The Zeigarnik Effect explains why…

… you may have felt an involuntary, possibly almost overwhelming pull to want to read these next lines following the truncated, incomplete headline. Let’s look at why this might be.

In her 1962 work “The Pathology of Thinking”, Russian psychologist Blyuma Zeigarnik had first reported her studies on a curious phenomenon: People in all sorts of situations could remember incomplete tasks or issues much more readily than completed ones. This therefore became known as the Zeigarnik Effect.

She had been a student of one of the proponents of so-called Gestalt Psychology, Kurt Lewin, and it was this school of psychological thought that had first brought up the issues of Foreground/Background awareness and perceptual processing.

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