Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Psychology and Clickbait

This week I saw an article from History Today called, "25 Times History Made Perfect Clickbait."

For those not familiar with the term, it is a technique used to create curiosity in the reader of a headline and "encourage" them to click on the link to a page that has many ads, at least one of which you will accidently click on making the page owner richer.

Along those lines, I thought of a couple myself, but tend not to be that creative, so please add your own suggestions for clickbait headlines in the comments below!

  • What Secrets About Prison Life Does Zimbardo Reveal?
  • Do You Have the Right Mindset to Be Successful?
  • Authorities Opened the Door, Found Genie. You Won't Believe What Else?
  • Monkeys Were in For a Nasty Surprise with Harlow!
  • Which Scary Psychologist Created Sex in Advertising?

So get creative and add as many as you'd like in the comments.

Here is a screenshot from the article.


mariavita said...

This is great, Chuck! The #clickbait reminds me of an assignment created by Kelsey Halfen and adopted by many teachers: Movie Posters/Titles to capture the intrigue of social psychology experiments. Her website of ideas are here http://mypsychstuff.blogspot.com/2010/09/social-psych-movie-poster-examples.html See her first example: "Solomon Asch in...THE FOLLOWERS..." How far is too far?

But I have seen other teachers replicate like @MsAParkNCP on twitter https://twitter.com/MsAParkNCP/status/577531833119801344 where her students made digital posters.

On the "Bystand Me" poster, students wrote, "I didn't see it. I am sure someone else did though."

Michael Britt said...

Back in May of this year I created a post on my site in which I did just this very thing. I wanted students to learn about Skinner's work with pigeons so I created a post called He Taught a Pigeon to Peck a Ping Pong Ball. What Happened Next Will Shock You" . I also created an animated gif and some fake twitter posts like the example here. It was fun and hopefully educational as well.

mbritt said...

Almost forgot: you and your students can get ideas on how to create these "linkbait" titles using the Upworthy Generator. The sites Upworthy and Buzzfeed use these kinds of clickbait titles all the time so students can get ideas there as well.

Finally, I did an episode on my podcast in which I talked about the motivational factors behind these kinds of alluring titles and why they work: Leveraging Our Natural Curiosity for Learning (and for Blog and Video Clicks) in case anyone is interested in connecting some psychological theory to this fascinating phenomenon.

mariavita said...

LOVE your stuff, Michael Britt!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing and you always have new tech tools to apply in the classroom too: Thanks so much!