Consumer products companies used to run contests asking people to write down — in 25 words or less — why they liked a particular product. People who submitted the most creative entries could win huge prizes, like a house or a car. Contestants focused on the limit of 25 words — how to say something important in a very few words. (Succinct written communication — good practice for Twitter).
But what was really going on? The sponsoring company was getting thousands of people to write down something positive about the product. And once you write something down, you’re likely to behave consistently with what you’ve written. In other words, the sponsoring company induced thousands of people to convince themselves that they like the product. It’s almost like an auto-hypnotic suggestion. It’s called the consistency principle and you can learn more about it in today’s video.