong, could they?

Talk about overriding knowledge and common sense! Without the group effect and social influence, the error rate when giving their answers in private was only 1%, not 75%.

Imagine one of my Inner Circle members wants a “crowdsourced title” for a book on how people can advance in the workplace. If my “Tribe” chooses the title, perhaps they’ll all rush to buy it later. (This is not how things work out in real life btw.) Before you know it, the humorous comments have started, and the approval rating for the majority suggestion has gone way up. And the very necessary people who remember that the author would and should NEVER use a specific type of title, have lost the will to object, or have excused themselves from participating in such a “childish” dialogue, figuring the decision has been made, due to overwhelmingly popular opinion, and not based on how people buy vs. what might sell.

Legend Point: In some situations conformity is constructive and appropriate; in most other situations it is not. In a crowd, conformity of the vast majority is all but guaranteed.

Researchers have done a great job of shedding light on the ridiculous notions of emotional advantages in group decision-making. If you read the research…

A study out of the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University challenges Damasio’s  somatic marker hypothesis – the notion that bodily states can guide decision-making when conscious knowledge isn’t available. The paper, providing the challenge was written by doctoral student Tiago V. Maia and James L. McClelland, the Walter Van Dyke Bingham Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.

Good Decisions are Based on Conscious Knowledge Kevin HoganFrom the results of his gambling study, Damasio had concluded that when an individual faces a decision, each alternative elicits a bodily state – a somatic marker – that corresponds to an emotional reaction. According to the hypothesis, these markers influence decision-making and can guide the individual to make an advantageous choice even in the absence of conscious knowledge to guide the decision.

Damasio’s study involved choosing cards from one of four decks, according to whether the subject might turn up a “reward” card to earn money, or a “penalty” card, which lost them money. Rather than just “feeling” (the somatic marker) Maia and McClelland theorized that, over time, participants “learned” which decks, were the “bad” ones and which decks had a higher proportion of “reward” cards.

They found that in testing the his original “somatic marker” hypothesis using a simple card game, Damasio and his colleagues had used a test of conscious knowledge that was not sensitive enough to detect everything the participants knew about the game; thus, individuals may have been guided by their knowledge (learning the “bad” decks by remembering how many penalty cards had been turned up), rather than their bodily states. Maia and McClelland also reviewed other evidence used to support the somatic marker hypothesis, and found that, in all cases, recent results suggest alternative interpretations for that evidence.

“It is important to note that our results and review of related work do not prove that the somatic marker hypothesis is wrong; however, they do undermine virtually all sources of support for it. If the somatic marker hypothesis is to remain viable, new evidence to support it will be required,” Maia and McClelland said.

Ouch! The concept was virtually completely undermined.

I could finish it off by having anyone believing the unconscious makes good decisions with a quick trip to Vegas. Sit next to me at the blackjack table and see how that notion pays off in the real world. The same would be true of stock selection or virtually any forward looking decisions that are based on “the gut.”

Except in an area of personal expertise, your gut (and mine) can kill you.

Legend Point: You have two really important pieces of information: “What you heard” is not a great way to make a decision, and what you “feel” is meaningless outside of the exception of vast experience.

Other studies have shown us that:

Social Influence is Powerful Kevin HoganUnanimity in a group setting provides undue pressure on the individual to follow suit.

The pressure to conform to group influence increases for actions performed in public, whereas this pressure decreases for actions done in private. The participants in the Asch study from the 1950s study were able to give the correct answers when tested in private.

Normative social influence can be a very powerful, yet unconscious motivator of behavior. When homeowners were subjected to messaging about their neighbors’ household energy conservation, their behavior subsequently changed in line with those messages. The authors, Nolan, Schultz, Cialdini, Goldstein and Griskevicius, found the homeowners attributed their increased conservation efforts solely to environmental concerns or social responsibility, denying any impact from the communications they had received. “I was going to do it anyway…”

Putting decisions in the minds of the many or the unconscious of an individual is asking for failure…even when the idea “feels right.”

How can you be sure of your decision-making abilities with individuals and when they aren’t about math, calculations and prediction?

Reading others can give you the edge you need.


Body Language: Decoding,Interpreting & Mastering Non-Verbal Communication with body language expert Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.

