The Power of Three

8 Jan

 

Earlier this week there was an interesting article entitled The Power of Three in the NYTimes. The core idea is that in persuasion type communications the optimal number of claims is three and the addition of more will often reduce the effectiveness of the message.  It’s a fun read but the authors don’t seem to understand why this is the case. Aha! A perfect example of a phenomenon needing an explanation.  Of course the explanation comes from cognitive psychology: CHUNKing and KISSing aka how the human mind processes information.  Great communicators understand this intuitively.

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