Rhyme As Reason EffectOpen Access

Rhyme As Reason Effect

Rhyming statements that you hear, they are seen as more sincere

We are more likely to believe sentences that rhyme than similar ones which don’t, due to both their beauty and relative ease of processing.

McGlone & Tofighbakhsh (2000). Birds of a feather flock conjointly (?): Rhyme as reason in aphorisms. Psychological Science.

The study

Setup

100 people were split into groups and shown a list of sayings about human behavior that either rhymed or didn’t (e.g. “Woes unite foes”  or “Fools live poor to die rich”). They were then asked how accurate the sayings were.

Results

Those in the rhyming group believed their sayings to be more true than those in the non-rhyming group.

Study graph

Key Takeaways

A little play to make them pay.

Where can you use rhymes to heighten belief and persuade in a playful way? Combine with the Humor Effect and a short jingle for an extra boost.

Takeaway image

Repeat to defeat.

Fluency Shortcut says that short, easy-to-understand sentences are believed and repeated more. Where can you use short rhymes to speed up familiarity of new ideas and create memorable vocal repeatability?

Takeaway image

Localize to vocalize.

Consider the 1970s ad in the UK by vacuum manufacturer Electrolux. Though the claim might have been true, 'to suck' more isn't always a good thing. However, the negative meaning hadn't yet entered British English, so rhymes can be crimes, but only in certain climes!

Takeaway image
Takeaway image
Pairings

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Rhyme As Reason Effect

Rhyme As Reason Effect

Rhyming statements that you hear, they are seen as more sincere

We are more likely to believe sentences that rhyme than similar ones which don’t, due to both their beauty and relative ease of processing.

The study

Setup

100 people were split into groups and shown a list of sayings about human behavior that either rhymed or didn’t (e.g. “Woes unite foes”  or “Fools live poor to die rich”). They were then asked how accurate the sayings were.

Results

Those in the rhyming group believed their sayings to be more true than those in the non-rhyming group.

study graph
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