Archive for April, 2010

do you have an arousal empathy gap?

would you like some cake?

Best intentions fall by the way side in the heat of the moment.
Ambitious plans seem impossible in the cold light of day.

Our ability to evaluate and make decisions changes depending on our state of mind, on our involvement or arousal. Better known as the hot-cold empathy gap.

“A hot-cold empathy gap is a cognitive bias in which a person underestimates the influences of visceral drives…”

Converting free users in Freemium or Trial products could benefit from striking while the iron is hot, and offering tempting opportunities while the user or player are ‘hot’.

from Nudge, by Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein.

“Two factors must be introduced in order to understand the cashew phenomenon: temptation and mindlessness. Human beings have been aware of the concept of temptation at least since the time of Adam and Eve, but for purposes of understanding the value of nudges, that concept needs elaboration. What does it mean for something to be "tempting"?

“…temptation is easier to recognize than to define. Our preferred definition requires recognizing that people’s state of arousal varies over time… We will call something ‘tempting’ if we consume more of it when hot than when cold.

“…Most people realize that temptation exists, and they take steps to overcome it. …For most of us, however, self-control issues arise because we underestimate the effect of arousal.

“Self-control problems can be illuminated by thinking about an individual as containing two semiautonomous selves, a far-sighted "Planner" and a myopic "Doer." You can think of the Planner as speaking for your Reflective System, or the Mr Spock lurking within you, and the Doer as heavily influenced by the Automatic System, or everyone’s Homer Simpson. The Planner is trying to promote your long-term welfare but must cope with the feelings, mischief, and strong will of the Doer, who is exposed to the temptations that come with arousal. … Some parts of the brain get tempted, and other parts are prepared to enable us to resist temptation by assessing how we should react to the temptation.”


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design language: barnum effect

Perfect for flattery and helping the player believe that you are talking directly to them rather than to a generic audience.

The Barnum effect is the name given to a type of subjective validation in which a person finds personal meaning in statements that could apply to many people.

For example:

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. At times you have serious doubts whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.

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