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Why does fake news stick while the truth goes missing?
Why do disproved urban legends persist? How do you keep letting newspapers and clickbait sites lure you in with their headlines? And why do you remember complicated stories but not complicated facts?
Over ten years of study, Chip and Dan Heath have discovered how we latch on to information hooks. Packed full of case histories and incredible anecdotes, it shows:
- how an Australian scientist convinced the world he'd discovered the cause of stomach ulcers by drinking a glass filled with bacteria
- how a gifted sports reporter got people to watch a football match by showing them the outside of the stadium
- how pitches like 'Jaws on a spaceship' (Alien) and 'Die Hard on a bus' (Speed) convince movie execs to invest gigantic sums even when they know nothing else about the project
As entertaining as it is informative, this is a timely exploration of a fascinating human behaviour. At the same time, by demonstrating strategies like the 'Velcro Theory of Memory' and 'curiosity gaps', it offers superbly practical insights.
Made to Stick uses cutting-edge insight to help you ensure that what you say is understood, remembered and, most importantly, acted upon.
Unabashedly inspired by Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling The Tipping Point, the brothers Heath Chip a professor at Stanford's business school, Dan a teacher and textbook publisher offer an entertaining, practical guide to effective communication. Drawing extensively on psychosocial studies on memory, emotion and motivation, their study is couched in terms of "stickiness" that is, the art of making ideas unforgettable. They start by relating the gruesome urban legend about a man who succumbs to a barroom flirtation only to wake up in a tub of ice, victim of an organ-harvesting ring. What makes such stories memorable and ensures their spread around the globe? The authors credit six key principles: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories. (The initial letters spell out "success" well, almost.) They illustrate these principles with a host of stories, some familiar (Kennedy's stirring call to "land a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth" within a decade) and others very funny (Nora Ephron's anecdote of how her high school journalism teacher used a simple, embarrassing trick to teach her how not to "bury the lead"). Throughout the book, sidebars show how bland messages can be made intriguing. Fun to read and solidly researched, this book deserves a wide readership.