Appendix 6 Exploiting and countering human decision-making

Chapter 3 presented many psychological techniques. This appendix gives you a handy reminder of how to exploit or counter their effects in your writing.

Primacy – people form opinions on first impressions and remember early information better.

Exploit: summaries or abstracts; attention-grabbing headlines; go first if multiple views are presented.

Counter: if someone else has got their view in first, use recency and put your point last.

Availability – information more easily recalled has more influence in decision-making.

Exploit: shock the reader; relate your point to their personal experiences; tell stories: grab their attention though your document layout; use primacy and recency. ...

Get Persuasive Writing now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.