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February 12, 2007

Emotion vs. Analysis . . . and the winner is?

Emotion!   Ok, boys and girls, getting people to act may have a little science to it.  At least that is what my girl D. Small at the University of Pennsylvania and my boy G. Loewenstein at Carnegie Mellon University are sayin.  Check it, it seems we have an internal response system that makes us more or less responsive to giving, checkin in or supporting. 

It's called emotion!

No big surprise here uh!  Well, I think it is pretty cool.   If you can create an emotional response in folks, you increase the chance they will become customers, readers, supports or partners. 

What makes it really cool is that D. Small and G. Loewenstein have proven it out for us.  In their report they demonstrate statistics make us numb to connecting and that emotions increase our level of  commitment.  They call it statistical victim v. identifiable victim, a little clinical for me, BUT their point give people stats, make them use the analytical part of their brain and you will decrease your chances of getting them to buy your product, read your blog, become a client.  Give em an emotional connection, engage with them by creating or invoking an emotional response and you increase your ability to get em. 

How slammin is this?  They did a study where they got a bunch a folks and gave em some serious analytical reading, you know that SAT type stuff like; calculate if train A leaves the station at 1 heading south traveling 60 miles an hour and train B leaves another station heading north at 2 traveling at 45 miles an hour when do they meet?  Those crazy questions.   They then gave another bunch a folks some questions like, what comes to mind when you think of a baby, you know, emotional type questions. After each was "primed" they then gave them a 5 bucks for answering the questions and an evelope asking if they would like to donate part of the 5 bucks to charity.  You know what is coming dont'cha?  The folks who were primed to think analytically, gave only HALF as much, HALF!  Damn, if they are thinking they ain't giving.  If they are feeling, they ARE givin. 

If you want to get em, turn off the stats, get em thinking about their mom, their sister, shoot I don't know, but get to their emotions.  Enough of the stats, I know this is killing you techie, analytical types.  But, how sweet it is I can say this, the NUMBERS don't lie.


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Deborah and George merely confirmed what we already knew, Antman. The whole basis of salesmanship is based on eliciting an emotional response in people. This also translates into the field of fund raising, eg. the ads for Christian Childrens Fund, American Cancer Society, etc. Of course, you knew that already, Antman. You've been there and done that, and probably still are doing it. Your blog is a good resource for the less informed and I think it would be interesting to have you tell us more about your personal experience and expertise garnered over your successful career. So here's my little "Shout out" to you, Antman. Give us more of your personal input. Best to you, today, tomorrow and always.


Antman - good post - as in relationships it is always best to identify emotionally with people than purely around transactions. How many of us learn how much better work is when you "like" the people you work with.

Keep it up! Gabe

Melissa R. Garrett

Couldn't agree more! I find that when I open up a bit more and actually form relationships with my readers, they are more willing to stick around.

I'm an intelligent person (managed a 4.0 in nursing school while working night shift at the hospital with two young children!), but I can stomach only so much of the analytical stuff before my brain and interst are turned off.

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