I just finished reading “Captivology” by Ben Parr. In Captivology, award-winning journalist, author, entrepreneur and investor Ben Parr (Forbes 30 Under 30) presents a new understanding of attention -- how it works, why it matters, and how we leverage psychological triggers to draw and retain attention for our passions, projects, and ideas. This book is both insightful and practical, and will change how you assign jobs to your kids or staff, craft a multi-million dollar ad campaign, deliver your next presentation, attract users to your product, or convince the world to support your cause. I really enjoyed it. Here’s a synopsis taken right from the book. Enjoy!
A Bonfire of Attention
Captivology is an exploration of how attention works, focused on the triggers that can attract the attention of whatever audience you are targeting, in any industry or situation. It’s about using science and practical technologies to create a bonfire of attention for your message, cause, product, or idea.
The Three Stages of Attention
To build a bonfire of attention for your message, you have to capture your audience’s immediate attention, to mesmerize their short attention, and finally to captivate their long attention.
The Automaticity Trigger is our unconscious tendency to shift our attention toward the sights, sounds, and other sensory cues important to our safety and survival. We will pay attention to a lion before an antelope. We will pay attention to a gunshot over the chirps of robins. And we will usually look at red before blue, especially if romance or sex is involved. The Automaticity Trigger sparks the first stage of attention—immediate attention. It’s the jolt that forces people to turn their attention to you.
Where we direct our attention is a choice, and our frames of reference help us make these choices based on our experiences and previously acquired knowledge. The framing effect involves the way we perceive a piece of information based on the way it is presented to us. We often make different conclusions about the same information when the explanation is changed even slightly. Is a proposed law restricting gun ownership about “gun control” or “gun safety?”
Disruption is about changing the status quo. People make unconscious predictions about what they expect to occur in
a specific situation. When something violates these expectations, we are forced to pay greater attention to the violation and to assign a positive or negative connotation to that violation. Skillful use of the Disruption Trigger relies on surprise.
Extrinsic rewards are tangible rewards for accomplishing something—things like money, food, trophies, and a perfect score on a test. Intrinsic rewards are intangible rewards that provide us with feelings of internal satisfaction and accomplishment. And just like rewards, the motivations we have to achieve those rewards can also be extrinsic or intrinsic (for example, reading a book because you will be quizzed in class, or reading a book because you desire to learn). If you’re looking to capture immediate and short attention, extrinsic rewards can be extremely effective. However, if you’re looking to build loyalty and long attention, then intrinsic rewards are far more helpful.
A reputation is the embodiment of a person, company, or idea’s credibility and worthiness. It is this credibility and worth that determine whether something is worth our time and long-term interest. That’s why reputations are important shortcuts for quickly determining who is worthy of our attention. When simply hearing your name makes people pay attention, you have become a master of attention.
Mystery simply refers to something that we don’t yet understand. We are especially captivated by a mystery that’s incomplete. The compulsion for completion, driven by our need for closure and our love of puzzle solving, makes us pay attention to a mystery or an enigma until it’s resolved, which makes it a powerful tool of attention. By creating the right amount of mystery, suspense, and uncertainty, you can activate your audience’s compulsion for completion and get them to pay attention to you and your ideas right until the very end.
The Acknowledgement Trigger is the most powerful at capturing long-lasting attention. The premise is simple: we pay attention to the people and ideas that recognize, validate, and empathize with us in some way. It’s about harnessing our audience’s fundamental desire for acceptance by offering them recognition. When people recognize you for your work, it opens the possibility for you to demonstrate that you recognize them and acknowledge your gratitude that they paid attention to you. This mutual or reciprocal attention leads to capturing people’s sustained, long attention.
The Influence of Attention
Attention is the conduit through which we experience our world. If you don’t have somebody’s attention, no amount of effort you put into your product, music, art, lesson plan, or project will matter.
Interested in reading the entire book? You can purchase it here: http://amzn.to/2noE8j0