The Zeigarnik Effect

A: So, this week I’ve mostly been reading about the Zeigarnik effect.

B: And….

A: Oh I’ll tell you about it later. How’s your week been?

B: Bad week. Wales getting hammered by England.

A: Oh! Rugby.

B: Of course. Living in England it’s a little unsettling this time of the year.

A: Why would that be then?

B: It’s the same old debate on an endless loop. I say “I hope England lose”..

A: When they’re playing….

B: Oh anyone.. Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, China, Inner and Outer Mongolia, The Faroe Islands, anyone in fact.

A: And the stereotypical English person you’re talking to says…

B: “I don’t understand that. If Wales were playing France, Albania, Turkey, Swaziland, etc.. I’d support Wales.”

A: And your witty retort was ….

B: “I really don’t care. In fact I’d prefer it if you didn’t.”

A: And they reply with “I don’t understand. Let’s go through it again…”

B: They just don’t get it do they.

A: Huh. English….

B: Individually OK, but collectively …

A: In the words of the female bard Cerys “Every morning I wake up and thank the Lord I’m Welsh”.

B: Xenophobic ?

A: I’d rather say ‘proud’.

B: But anyway. I’ve been doing a fair amount of research actually and I’ve discovered what a tricky job change management is?

A: Really?

B: Well they did a survey of 1000 patients who had heart operations after leading a ‘poor’ lifestyle.

A: Poor?

B: In terms of their health. Poor diet, smoking, drinking too much.

A: And?

B: Well they told these people that unless they changed their lifestyle they would be having further operations with the distinct possibility of an early death.

A: So?

B: So they had to change their lifestyle. But guess how many actually did change?

A: Tell me.

B: Just over 100.

A: 10% ?

B: Exactly .. …

…A: And?

B: And what does this tell you about change?

A: Well it tells me that you don’t want to be nagging people who’ve been through an extremely stressful time to stop smoking.

B: Uh?

A: For some of them it’s the thought of having another fag that’ll get them through all the bad times. Or, what sort of life is it if you can’t have a drink, watch some TV and eat some red meat.

B: Not exactly the response I was looking for.

A: Oh I see. Sorry. I of course mean – Change is difficult and we need more consultants to help people through it.

B: Right.

A: Right. We need more consultants don’t we? Do you know there are now more consultants in America than police officers, doctors, nurses and fire officers combined?

B: Is that true?

A: I have no idea. But it sounds like something that may be true. So, anyway what’s your angle on this heart operation thing then?

B: I think it’s to do with fearing death rather than embracing life.

A: Oh. Tell me more you old hippy.

B: Well of the patients that have been counselled with a positive attitude they are more optimistic………

A: And you worked this all out yourself?

B: Hardly. Just quoting from the article by Alan Deutschman

A: That’s called plagiarism in some countries.

B: Influenced by in others.

A: Have you no shame?

B: ‘fraid not.

A: So anyway that article on the Zeigarnik effect?

B: Oh yes. What’s that about?

A: I’ll tell you next time………………….

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