Which idea is best? Most often, it’s the first idea.
I’ve written about the first-is-best bias before. This morning, I was pleased to see that The Economist‘s columnist, Schumpeter, agrees with me. This week, Schumpeter reports on new research that finds the first-is-best bias in everything from chewing gum preference to the costs of television advertising (the first ad slot costs more than the second and so on). When people are distracted (and who isn’t these days?), they often go with the first solution they hear.
So what does this have to do with persuasive communication? Two things:
You can find the article that Schumpeter reports on — “First is Best”, by Dana Carney of UC Berkeley and Mahzarin Banarji of Harvard here.