Are You Cursed?
There are 2 kinds of people...
Tappers and listeners.
That's how the groups were divided in this 1990 study at Standford University.
Each tapper was paired with a listener.
The tapper's job was to select a well-known song (i.e., "Happy Birthday") and tap out the rhythm on the table.
But first... they were asked how often the listeners would correctly guess the song they were tapping.
"50%," the tappers confidently predicted. Actually, they estimated anywhere between 10% to 95% - averaging out to 50%
But the listeners only got 3 out of 120 correct—only 2.5%.
Why the chasmic difference?
The Curse of Knowledge
The tappers could hear the melody in their head. The listeners couldn't.
The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that happens when you unknowingly assume that others have the same background or expertise that you do.
The curse shows up all the time in business. If you are a:
- business coach, struggling with clients who don't "get it."
- in sales and prospects don't see the value of your solution
- frustrated by new employees making frequent mistakes
it could be the curse.
And it shows up all the time in marketing - from thinking you have nothing to say in your emails and content to assuming "shorter is better" so you try to sell your $10k service with 7 lines of copy.
Luckily, this curse is much easier to defeat than the Curse of the Bambino was. Be on the lookout for this bias in your communication and try to see things from the other person's point of view.
And a little user testing never hurts.
Be on the lookout for the curse - and enjoy the picks below.
News, Tips, & Tricks
Book of the Week
Tool of the Week
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