Author: Susan Weinschenk

  • 100 More Things #141: PEOPLE’S SELF-STORIES AFFECT THEIR BEHAVIOR

    100 More Things #141: PEOPLE’S SELF-STORIES AFFECT THEIR BEHAVIOR

    People have an idea of who they are and what’s important to them. They have self-stories that they tell themselves and other people about who they are, why they do what they do, and why they believe what they believe. People like to be consistent with their self-stories. So if I feel that I’m someone…

  • 100 More Things #140: STORIES FOCUS ATTENTION

    100 More Things #140: STORIES FOCUS ATTENTION

    If you want people to be engaged and pay attention to your design and your message, use a story. And for maximum attention, introduce tension into the story. In the dramatic arc discussed earlier in this chapter, the second part of the arc (after the exposition) is rising action. The rising action contains tension. When…

  • 100 More Things #139: DRAMATIC ARC STORIES CHANGE BRAIN CHEMICALS

    100 More Things #139: DRAMATIC ARC STORIES CHANGE BRAIN CHEMICALS

    “Ben’s dying.” This is the opening line to a video that Paul Zak (author of The Moral Molecule) used to research the relationship between stories and brain chemicals. NoteYou can watch a short video about Zak’s research on storytelling and the dramatic arc here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1a7tiA1Qzo). Zak ran experiments with the video. The video is a…

  • 100 More Things #138: HOMOPHONES CAN PRIME BEHAVIOR

    100 More Things #138: HOMOPHONES CAN PRIME BEHAVIOR

    Let’s say you’re reading a newspaper article I wrote about the impact of the global economy. If you were hooked up to an fMRI machine, it would show that your visual cortex is active, since you’re reading, as is Wernicke’s area of the brain, where words are processed. What if you were listening to me…

  • 100 More Things #137: FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT) IS REAL

    100 More Things #137: FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT) IS REAL

    FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out. It refers to the idea that some of our behavior is motivated by being afraid that if we don’t take certain actions we are going to miss out on opportunities. A series of research studies by Andrew Przybylski (2013) shows how pervasive FOMO is, and also has some…

  • 100 More Things #136: THE QWERTY KEYBOARD IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE STATUS QUO BIAS

    100 More Things #136: THE QWERTY KEYBOARD IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE STATUS QUO BIAS

    Previously we described the status quo bias – the idea that people will tend to stick with what is rather than make a change. The Qwerty keyboard is an example of the status quo bias. The Qwerty keyboard is the keyboard that 99% of us use to type on with our computers. It’s called a…

  • 100 More Things #135: PEOPLE STICK WITH THE STATUS QUO

    100 More Things #135: PEOPLE STICK WITH THE STATUS QUO

    People prefer to stick with the current situation rather than change. William Samuelson and Richard Zeckhauser (1988) summarized many studies on the idea of status quo bias. Their conclusion is that when choosing from alternatives, people have a bias towards sticking with the status quo. Based on the research Guthrie Weinschenk (2019) concludes that if…

  • 100 More Things #134: PEOPLE ARE READY TO MOVE ON FROM “OLD” MEDIA

    100 More Things #134: PEOPLE ARE READY TO MOVE ON FROM “OLD” MEDIA

    Here’s something that’s at least a little ironic: if reading is so unnatural, maybe we should let it go. I say ironic because I’m an author. I write books with words in them and assume (and hope) that people will read them. So it doesn’t really make much sense for me to say that we…

  • 100 More Things #133: THE MULTISENSORY EXPERIENCE OF PHYSICAL BOOKS IS IMPORTANT TO READING

    100 More Things #133: THE MULTISENSORY EXPERIENCE OF PHYSICAL BOOKS IS IMPORTANT TO READING

    Many people now do some of their reading (as defined in the section above) on paper and some on an electronic device. The world seems split these days between people who like reading physical books and those who prefer reading on a device. Even with e-readers that use electronic ink and therefore have a different…

  • 100 More Things #132: READING ONLINE MAY NOT BE READING

    100 More Things #132: READING ONLINE MAY NOT BE READING

    One of the ideas I talk about a lot when I give keynotes is that technology changes quickly but humans don’t. Most of the ways that people’s eyes, ears, bodies, and brains work has come about from eons of evolution. And these aren’t likely to change quickly. I did say most. Reading is an exception.…