Zeigarnik Effect

Incomplete tasks weigh on our minds until done

Whether it’s a waiter recalling a long order or a birthday card yet to be sent, tasks left incomplete create a tension, craving for closure and, ultimately, certainty.

Zeigarnik, B. (1938). On finished and unfinished tasks. A source book of Gestalt psychology, 1, 300-314.

The study

Setup

47 subjects were given around 20 small, manual tasks to complete, one at a time. Experimenters randomly interrupted completion of half of these tasks. After, subjects were asked to recall as many tasks as possible.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Results

There was a 90% higher recall of incomplete and interrupted tasks than those completed.

np_read_2490885_000000

Zeigarnik, B. (1938). On finished and unfinished tasks. A source book of Gestalt psychology, 1, 300-314.

Key Takeaways

Make important task completion frictionless. If customers leave your site without finishing their order, make it effortlessly easy to get that completion feeling, such as allowing for completion with a single click, tap or swipe. 

Focus on completion’s emotional release. Providing reward incentives for task completion actually demotivates consumers. Instead, remind them not just of the product they’ve not yet bought, but of the feelings that this ‘purchase task’ will unlock. 

Make known campaigns incomplete and interactive. Greater familiarity with an advert increases consumer ability to complete an interrupted ad message. Active participation also boosts ad memory (Heller, 1956). So if your popular campaign’s reaching its end, consider a special second follow-up version that allows for active participation in completing the ad message. 

Zeigarnik Effect

Incomplete tasks weigh on our minds until done

Whether it’s a waiter recalling a long order or a birthday card yet to be sent, tasks left incomplete create a tension, craving for closure and, ultimately, certainty.

Zeigarnik, B. (1938). On finished and unfinished tasks. A source book of Gestalt psychology, 1, 300-314.

The study

Setup

47 subjects were given around 20 small, manual tasks to complete, one at a time. Experimenters randomly interrupted completion of half of these tasks. After, subjects were asked to recall as many tasks as possible.

Results

There was a 90% higher recall of incomplete and interrupted tasks than those completed.

Key Takeaways

Make important task completion frictionless. If customers leave your site without finishing their order, make it effortlessly easy to get that completion feeling, such as allowing for completion with a single click, tap or swipe. 

Focus on completion’s emotional release. Providing reward incentives for task completion actually demotivates consumers. Instead, remind them not just of the product they’ve not yet bought, but of the feelings that this ‘purchase task’ will unlock. 

Make known campaigns incomplete and interactive. Greater familiarity with an advert increases consumer ability to complete an interrupted ad message. Active participation also boosts ad memory (Heller, 1956). So if your popular campaign’s reaching its end, consider a special second follow-up version that allows for active participation in completing the ad message. 

Zeigarnik Effect

Incomplete tasks weigh on our minds until done

Whether it’s a waiter recalling a long order or a birthday card yet to be sent, tasks left incomplete create a tension, craving for closure and, ultimately, certainty.

The study

Setup

47 subjects were given around 20 small, manual tasks to complete, one at a time. Experimenters randomly interrupted completion of half of these tasks. After, subjects were asked to recall as many tasks as possible.

Results

There was a 90% higher recall of incomplete and interrupted tasks than those completed.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Pairings

Currently being prepared...

Related "Wilds"

Connected to

Running workshops?

Zeigarnik Effect

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box One