As a researcher part of my job is to get inside people’s heads and think about what makes them tick.
As you can imagine this is not an easy task – particularly given that more often than not people have no idea why they do what they do.
To make matters worse, it appears that people’s perceptions can be affected by things that you wouldn’t normally anticipate.
You’ve probably heard of ‘positive affirmations’ and the like?
Well today I came across an article that said that there’s actually some real (i.e. scientific) evidence that it works. But not necessarily in the way you might imagine.
Basically the crux of it was that what you SAY can actually change how you feel – even if you are lying or just being polite. Importantly I’m not just referring to positive THINKING here, the trick is that you actually need to SAY it, out loud.
The study showed (as an example) that SAYING you are fond of someone might make you actually like that person even if you didn’t initially.
How bizarre is that?? If your mouth says it your brain could start to believe it! So much for needing to ramp up the benefits of a particular product to get people to buy it. All you need to do is somehow get them to say out loud that they like it – even if they don’t!
I’m sure it’s not that simple, but talk about turning the usual marketing model on its head. And what about us researchers? Do we now need to work out whether they like something just because they’ve faked it for so long they now genuinely believe it?
While this could lead some to throw up their hands in despair at ever achieving real insights, I just find it makes me more intrigued by people and all their seemingly paradoxical behaviours and attitudes.
I look forward to adding this little nugget into the mix.
In the meantime I’m intent on getting my children to say ‘I love broccoli’ over and over again…watch this space!