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Persuade With Power
Kurt Mortensen
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Zegarnik Effect
When we feel we’ve been left hanging, it drives us crazy! We want to know the end of the story. What is the missing piece? We want our tasks to be completed so we can check them off our list. This is also known as the “Zeigarnik Effect,” named after Bluma Zeigarnik, a Russian psychologist. This effect is the tendency we have to remember uncompleted thoughts, ideas, or tasks more than completed ones.

The story goes the Bluma Zeigarnik was sitting in a café in Vienna when she observed that a waiter could remember everything someone had ordered, but once the food was delivered the waiter forgot everything. This led for her to realize that it is easier to remember everything about an uncompleted task, but once the task is completed the memory will immediately fade. 

That uncompleted task will hold onto our memory, improve the recall and help us remember. We experience intrusive and almost nagging thoughts about a goal or an objective that was left incomplete. It is built into our psyche to want to finish what we start.

We see the Zeigarnik Effect on the television news and other programs. Right before a commercial break, the newscasters announce some interesting tidbit that will come later in the hour. This piques your interest and, rather than flipping the channel, you stay tuned.  Read More...
 “Buyer’s remorse” is also a form of dissonance. When we purchase a product or service, we tend to look for ways to convince ourselves that we made the right decision. If the people around us or other factors make us question our decision, we experience buyer’s remorse. On feeling this inconsistency, we’ll look for anything?facts, peer validation, expert opinion?to reduce the dissonance in our minds concerning the purchase.

Some of us even use selective exposure to minimize the risk of seeing or hearing something that could cause dissonance. Often people won’t even tell family or friends about their purchase or decision because they know it will create dissonance.

Asking for a refund, complaining about the product or representative, or having remorse can all be forms of dissonance. If you handle your prospect the wrong way it increases dissonance and they will demand a refund.


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