I'm Like You, You Like Me

As a former psych major, I am forever drawn to intriguing little research studies which shed light on how oddly our human brains are wired.

One study, called “The Influence of Fleeting Attraction” and discussed in the PSYBLOG, caught my eye. Here’s the punchline:

“When asked for a small favour by a stranger, we make a snap judgement on how much we like them based on trivial information, and this can have a huge influence on our response.”

You can read more about it here, but the basic takeaway is that perceived similarities – even if based on next to nothing – influence how I feel and behave towards you.

I hate to say I told you so, but that’s a big part of why personal information and storytelling are so effective in marketing. When I tell you things about me – that I have kids, am 50 years old, enjoy running, whatever – to the extent you share some of these same traits, you feel a stronger connection to me (which in my experience leads to a greater sense of trust and an increased likelihood to buy).

Does it make rational sense? Probably not.  But if your target audience consists primarily of humans, it’s worth paying attention to.

Photo courtesy of Oskay, used under a Creative Commons license.

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