advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Jabbermouths and the Zeigarnik Effect

Response to yesterday’s entry about cell phones on airplanes has been interesting, and the poll clearly indicates how FC Now readers feel abou the idea: As of this posting, almost 90% say that cell phones should not be allowed on airplanes.

This month’s edition of the e-zine Breathing Space includes some useful corollary data:

The 2003 annual Lemelson-MIT invention index survey found that when asked to name the invention they hate the most but can’t live without, 30 percent of respondents said the cell phone. Second to the cell phone were alarm clocks at 25 percent, followed by television at 23 percent and razors at 14 percent.

The newsletter goes on to detail what’s called the Zeigarnik Effect: “The Zeigarnik effect is characterized by the tendency of people to remember interrupted tasks better than those that have been completed. ‘Once taken off one task, without completing the transaction,’ [author Paul] Radde observes, ‘the mind continues to seek closure. If you have a number of things going, but none of them to completion, you have these tensions tending toward completion — and that is stress-provoking.'”

What loose ends should you tie off? What distractions — like the cell phone — keep you from reaching closure?

advertisement
advertisement