Article by : Minarella on Medium
A Psychological Trick to Evoke An Interesting Conversation
Use this human disposition to affect behavior mid-discussion.
Imagine you pass by a question that asks “the Titanic got invaded by aliens, right?” One one hand you’re holding in a chuckle and slightly in disbelief; on the other hand, you went through the pain of researching and answering the question into such enormous detail. So, what happened?
The answer is pretty simple. It’s a weird social media experiment that shows unusual findings when you — in willful ignorance — ask something completely wrong.
Generally, our minds tend to correct things as we float through life. According to a researcher, this human tendency to correct others can be used as a strategic tool to increase the engagement of students’ by 80%.
Strangely enough, this can be applied outside of academia and it’s not just questions but actions too. For example, when my younger self didn’t want to do my chores, I would fumble around like an idiot until my mother would get frustrated and do it for me. Depending on how you use this clever trick, it can make for an unforgettable discussion or a useful tool in getting what you want.
But how is saying the wrong thing supposed to increase more conversation? The human disposition is called “Cunningham’s Law”. A phenomenon perceived to affect human behavior mid-discussion.
People may not like to speak their minds or express their opinions, but they do want to be the smartest person in the room. A careful and clever use of Cunningham’s law in classrooms or meeting rooms can help teachers or managers to have an increased group participation.