Zeigarnik effect – Mystery books

Human Brain, Marketing, Worry

Are you enthralled with mystery books. I have been reading them ever since I can remember , initially it was Enid Blyton, then Hercule Point, then Allistar Macllean. Till now I if I get to read a mystery thriller – I just can’t keep the book down till I have finished it. Same is the case with movies or web series which are mystery oriented. If I identify a good series then I will finish all the episodes in one sitting.

I have written about the Zeigarnik effect earlier also. I will not go into the details about this here. However if you are interested, there are more than 500 articles that you can search giving details about this Lithuanian lady and her research. Like any scientific theory there are also people who don’t agree with this theory. I am however not interested in getting into that debate.

For me, whenever there’s an unfinished task, I have this nagging / worry feeling that I need to finish it and it keeps coming back into the foreground ever so often. For all these years I used to think its a personality trait with me alone, but then I happened to get hold of this theory and I realised I am not the only unique person who has this trait.

Today however I was reading the book Pre-Suasion, yes that’s not an error. That’s the exact name of the book by author Robert Cialdini. He had earlier written the blockbuster book Influence. If you are in marketing then you need to have this book in your easy to access reference guides.

Robert writes very exhaustively and his books are very dense with enough proof to back his theories.

While reading Pre-Suasion, Robert gives the reason why I have the tendency to read a mystery book in one go. Once again, this is not a trait unique to me, its because of the Zeigarnik effect. Our brain like to get closure on things. Till it gets closure, its in active mode to get the item closed. So until I understand how the mystery gets solved, I am not able to be at peace.

That’s the reason why the people who make multiple seasons of web series always put a hook right at the end, so that when they come out with the next season, there’s an audience waiting to watch it.

Imagine the usage of what I thought as a personality trait is also being used in the entertainment world.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

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