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Sorting and Counting

 

Techniques General persuasion > Creating Cognitive Load > Sorting and Counting

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Ask them to count or sort out some things such that they have to pay constant attention to the task in hand.

Ask them to prioritize a list of items. Get them to count a pile of papers or people in a room. Ask them to mentally count the number of times something happens. Request help sorting clothes. And so on.

Example

If you can help me sort these applications we can talk about your role in the new system.

Can you count people coming into the room? ... Let me tell you about the car I want.  

Discussion

Simple tasks like counting are easy, so you can ask anyone to do these. Even though they are not difficult they require the use of limited mental resources.

Sorting requires more thought and understanding, and suits people who have the knowledge to do this. Generally, it it good to match the task to the person, trying to keep it the balance between not too hard and reasonably stimulating.

There is a strange comfort in such repetitive tasks and it is not surprising that people with compulsive disorders indulge in them. Babies sleep when they are rocked and we still use rocking motion for comforting. Repetition invokes pattern recognition at its model basic level, which triggers the good feeling of neural reward for finding familiarity.

See also

Using Repetition, Natural Comforters

 

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