Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Need for Closure........

Have you heard about the Zeigarnik effect?

First identified by gestalt psychologist Kevin Lewin, the Zeigarnik effect is where we tend to remember incomplete tasks more often than tasks that are completed. This effect was first discovered in 1927 when Kevin Lewin sitting in a restaurant in Vienna noticed that waiters only remembered orders while they were in the process of being served thus incomplete, and when they were completed they later had little recollection of the orders they previously carried out if any recollection at all. This resulted in Kevins Lewin's student Bluma Zeigarnik theorizing that unfinished business or an incomplete task created ''psychic tension'' within us, and this tension can drive us to seek closure in regards to either unfinished business or an incomplete task.

The human mind is motivated to seek closure, where something is perceived to be unfinished the memory seems to hold onto it until it is resolved. A classic example would come from television soaps where an episode of your favourite television show would build up to its eventual climax after a long running storyline and you would literally be hanging at the edge of your seat, then the words TO BE CONTINUED would appear on your television screen right when you were really getting hooked. This can be quite annoying, but funnily enough it is near guaranteed that you will be thinking about it throughout the week until the showing of the next episode, and as a result you will tune in to watch it to find out what happened thus seeking and gaining closure.


The recent blockbuster movie Bahubali first part ending abruptly is the best example. As Professional Trainers do you use Zeigarnik effect in your training programs?  Could you think of using this as a strategy during your tea / lunch breaks? Do you see a value proposition as part of your overall program design and delivery with your clients? All it takes is a small step which leads to big difference.

Stay tuned  for more updates on “Small Change Big Difference” and our 60 Bits.