That Zeigarnik Effect explains it

Last Update: Mar 11, 2013


Ah that Zeigarnik Effect: What?

Did you feel and impulse to want to read more after the title left you hanging. Why is that?

I think I found something I am going to try and use on my websites and posts; I will let you know more about that in a minute.

Recently in my research (I like to call it my stumbling around the internet) checking into the powers of persuasion this Zeigarnik Effect term popped up.

Sales, Advertising and Marketing professionals are probably already aware of it as it is not a new concept. The more I learn about it I think Advertising uses it a lot.

Here are some examples some good some not so much:

Why is it that you to want to see that sequel film?

Why do you feel you have to watch the next episode?

Do you have to order in advance that next book?

Why does that television series have a cliff-hanger type episode?

Why do Soap Operas have many unfinished stories going on?

Why does someone tell a little about a product and then you absolutely must call this 800 number to call or a website to go to get the rest of the story?

Do you have to know the secret to making more money than you ever dreamed of from home? But first pay them and give them your personal information.

Well this maybe one of the reasons why.

Since Zeigarnik's (1927) classic study, it has repeatedly been demonstrated that incomplete tasks are better remembered than complete tasks (cf. Butterfield, 1964). Zeigarnik's explanation for this effect (now named for her) was that the subject beginning a task develops a need to complete it. If they are unable to do so, they are left in a state of tension. This manifests itself in improved memory for the uncompleted task.

So what does this mean to my online business.

Anyway for myself I think want to use this effect for my website pages and posts to start with. My intention is to use it in a good way. At least leave them hungry enough to read the rest of the page or post. Just enough information so they want more.

More to come

So what do you think, did I use the Zeigarnik effect in this post. Do you know of ways that it is used elsewhere?

Do you use it and know it, use it don’t know it?

How could you use it?

Sir William

Recent Comments


Makes sense to me. Now to get it to make $$ :P

Well that is going to be the trick, although I don't know how you analyze if any method like that was working or not. Hopefully it cant hurt. Hey later. Would be happy with just
cents, cents.

Very interesting - but I don't think I have seen this in many articles and web sites where the approach is usually discrete blocks. How do you see this developing?

Well I think I need every edge I can get, because I know myself I don't spend much time reading very much any webpage, but maybe if there is something like "tell you more later" in beginning and then toward the end of the page tell them "anyway as I was going to tell you". At least maybe I can get someone like me to actually read most of the page. Don't know just something to think about. Maybe up to your imagination and creativity. take care

Wow! I am infected with this for sure! That Zeigarnik Effect does work. I can hardly wait one week for the next episode on the only show I am addicted to. They leave me hanging and now I know why.

I will also try this on my post and articles too! I am going to look it up and delve into it more. Thanks for the post on this!

Yeah, I think it could be effective if I consciously remember to use it. Put it on the list I guess.

I already googled it and am reading about it. lol

Nice post Sir William. I just had to read it even though I knew why you did it. Very Interesting article. :-)

Hey thanks phaeton, kind of new stuff to me. take care and see you around.

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