You are going to learn to read people in virtually an instant. I’m going to introduce you to what I do when The New York Post, First for Women, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, The Star, Maxim, Success, Selling Power and the rest of the media call!

Over the past 20 years I’ve collected over 100 pictures of celebrities that I have analyzed for the media. Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, The Sex and the City girls, Drew Barrymore, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Beyonce Knowles, Liz Hurley, Pamela Anderson, Stephen Spielberg, and dozens more.

Celebrities are the best people to study body language with because, like lawyers and politicians, they must cloak their feelings when in public. What is particularly helpful for you is that most of these photos are “candids” (not posed). That means you are going to learn to read people interacting in every day situations…while being under scrutiny of cameras and fans. The greatest challenge of all.

If you can analyze these photos with me, you can read anyone!

You will receive a handbook that will let you put your predictions on what each person’s body language means as far as liking, deception, relationship quality and stability and so on. As you listen to the CD’s, you can then compare your notes with what I share with you! All the while you will be able to see nuances like skin color and flushing because the photo quality is stunning. This is the learning opportunity of a lifetime.

As you progress through the course, you will become proficient at reading and analyzing body language! And of course, I’m giving you the keys to my password-protected secret website with over 100 photos of the stars ready to analyze!

This is a complete seminar in reading, decoding and interpreting body language from the source. Nothing is missing and YOU have access!


More information about Decoding Body Language

Coffee with
Kevin Hogan

persuasion newsletter

Coffee with Kevin Hogan, delivered Monday.

Dr. Hogan’s blog & newsletter are both 

…free forever.

You get the very latest and most important findings in human behavior, relationships, wealth building, outcome acquisition, nonverbal communication, mind control, covert hypnosis, selling, and marketing.

You’ll also get his book Mind Access, as his gift to you.

“Subscribe Now” and confirm it today by email the minute after you subscribe!

Latest Posts on Kevin's blog

Kevin Hogan Live in Wrocław​

Media Presence

World Class Business Kevin Hogan

World Business Class

Success in Influence, World Business Class Magazine, January 2018. Cover Story and Interview with Kevin Hogan


Costco interviewed Kevin for Body Talk: Actions Do Speak Louder than Words


Kevin's body language evaluation!

Sales Guru

Article by Kevin in Sales Guru magazine (based in South Africa). "Burnout: Escaping Living Hell"

What People Say

“Want to influence others? Want to persuade others? Want to sell others? Then Science of Influence is not just an option – it’s a landmark breakthrough of information you can use the minute you read it.”
"As a psychotherapist, I work in the minefield of decision-making and I can tell you that making good decisions is critical to happiness, success, and relationships. Kevin Hogan’s course covers the terrain of decision-making with his usual thoroughness, candor, and relevance. Kevin is always ahead of the game because of his extensive research, vast and varied connections and sharp mind. His thinking about ‘high noon’ and light a fuse, if applied, would save many relationships and learning the concept alone is more than worth the price of admission."

Author of The Psychology of Persuasion, Irresistible Attraction, and The Science of Influence, Dr. Kevin Hogan is trusted by organizations, both large and small, to help them help their people reach their personal peak performance and maximize influence in selling and marketing. Kevin is an internationally admired keynote speaker and corporate thought leader. In Coffee with Kevin Hogan, he shares his research, observations, and how you can apply them in your life – both in business and at home.

Subscribe to Coffee with Kevin Hogan today!

You can always write us at or

Pay attention to your spam/junk/trash folders, shoot maybe the neighbors!

 Coffee Bonuses

And as a bonus for joining, Kevin will give you two hefty eBooks: Mind Access and Overcoming Rejection.

Overcoming Rejection: Defeating the Painful Feelings of Being Marginalized by Dr. Kevin Hogan

The tips you receive in Coffee with Kevin Hogan will help you in your relationships and in your business. The fun stuff, well is just fun. Subscribe now and see for yourself.

Subscribe to the weekly e-zine, Coffee with Kevin Hogan and you will be first to find out the latest in persuasion, influence, body language, personal development, sales and marketing.

We respect your email privacy

It’s worth being patient for this page to load completely. Apparently the subscription form is ABOVE this text!

Network 3000 Publishing (952) 465-7525 | 952 443 5049