Want More Customers? Tell Them a Story
Before there were abstract concepts, and probably before there were numbers, there were stories. She did this; it made him do that; then I heard her say this. According to narrative psychologists the story is our fundamental tool for describing ourselves and the people around us.
But story-telling could be more fundamental, I think. It could be the base of all knowledge, including the latest findings on ion channels or subatomic forces. I'm often struck by the way most scientific talks that I've heard, no matter how abstract their subjects, were narrated:They presented data and ideas as stories—and not just "How odd test results made me wonder what might happen if" but, often enough, "those ion channels really want to stay open." Would anyone understand evolution we saw only patterns of probability emerging over eons? Instead, we speak of fish turning into amphibians, types of dinosaurs becoming types of birds. Stories are, as Claude Levi-Strauss would say, "easy to think with."
A fact about human nature that turns out to have a practical application for marketers: If your website asks people to register, it turns out, you'll get a much better response if you make the procedure into a simple narrative.
You can see the difference here, where Luke Wroblewski compares a standard registration form (first name, last name, email address) with a form that asks for the same information like this: "Hello, my name is [blank] [blank] and I'd like to learn more about your product. I live at [blank] in the [blank] area and I would like to hear back from you soon . . ."
Results: According to Wroblewski's source, the story form gets 25-40 percent more registrations than just-the-facts.
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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