This Week I Learned That….
- We are twice as likely to be persuaded by emotional appeals than we are by rational appeals. In an analysis of over 1,400 case studies of successful ad campaigns, researchers found that 31% appealed strictly to emotions while only 16% appealed strictly to reason. You might think that a good strategy for marketers would be to combine both approaches, appealing to both the heart and the mind. However, the data suggest otherwise. Only 26% of the successful campaigns used both emotional and rational appeals, leaving the targeting of the heart as the optimal strategy for persuasion.
- There is a strong relationship between our intelligence and our tendency to trust other people. Many us assume that low levels of trust would be correlated with high levels of intelligence, because the less trusting we are the less gullible we are. In a recent study, however, researchers found the opposite to be true. The more intelligent we are, the more we tend to extend our trust to others. The study also found that high levels of trust were linked to higher levels of health and happiness. Perhaps being “trustworthy” isn’t the only ideal for which we should aiming; perhaps being “trusting” can be equally beneficial.
- Caffeine can strengthen recall of memories formed immediately prior to its ingestion. In a collection of research-backed memory techniques, Belle Beth Cooper of Buffer explains the difference between memory formation and memory consolidation. When a memory is captured, a different part of the brain assembles the information into an intelligible experience. One recent study suggests that caffeine aids in that second part–the piecing together of the memory that can later be recalled. Therefore, it must be ingested after the memory has been formed. So, if you want to remember a conversation you had, an article you read, or a route you drove, drink a cup of coffee afterward…and your brain just might remember it for you.
- Facebook’s facial recognition software can detect faces with 97.25% accuracy. According to an article from Forbes, Facebook has been working on improving its facial recognition software, called DeepFace, for a long time. The purpose, of course, is to help Facebook tag users in photos. But the implications are a little more interesting. Anywhere you post a “selfie,” you are by proxy publishing all the data associated with your Facebook profile. It’s not called “Face” book for no reason, it seems.
- Some people are more susceptible to yawn contagion than others. It has long been assumed that yawns are contagious because of empathy–that is, we naturally mirror yawning behavior as a means of identifying with one another socially. A recent study discussed in a Naked Scientist podcast episode, however, reveals that there is absolutely no relationship between a person’s level of empathy and the likelihood of that person “catching” a yawn. The study did find that people who mirrored yawning behavior once tended to do it again when exposed a second time–indicating that there may be some inborn, genetic factor making people more likely to yawn when they see others yawning. (Bonus: I also learned in this episode that sweat floats off of your skin in space and that, if everyone were to simultaneously remain abstinent for three months, the HIV virus would be eradicated).
featured image courtesy of philmikejones licensed via Creative Commons.